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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 17 New Delhi, April 11, 2020

Corona and Migrant Sansculotttes

Saturday 11 April 2020, by Badri Raina

via: Z Net, April 7, 2020

Are you a migrant labourer,
Escaping death by lockdown?
Then trudge, O lifelong sansculottte,
But with no hope of a town

That may have food or water,
Medicine or a bed
To shore up your extraneous lives
From hunger or viral dread.

No train or plane may hurry you
To your expectant slum;
Trains and planes are meant for NRIs
Who from fancy countries come.

You are Hands not needed now
When no profits circulate;
And what efficient government ever gives
Idle Hands rebate?

Nor is an election underway
That your vote may be of value;
So trust your sturdy bone and trudge,
Or, doing nothing will kill you.

Eat what bramble you may find
Along your odyssey;
And keep some anger yet alive
In your unforgiving eye.

The memory your young will have
Of this atrocity
Will stand them in good stead
As a toughened citizenry.

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