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Mainstream, VOL LIII No 34 August 15, 2015

India — 2015

Saturday 15 August 2015, by Badri Raina

More than the menace of a Monsoon
Cloud now stalks the land.
Unrelenting stabs of imbecile assertion
Maul the body politic as newborn
Titans roll their sleeves and
Bare their fangs against
A republic whose slovenly habits
Of accomodation rebuke
The loud muscle of oppressive swagger.
The command is out: let every
Flower in the realm henceforth
Take on but one shape, size, and
Colour, or be deemed a trojan horse,
Rather than a rose or a carnation,
Asking to be decapitated root
And branch, stem and petal as
Dangerous to the nation Let
Every man, woman, child, learn but
One lesson, and write it upon the
Brow, or else prepare to be taught
Just how. Let but one voice be ,
Heeded, however grating and hollow,
Speaking of trivia and thin air,
While weightier matter hang fire.
And whoever tire of that harangue,
Muttered in street-smart twang,
Shall put in jeopardy home and hearth,,
And be declared of dubious worth.
Myriad voices of common concern
May whisper the plight of reason,
The single-minded Cyclops’ eye
Watches with giant smirk
Their suspicious faces of treason.
Many mutinies gather, nevertheless,
Hoping to build barricades that
No Fascios may breach. But,
Nothing for now seems beyond
The reach of masterful bullying
Masking masterful greed; a newly
Mindted breed of beneficiaries
Ensure that the channels spew
The rout of justice and fairplay,
Making the way smooth and spry
For the well-heeled and noisy lie.
Yet, the more that they gather in,
The more things fall apart. What
Has been tried before may not
Sustain beyond a pyrrhic day;
The rich may like top-down tyranny,
But India’s countless hoi polloi—
They are something else again,
And cussedly make their own way.

Badri Raina