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Mainstream, VOL LIV No 10 New Delhi February 27, 2016

Three Poems

Sunday 28 February 2016, by Badri Raina

Women of Shingnapur

Led by Trupti Desai, you marched
On Shani Shingnapur as did the women
Of Paris on Versaille—to level
Yet another edifice of demeaning
Prejudice. Knowing that it is not
The mute, untouchable stone that
Made you untouchable, but
The proprietership of those who
The gods of their making own.
Wretchedly, they hide behind
The ignorant rage of other women
Whom they have made imbecile
Mannequins on a cunning stage.
However that be, know that on
Republic Day of twenty sixteen,
From a metropolitan hinterland,
Your shaming courage born of
A simple conviction advances India’s
Republican history irrevocably.
The sickening equivocation of Priest,
Mullah, politician melt to a dross
Of gibberish in the fire of your reason.
In the days to come, surely, many
Other brazen citadels of crass denial
Are set to fall. Women of Shingnapur,
Your resolve this day has made
Many fearful foot soldiers in the
Fight for justice tall. Brave Trupti,
You have given to the nation
A piece of Rosa Park’s conversation.
Among heartbreaks and perfidies,
It is episodes of faith like these
That give purpose to our lives. Across
Centuries a good argument thrives.

Smart Cities for Smart Men

Smart cities are for smart men
Who drool not on other’s pain;
Sequestered from human face,
They work but digital gain.

They will not look you in the eye,
But go past like hurricane;
While Bharat lags in bullock cart,
They take the bullet train.

They will pack their oxygen
In latest plastic lung;
Their water will come from hidden
Sack beneath synthetic tongue.

Smart will be our destiny,
Smart our indifference
To those who will not be smart
With no genius for the main chance.

Blasphemy or Sedition

We are a continent of choice,
You are free to choose either one—
Speak freely of god or man,
And pick blasphemy or sedition.

Be not your hate of our kind
But deriving from atrocity,
You invite either sedition
Or embrace blasphemy.

Our hates are nationalist—
Yours dangerously just;
Should you insist to disagree,
Well, we destroy you must.

God is that we think is god,
And State is what suits us best;
Refusing either postulate—
The police will have to do the rest.