Mainstream, VOL LIV No 38 New Delhi September 10, 2016
Friday 9 September 2016, by
You had the will to stayWithout foodFor sixteen years;So that our conscience awakens!Your act of non-violenceIn a sea of violence—Rapes, arrests, wanton deathsBy the army, with impunity,Touches deep within,And will stay till infinity.The salt that Gandhi once madeWhile walking to Dandi,Now has by its side,The iconic imageOf your feeding tube.You resist violenceBy denying yourself taste;Make haste, O world!Listen to this voice,It carries within it—As you place a sea-shell by the earYou can distinctly hear,The roar of the ocean—The cries of thousands of dispossessedSuffering people.The gestureIs a silent one,But so potent,So full of love.I salute your courage Irom,for bringing home,To my generation—ahimsa.
August 9, 2016 Sagari Chhabra
(On Irom Sharmila breaking her fast after 16 years. She was fed by a feeding tube inserted through her nostril, by the state.)
(Poet, playwright, filmmaker and author, Sagari Chhabra’s latest book is In Search of Freedom—Journeys through India and South-East Asia; it has been awarded the National Laadli Media Award)