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Mainstream, VOL LV No 39 New Delhi September 16, 2017

For My Sister, Gauri Lankesh

Tuesday 19 September 2017, by Sagari Chhabra

Tonight I write the saddest lines,
They killed my sister, last night.
As she came back from work,
Parked the car
To open the gate to her house,
They pumped three bullets
Into her forehead,
And there she lay
Bleeding, oh! so forlorn.

They sped away on their motorbike,
I know they will come again,
I do not write these lines in vain;
They killed Kalburgi,
They killed Dabholkar,
They killed Pansare,
And called it a law and order game.

Tonight I write the saddest lines
As my sister lay bleeding;
She had gone from village to town
Recording the voices of the people
And their feelings,
The sun had burnt her skin
From every pore of her body
The love of her people had poured in,
Tonight that love mingled with her blood
Gushed out on the stones of the street,
But after their murderous feat,
They called her a ‘bitch’
Even in her death;
We are to see worse, yet.

They tell me to be silent,
They tell me to write poems that are pretty,
But I tell you
When the blood is pouring
onto the streets, of my sister,
You may very well,
Call us both a litter.

I will not succumb to the venom
You have spewed,
The feud
You have created
Between the people,
This fear,
This anger,
This hatred,
You are creating shards
Of the fabric of society,
Which was once
A homespun
khadi;
Creating a clamour
About beef,
The
mandir,
And the
tiranga;
Oh! do take a bath in the Ganga.

You have electoral power
And the barrel of the gun;
Have your merciless fun;
But in this darkest hour
I will cling to my words
True to my salt;
You killed my sister
Whose only fault
Was to speak and write, fearlessly.
Tonight I write the saddest lines,
You killed my sister, Gauri.

September 12, 2017 Sagari Chhabra

Sagari Chhabra is a poet, playwright and film-maker. Her latest book, ‘In Search of Freedom, has been awarded the National Laadli Media award.

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62