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Mainstream, Vol XLVI No 27

The Tryst of a Woman of Nandigram

Wednesday 25 June 2008, by Suhas Borker

I am a woman of Nandigram
- My name is Radharani Ari
- Born in the twelfth year of the Republic
- That makes me forty-six.

Fourteen March 2007
- I am part of the struggle to save our Bhoomi
- The peaceful blockade on Bhangaberia Bridge
- Turns into a bloodbath
- Police shoot fourteen dead
- I hide in a ditch
- Only to be pulled out by your masked harmad
- Beaten unconscious and raped with a tree branch
- Till the tearing pain chokes my shrieks
- And my ears can hear my voice no more

I limp back in naked terror
- After all, what else can a poor woman of Nandigram do?

And then thirteen months on
- One month before the Panchayat election
- Three days before Nabo Barsho
- Eleventh April 2008
- In the night your rabid marauders come again for me
- Wearing red wristbands they drag me to the killing fields
- To gang rape me.

But this time from my mutilated vagina
- Sprouts forth a one man army
- Moulded on the one you so despise And call Gendoburro
- And like his agonising Kolkata tryst
- Away from the power transfer scripted in Delhi
- Mine is not to rest.

Till the cries of Freedom, Justice, Democracy
- Etched with the smouldering embers of my bones
- On the one hundred and fortyfour columns of the Temple
- Echo: I have come! I have come!

Till the ploughshares in my country’s parched farmlands
- Ignite and cut furrows into barricades of resistance
- My ashes rekindled into crimson blades swaying in the wind
- Echo: I have come! I have come!

June 8, 2008, New Delhi

[Suhas Borker is an independent documentary filmmaker and convener of the Working Group on Alternative Strategies based in New Delhi. He can be contacted at suhasborker@gmail.com]

(Courtesy : The Statesman)

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