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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 1 New Delhi December 21, 2019 | ANNUAL NUMBER

All is not Lost

Saturday 21 December 2019

All is not lost.

The young still feel the sting

Of oppression.

Setting aside the quiescent

Counsel of terrified time,

They rise, singing a defiant rhyme.

Women, dragged by the hair,

Lead the march of assertion

Against the strategy of fear.

While the batons of state

Sought the men for correction,

Women in hijab shielded the men.

A new dauntless beauty was born,

Promising a conjoint dawn.

From Arunachal to Chennai,

From Punjab to the Hooghly

The roar goes up—“we

Will not be Zion, we will not be Nazi.”

The perfidious who seek to sunder

confront an unsought wonder:

those that the new law has included

For nefarious favour march

To embrace the excluded.

Gandhi smiles from the sky

At the tenacity of his legacy.

Young women and men

Lay the foundation

Of a second struggle for freedom

And common love.

Let the failed elders now

Take heed, relinquish petty

Feuds, and come to the table

Of emancipation that the

Young have seamlessly laid

And sanctified with fresh blood.

Let there be no going back now.

          Badri Raina

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