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Mainstream, VOL LVIII No 8 New Delhi February 8, 2020

Dogs of War

Sunday 9 February 2020, by Badri Raina


The women plant themselves, waving
The Flag, flaunting
The Preamble.
In their settled do-or-die,
They seem one with the earth they occupy.
The chill, the calumny, nor inducement
Dent the steel of their immovable intent.
Their sentient innocence is more
Than the lumbering slouch of the farmer:
It is an armour we have not
Encountered before.
So how do we deal with this
Searing stab of conscience at our door?

Let loose the dogs of war, we say.
Throw mud till some tell-tale sticks.
Let devoted lumpens on call
Fire shots at the wall of resistance
That their deed may yield
Just the mayhem we desperately need.

Draft friendly messengers
Who will with energy propagate
The virtual tale we shall construct of
Mortal conspiracy against the state.
Give the dog enough bad name,
That when the time for the
Kill should come, ours will be
The victory, theirs the opprobrium.

What freedom there is in a politics
That thrives on lies and righteous ruse.
Anything may become anything
Through an adroit alchemy
Of cunning, menace, and abuse.

Meanwhile, many who applaud the grit
Of the women against the mighty rot
Wonder whether the heavens will look on
And not take their part.
For now, they stand in awe and salute.

Badri Raina

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