• Solidarity

    Shrenik Mutha

    Show me the strength of your love,
    show me the love of your heart.
    But also show me the gut of your heart,
    the colour of your gut.
    What colour is it?
    Is it black? Like the black of the blackboard which lets me pour my heart on it?
    Or is it like a rainbow? A rainbow of the many things you’ve imagined and the many times your heart went out to someone and you said “I love you”?
    A person I loved once told me, “You need reasons so you can remind yourself you’re still in love with a particular person”
    Is it the same with Solidarity?
    Do we need to keep reminding ourselves of why we stand in Solidarity with someone? Is Solidarity so frivolous?

    Solidarity,
    tell me, what is the sound of the protest songs ringing in your head?
    Is it the call for aggressive slogan shouting?
    Or is it the call of loving, listening, hand-holding and hugging?
    Is it the call for resistance, the resistance of surviving?
    Or is it the call for the silent whisper of living?
    Is it the call for accepting privilege?
    Or is it the call for wishing it away?
    I know I cannot wish away what I was born with. My identity of an oppressor sticks to me.
    I ran from it for a long while-in lanes and on roads and in the valleys and amongst the learned.
    But all along, there was blood dripping from my fingertips. After all, the state killed in my name. I am a murderer.

    I want to ask myself before I ask any one of you,
    whom do I stand in solidarity with?
    And I have told myself again and again,
    It is not us against them, it is not black and white, it is not dark and light, not good and evil.
    It is in the greys.
    I will be the neutral one, I thought, who did not have to make a choice. I could go in when called, decide when asked and I would be objective. I would be value neutral.
    I would be apolitical.
    That meant: I would be exactly what the powerful wanted me to be.
    I would stand by as a voyeur to a Muslim’s murder by the state.

    I say it is time now we talk to our hearts, we ask our hearts, was it the right thing we did?
    Let us ask ourselves of the language of justice, the language of protest, the language of fingers building into fists. Let us stop measuring the size of our hearts by the size of our fists. The language of feeling the pull of hearts tearing you open and wrenching you from within and pulling it out,making you feel. The language of wanting to say, no matter what, I’m here. No matter what, there is power in coming together, forming connections, finding love.
    Building relationships like building a house to all of us, a house for us to come home to. A house to steal time away from the world and come and be here, prepare so we can go back and not lose to hatred.
    That. Is. Solidarity. Love, come, hold, hug, be.

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