• Say NO to Hindu Terrorism

    Nabina Das responds to 16-year-old Junaid's lynching

    June 30, 2017


    Krishna Reddy, 'Demonstrators', 1968 / metmuseum.org


    The outrage and the spontaneous protest following 16-year-old Junaid's death while traveling in a train with his cousins after Eid shopping is something one needs to understand in a clear perspective. It is precisely the misrule of the Modi government – and no other excuse would suffice to explain this and the heinous incidents of lynching preceding this – that has rendered the fabric of the country severely tattered. This (mis)government is sheltered by a Brahminical ideology which peddles hatred, segregation, and caste and class oppression. It refuses to engage with realpolitik, and believes in the politics of murder and mayhem. The list of murders doesn’t just begin and end with Muslims. Dalit, Adivasi, women and other minorities, time and again, have borne the brunt of Hindutva terror. More so now as the RSS-backed government is unleashing chaos all around. Even while the prime minister just chided gau-rakshaks and Sanghi vigilantes for taking the law in their hands, reports of lynchings came in again. Hence, we must keep the protest in full charge. The only way we can counter tears, deaths, losses. Say NO to the sabotage of humanity, to Hindu terrorism, to the murder of peace and coexistence!

    Words don't convey much, actions do. But I have two poems which are rants or songs to make our fight more meaningful:

    in my name – a protest song

    it is in my name
    a name you use to kill
    it is in my name
    a name you use to lynch
    it is in my name
    you let Junaid bleed
    it is in my name
    you missed Rohith's stardust
    it is in my name
    you blinded kids in Kashmir
    it is in my name
    your boots trample Northeast
    it is in my name
    a name that flaunts Manusamhita
    it is in my name
    a name you flag to threaten
    it is in my name
    a name you use for religion
    it is in my name
    a name you hurl at Dalits
    it is in my name
    a name that hurts Muslims
    it is in my name 
    a name that oppresses women
    it is in my name
    a name that mouths false scriptures
    it is in my name
    you call yourself a patriot
    it is in my name
    you brand yourself a rebel
    it is always in my name
    that you lay claim to my country and peace
    so it is in my name today
    we'll  let the story be retold


    L was for that sound in the name Pehlu
    and you mentioned O is the way our mouths open wide
    S for the snakes twisting in the grass

    Another S?

    [S], shall we say, for sorrow?

    Let's make loss into that which is lost, just to gain

    A man and cow, or wait –

    ** case no. CKBM0009
    dead cow and dead Muslim

    T will be for tears, some said.

    Let's [T]ear up the facade

    L is still for love so we don't forget Pehlu
    make a round of your lips in O, so
    you can overcome the hate
    S for sweetlifegrasssunriseserenewalkworkandallyeahsolovely


    Nabina Das's 'in my name – a protest song' was first published in Cafe Dissensus. Read the poem here

    Born in Assam and currently based in Hyderabad, NABINA DAS is a poet and writer, a 2016 Commonwealth Foundation correspondent, and an alumna of Charles Wallace fellowship, Sangam House, and Wesleyan Writers Conference.

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