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    A Poem from Battling for India

    Orijit Sen

    April 19, 2019

    Demonetisation—A poem
    Abhishek Anicca

    Cycle rickshaw-walas support demonetisation.
    Their earnings have halved.
    Some days they don’t have any work.
    They think it will be over, soon.
    In a month or two, hopefully, they say.
    They are doing it for the country, right?
    Maybe they are.

    Mandi-walas support demonetisation.
    Their supplies are short.
    And what they have, is rotting.
    They are rotting too, slowly.
    They are waiting for things to change.
    For many the effects will last,
    Some weeks of earning nothing at all
    Turning into the big nothings of tomorrow.
    But they are doing it for the country, right?
    Maybe they are.

    Farmers support demonetisation.
    They do, they do, they do.
    How many times do they have to say that?
    The harvest is delayed.
    The next season is delayed.
    Loan payments are delayed.
    Marriages are also delayed.
    The last rites, no, they took another loan for that.
    They are doing it for the nation.
    Jai jawan, Jai kisan.
    Hopefully, their compensation is matched
    To that of the soldiers
    When they commit suicide next year.
    Maybe, they won’t,
    But then, maybe, they will,
    For the nation, of course.


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    Orijit Sen is a graphic artist, cartoonist, muralist and designer. He is the author of several works of graphic fiction and non-fiction including the graphic novel River of Stories. He is one of the founders of People Tree, a collaborative studio and store for artists, designers and craftspeople. Sen is also Mario Miranda Chair Visiting Professor at Goa University.

    This is a poem by Abhishek Anicca from Battling For India: A Citizen's Reader edited by Githa Hariharan and Salim Yusufji and published by Speaking Tiger Books.

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