Dear Modi ji allow us to remind you what the poets say about war
April 26, 2019
On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi remarked that "our nuclear weapons were not for Diwali." Addressing a rally in Barmer in Rajasthan as part of his campaign for the Lok Sabha elections, Modi said that under his government India had stopped the policy of getting scared of Pakistan's threats. The target of his comments was, of course, Pakistan. He said: "Every other day they used to say "we have a nuclear button, we have a nuclear button". What do we have then? Have we kept it for Diwali?"
The election rally was addressed hours after the horrid blasts in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday and Modi's speech was in response to the question of addressing terrorism. Using deaths, war and terror as a political tool to win votes seems to be Modi's strategy. References to Balakot air strikes and the Indian action on the border have been a constant in his speeches. The exploitation of the forces for electoral gains not only violates the Election Commission’s Model Code of Conduct but reveals the barbaric intentions of the party.
We just want to say, dear Modi ji, war is never the solution. Allow us to remind you what the poets have to say about war.
One afternoon, the roof blew off our house.
Roofs blew off many houses, courtyards filled with clouds.
I fell from our upper room into a circus.
Petals paraded through hot skies, veiling sun and moon.
Paintings had eyes, lips, thighs torn out.
Bullets swam in grandmother’s well.
Each year the lens thickens,
The fragments fragmenting, bloodier-edged.
Frontiers push, relent and ignite
In pogroms of programmed fire.
The men, yes it's always the men
who decide on television screens
what the government should do—
counter-terrorist operations? yes!
Surgical strikes? Of course!
Under the mountain pass,
Any chance Pakistan might nuke us?
(What's a nuke? Google just crashed answering that question.)
Whether I die or someone else dies,
Humanity dies after all
Whether there is a war in the East or in the West
Peace dies after all
After all, so much pain is hidden inside the box, or is tied to the bed.
They were not caught during check-in, they’ve sneaked passed the electronic devices.
They pass by the airport unflinchingly, in fact they even pass by the circle
of bodyguards, stand in front of several clueless
presidents-chief ministers–mayors, and scream – what the hell are you guys even thinking?
The soldiers throw bullets in vain, the swords fight on their own, their anger remains invisible.
Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.