“How did she end up in this dingy prison”: A poem about India

Artwork: Pariplab Chakraborty

How did she end up in this dingy prison,

with walls of iron and rust?

How her lips are stitched,

saffron threads crisscrossing

her valorous soul.

How her children are dragged through the streets,

their head on the road, legs in the fascist’s firm grip.

Their thick blood meld with mud,

a stench of hapless souls and tired fists.

How her head is mutilated,

broken to pieces,

fragments of hate.

How her right hand is enchained,

her legs disdained.

How did she, the once glorious

Bharatha bagya vidhata

end up in this dingy prison,

with walls of iron and rust?

The kisan’s tears,

burn her heart.

The jawan’s blood,

weakens her soul.

How can she,

the mother of many tongues,

gods,

faces,

songs,

landscapes,

spices,

be what she has become?

Can the saffron hands,

ever wash away her blood?

Her blood – which turned,

Even Ganga – red.

How did she,

the Sindhu,

the Hindu,

the India,

end up in this dingy prison,

with walls of iron and rust?

Gokul G K is a freelance Journalist from Trivandrum, Kerala