Amidst hollow, high octane token “celebrations” of the constitution, the regime pushes on its carceral, divisive, anti-people agenda. Voices of democratic dissent are in prisons, expressions of diversity and difference are trolled, attacked, lynched, murdered. The press and media are gagged and bought out. Corporates fatten on the labour of toiling millions. Love, collective protest, artistic expression, have been declared illegal. To celebrate the Constitution is to celebrate the “sovereign, socialist, secular, democratic republic”, not to sabotage these values in act of governance.
Today, millions of farmers and workers call strike, march together demanding “JUSTICE, social, economic and political”, while those making ostentatious gestures of “Constitution Day” unleash police repression on the people.
Composed in and addressed to another context, Habib Jalib’s poem Jamhooriyat [democracy] entreats us, the people, to discern the enemy, to change the regime that has robbed us of food, livelihoods, safety and unfettered speech and thought. Poet and lyricist, Hussain Haidry, who lent his voice to the anti-CAA protests last year with his “Hindustani Musalman”, reads Jalib.
ये मिलें ये जागीरें किस का ख़ून पीती हैं
बैरकों में ये फ़ौजें किस के बल पे जीती हैं
किस की मेहनतों का फल दाश्ताएँ खाती हैं
झोंपड़ों से रोने की क्यूँ सदाएँ आती हैं
मुल्क को बचाओ भी मुल्क के निगहबानो
दस करोड़ इंसानो!