Dearest Bapu — Badri Raina

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BADRI RAINA| Caravan Daily

Remember the scavengers

Among whom you lived,

Sharing their burden of human

Waste? Seventy years after

Your passing to a nationalist

Bullet, they enter our

Smart city sewer upto the

Gullet, then without fear,

They die from poisonous

Gas because our powers-that-be,

Busy as they are cleaning up

The country, cannot afford to

Buy them protective gear.

 

Remember the women from

Town and village home

You brought out as equals

To play their part in the

Celebration of freedom?

Today they are asked to stay

Indoors  and hold down

Their dangerous  presence,

Lest good Indian men  turn

Beasts for no fault of their own.

 

And, dearest Bapu, do you

Remember the Muslims who

Gave their all for the good fight

Shoulder to shoulder with you,

In darkness and light, and

For whose right of ownership

You spared no strife, even

To the point of giving your life,

So that we could see and build

The future with two clear eyes

And not be grievously blind in one?

Well, their devotion today is

Rewarded with calumny and hate;

They are told their part in our

History was a wicked one, and that

They must leave the nation-state if

They will not obey majoritarian diktat.

 

Bapu, if you do read this, close

Your tender eyes in that beloved

Intensity of thought, and find us

A fabric again from which a  just

And loving nation may be wrought.

 

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