Not In My Name

Not In My Name

This poem has been written to mark the pan-India protest on June 28, 2017, #NotInMyName

Some people think, ‘it didn’t happen to me,
or to someone like me’.

So their hearts cannot feel for everyone,
because their thoughts wear the
‘branded’ clothes — of us and them — 
which are retailed for free
in the market of life, 
by the propaganda specialists. 

Their seeing cannot climb 
over the barbed wires,
in the cold arid landscape 
of their shallow minds.

Their lungs cannot breathe
in high altitude of the profound,
where there is no self and the other,
but only a shared humanity,
on a pale blue dot 
in a spiral galaxy.  

Imprisoned and chained
in dark dungeons,
by ideas of narrow identities, 
they have carved regions 
within their own self, 
which are marked by walls 
and borders.

The path to the ageless fountain 
of conscience,
has been blocked 
by a landslide of fear and hate. 

The travellers don’t know 
that they are lost,
and they are thirsty 
for the waters
of the soul.  

This has condemned them 
to silence and apathy. 

Silence is the ideal accomplice of barbarity. 
Apathy is the faithful servant of tyranny. 

The inability to see and speak about
the viral diseases of our times,
is the greatest disease. 

But can we love our country
without seeking to cure
its ailments?

The real patriots don’t hesitate
to raise their voices 
against the inhumanity
of one’s own nation. 

When brutal storms of politics
sink our humanity, 
the rebels collect the wreckage
of pain and suffering, 
washed up on the sad shores,
and create their art 
of resistance. 

Dissent is the love that we need most
to stem the fire that will burn us all. 

The scream of our hearts has risen:
lynching cannot happen anymore,
in the name of cow and country. 

Human blood has no marks of religion.
No more spilling of crimson tears.
Not in My Name. 

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