With tyrannous weeds now uprooted
A new seed was well sown
The seed of a new India.
On the foundation stone
The lines of laws were carved-
That the sweet fruits of the tree
Be shared in equal measure.
Equality! Liberty! Freedom!
They chanted! They danced!
Today the tree stands tall.
Today the tree’s roots have grown deep;
And they seize the resources of this World.
Today its shade even cools the saplings around.
Why have all the flowers withered with hate?
The tree looks sad and lifeless
Birds don’t chirp
Insects don’t buzz
I see a renewed tyranny
Tyranny of the foolish mind over actions
Which oppresses the one who gives him birth!
Which oppresses the one who holds him high,
Into the sunlight of warmth and calm
While her arms cry of unease
And knees dig into the Earth.
The worth of the woman is the flower,
Overpowered because she sacrifices
To become the fruit That feeds the world.
Once the flowers stop blooming;
Entire forests will decay moaning.
Free India is not so free:
Hail the woman!
Hail the new freedom-fighter!
Prepare for the freedom struggle!
(originally published in the anthology, ‘Word River Crossings’ which I co-authored with six other poets including Poet Laureate Amit Dahiyabadshah; written for ‘Woman’s Word’– a poetry recitation by 50 poets at the Shri Ram Centre in the wake of the Nirbhaya gang-rape incident.)
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