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VERSETILE

Harappa to Ayyappa

Harappa! We are all your descendants
You shepherded the first civilisation
You built the first city in the East
You domesticated the early animals
Goat, sheep, buffalo, dog and donkey.
You made the first pot, brick, bronze tools
You built the first tank, boat and building.
You were God’s Own Man.
Brahma came and burnt all your civilisation
Indra damaged it beyond reparation
Agni and Vayu became their weapons of
destruction
Harappa’s descendants came to Down South
Ayyappa is your incarnation in black dress
He rebuilt the Harappan civilisation again in South
Now they want to destroy that Adivasi civilisation
In God’s Own Country and turn it devilish.

(Dedicated to Bindu and Kanakadurga who fought for protecting the Ayyappa civilisation and culture. The poem was first published in countercurrents.org) Kancha Ilaiah Shepherd, chairman of T-MASS & political theorist

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Sorry

You miners; you give us electricity, energy…
Sorry we couldn’t give you anything in return
Except a very feeble response at the time
Of your need; for your survival!
Because we haven’t learnt to respect you…

We treat you as use and throw machines…
But you’re not machine; you are human beings
Just like my brothers and sisters and parents…

When will we get eyes of human beings
To see humanity in you and also in me?

Sujit De

I am a child

I’m Jackeline Caal, a seven- year old girl,
A migrant from Guatemala, seeking asylum along
With my father into a dreamland,
I had to die of septic shock,
Fever and dehydration combined
With starvation;

I’m Aylan Kurgi, a small child from Syria,
Trying to cross borders along with
My family through the sea, but
The boat upturned and
My body was recovered along the shore;

I represent faceless and nameless
Thousands of innocent children
Who had to die of hunger and disease,
Bomb attacks and chemical gases,
And numerous bullets in a world
Torn by internal strifes and terrorist attacks;

I’m raped and sexually assaulted
By my own kith and kin, and
Strangers bruising my soul forever,
I am the great attraction of flourishing flesh markets;

I’m the one who works in dingy
And unhygienic conditions
In factories and small workplaces,
To be treated often as slaves,
I’m the most wanted pick
Of the kidnappers to be placed at
Traffic signals, temples and market places
For begging till eternity;

Learned persons say that
I’m the most beautiful creation of God,
Even a ‘Clone of God’ sometimes,
My priceless smile wins the heart of all and sundry;

But do they know that
I’m the cheapest fodder for the gun-wielding
Mercenaries, the terrorists and
The ambitious kings and their counterparts, or
I’m the easiest prey for the prying eyes
of sexual predators, or the
Simplest tool of minting money for
The mafia and the factory-owners?

Come on! O great scholars and men of
Wisdom and rewrite your tomes once again,
Because the kings and their kingdoms
Will vanish one day, and the
Ownership of lands will change hands,
But I’m God’s own special creation,
And I’ll last forever.
In all ages to come!

Rakesh Chandra

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