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Tuesday, December 24, 2019


by Probal Basak

Just when fatigue of standing in queues
for life, for livelihood, for identity,
and for law-enforced kinship of all three
made me feel drowsy;
scary desks banging of democracy
spoiled the rest, waked me up.
Drenched in sweat in cold December
tired legs carried me in front of the mirror
to see how I look, what I wear;
frightened heart made me check my names,
what I eat, how I pray.
As if something precious, very precious
was being taken away.
No, it was not something.
It was the soul, my homeland’s soul
that was thrown away.

Author’s Note: As thousands of people have been arrested, and at least twenty-three people have been killed in the last ten days, as police tried to quash widespread protests over a new citizenship law in India that grants citizenship to religious minorities—except Muslims—from neighboring countries, I write to register my protest.

Probal Basak, 31, from India, started his career as a journalist working with the Press Trust of India and Business Standard covering mostly socio-political issues. He now writes poetry and his recent works have been published in journals such as Dissident Voice, TheNewsVerse.News, and Setu.