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Wednesday, July 14, 2021


by A. C.

1.     Do Not Mourn. Especially faces who have long endured
old style glass frames in spectacles. Glasses foraying into
the future, your uv tinted ones can never hope to testify
about. Vision for the sake of the land forsaken kind.
‘Deprived of rights over natural resources’ kind.
2.     Do Not Hope. For the Mahars (you are allowed to read
the fine print spelled D-A-L-I-T) to be commemorated
in reverence of plaques. For the girl whose soul may still
giving their lives to see they live or die a notch better.
For the law to be your friend. Or for anything that may
well feed your spine. With the contraband fruit of justice.

3.     Do Not Plead Not Guilty. You are, for the matter. Guilty
of unlawful actions unheard and unseen of. Till one evening
men and women in uniform storm your doors, seizing you
by the collar. Or wait till you survive the guilt
once your child points at the face of an old grandfather
permeating all over the news.
Let them ask you then, “aren’t we taught to respect our
4.     Do Not Feel Shame. For watching over typed phrases, statements
and words supposed to inform you. Of an octogenarian’s contraction
of something the world understands as pandemic. But within custody
of course, disease runs trivial. What’s Parkinson's anyway?
Just another condition, neurodivergent, doesn’t kill eh!
So, up to you to believe or refuse if the octogenarian
had his share of sippers, straw, medicine and treatment
in custody! Lucky if you believe, sad if you do not!
5.     Do Not Think. Let your cognitive power focus upon
your yoga sessions, parallel world of a post pandemic vision.
Trips to catch up, the how to of a self-reliant nation. Who cares?
of UNDP rants on sustainable development, inclusivity of the
indigenous population? There are governments for that, honest
and fair. Meanwhile sleep peacefully, Human Rights often fear
the ivory towers.

Author's Note: Father Stanislaus Lourduswamy breathed his last in judicial/government custody after spending his entire life working for the uplifting of the Adivaasi community in India (especially in Jharkhand). He prepared a report titled ‘Deprived of Rights Over Natural Resources’ highlighting the plight of the Adivaasi landless population. He had been implicated in a case under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) still pending in court and kept in jail despite his age and other pre-existing health conditions. His death in custody speaks volume of the present situation of democratic dissent/treatment in the country.

A. C. writes from India. Her work has appeared in The Alipore Post, Life and Legends Journal, and elsewhere. She has been a contributor in an anthology titled Narratives On Women’s Issues In India: Vol 1 Domestic Violence published by the IHRAF, New York and a global feminist anthology, Looking Glass Anthology Vol. 2