Poetry: Verses of Independence/ Kukil Saikia

Verses of Independence

Original: Kukil Saikia
(Translated by A. D. Konwar)

The rope on which your flag of freedom unfurls
Is the one on which hangs your skint farmers.

From Jallianwala to Bogidhala,
From Lord Dalhousie to Modi,
Blood drizzles onto this valley,
Oppression and Treachery –
The clouds that hang over;
What do we call this valley?
– India.

Who are you?
– Independence.

– Bhanimai, Nirbhaya, Gauri Lankesh, Naxalbari.
(or on your will, pick a 90’s Axomiya)

Where is your home?
– In the pages of the lengthiest constitution
– In the wounds of the bullets fired
– In the penises of the rapists
– In the lathi-charges
– In the politico’s speeches
– In the forests
– In the tea gardens
– In the factories

What do you like?
– Oppression, Oppression, and Oppression.
Oh peasants, oh labourers, what is this independence?
– Expectations, Destitution, and Paranoia – prolonged.
– Do not ask us anything.
– We do not have the freedom to speak.
– Our legs are in chains, our heads on gunpoint.
– Don’t ask us more.

I did not ask the political leaders what is independence,
I know, Independence and Freedom have never been healthier.


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