Mallika Sengupta

(27 March 1960 - 28 May 2011 / Nadia, West Bengal / India)

A Girl In Gujarat Genocide - Poem by Mallika Sengupta

Gujarat was a land of violet, red and green
But colors deceived like lizards

People lived happily in Gandhi’s country
Within that harmony assassins nurtured their dreams

They plotted looting and rapes
On a hot summer day fires exploded

Those who stayed close through joy and sorrow
Violence stands between them like a wall of hell

A zealot in saffron takes out his sword
And digs a fetus out of its mother’s womb


[Translated by Catherine Fletcher with the poet]
Rapists are sons. The raped are mothers.
Religion hosts this banquet

The child whose papa is dead and mammy raped
Finds no refuge in the relief camp, though Gujarat is her home

The girl with a broken dish in her hand
Standing at the riot-relief camp’s doorstep is Gujarat ’s angel

Give her a piece of bread and a bit of hope
Give her firm land beneath her feet.


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Poem Submitted: Monday, March 19, 2012



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