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Poems: Women Martyrs


By Faakirah Irfan


When conflict strikes a state,
When the men get out on streets
Chanting slogans of freedom,
A woman gets caged.
The doors that women had opened
Get bolted from inside,
Because the battlefield never needed women
As an army.
Because revolution comes with the blood of young men,
Because it’s better for a woman to die in her own house
Than on the battle field.
For a man there’s honor in death in the battlefield,
He becomes a martyr.
The women who are raped in war zones
Aren’t martyrs,
There is no honor in rape.
To all the women who were raped in wars,
To all the women who were annihilated from the society,
The death of your soul will not be forgotten.

To my martyrs, the women raped during the ongoing conflict in Kashmir,
This is an ode to you.


Wait for another year,
Wait for another calamity,
Wait for four months of curfew,
Wait for the second body,
Wait for the third,
Wait and keep waiting.
Wait for another stock of half widows,
Wait for the next batch of orphans,
Wait for another mass movement,
Wait till it dies down quite literally.
Wait till there are more graveyards than colonies,
Wait till another encounter,
Wait till your son never comes back,
Wait till you never come back.
Wait till fresh blood flows in your street,
Wait till you make martyrs out of toddlers,
Wait till they have five khakis for one koshur,
Wait till the mountains are replaced by bunkers.
Wait till all the young men die
Wait till another uprising becomes a Wikipedia page,
Wait till the another calendar year,
Another date, another death, another genocide.


Words for the year 2016

supreme authority, status or power.

Supremacy of the state, control over the lives. Homes shut, schools shut, people dead, people blind.

the deliberate killing of a large group of people, especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

The genocide of Kashmiri people for the past 25 years.

a person who uses violence and intimidation in pursuit of political aims.

All Kashmiris are terrorists, asking for freedom from deaths.

of or relating to the government or the public affairs of a country.

Debating the use of “shooting” over “massacre”, while the young boys are killed by the armed forces of the state. And the chief minister offers free scooties to the women.

a deliberate and violent slaughter of a large number of people.

Using the word, ‘public safety’, while killing and terrorizing the people.

a reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious.

To keep the land not the people.

the action or practice of shooting, as with a gun.

Defending the actions of state-sanctioned terrorists in extrajudicial killings (aka, murder).

occurring in cycles; recurrent.

The Kashmir movement for freedom, the death of the protestors.

Faakirah Irfan is a law student at the University of Kashmir. She aspires to be a human rights defender someday. For now she can be recognized as the “seditious” research intern at the Digital Empowerment Foundation, New Delhi, India.


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