By Faakirah Irfan
That’s what the scavengers do
They feed of dead flesh;
That’s what occupiers do
They make occupation out of the dead.
They enter your Land
They enter your colony
They enter your houses
They enter your graves
Until they make sure
It is your blood
Running down your streams
Until they know that it’s you
Mixing back into your beloved soil.
Until they make bunkers out of schools
Renegades out of students
Until they maim and blind the children
Until they widow your women
And crumble your revolution
Until they make human shields out of you.
Until they parade you as a conquest
Until they spit at your pleas
Until they create collaborators out of your men
Until they lock your women
And put your children in jails instead of crèches.
Until they vandalize classrooms
Where you taught about their democracy.
Until they take down your voice
Gas light your memory
Make battlefields out of your universities
Make martyrs out of toddlers
The occupiers won’t stop;
The occupiers will occupy the veins through which your kashmiriat flows
And spread their occupation in it.
The occupiers are like scavengers they will eat out of your dead souls.
As I hear rumors of another internet blackout
I make myself ready for another blockade:
Of the gag
Of the constant asking around of when will it be switched on
Of the helplessness
Of the worry about what could have happened
About telling my entire contact list that we are yet again being gagged
About how it’s pointless to even try and raise a voice.
When they can crush and crumble us mortal humans,
Innocent of any of the things we are being butchered for.
Trying to contemplate what I should do to keep calm
Until like a treat the occupiers switch on the connection
And let us exist on the virtual world.
When they let us voice our opinions to others
While we question their silence on our oppression
And they wave their patriotism at us.
While we try to logic our way around
And ask them to see it through the lens of humanity.
Another wait for prolonged debates on the news hour
Where our martyrs get branded as terrorists
As a threat to the nationalist democratic state.
A democratic state that sends its soldiers in classrooms
To maim a generation.
A democratic state that hurls bullets and spews pellets
A democratic state that gags and silences voices
A democratic state that forces patriotism through lathis
A democratic state that uses our blood as a human shield to protect themselves.
To this democratic state may you be as free as we aim to be someday.
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.
Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, based in New York City, USA. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.
Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine on ‘Punjab: Marginal and Central’, edited by Karthik Venkatesh, author and editor, Bangalore, India.