The State Para-Military Force Speaks
May 1, 2013
May 1, 2013
Bombay Riots, December, 1992
We stood by quietly as the mosque fell. Or was pulled.
The celebration turned riot and all the idols
lay decapitated at Nirmal Nagar. The elephant
god without an elephant head. Even without
the cold, we shivered. The buses around
us enshrined in flames. Who could tell
which temple was falling, and when? Of course,
we were in Jogeshwari when we found them.
The sickles. Iron rods flaking dark red chips
into the dirt. The Constable face-down
in the garbage. Seventy-two times
we intervened. Seventy-two times we killed
and were killed. Standing over us, the attackers
mocked. Where’s your army now, they said,
and we did not have an answer.
This poem was one of the winners of the 2013 "Discovery" Poetry Contest.
While we have you...
...we need your help. Confronting the many challenges of COVID-19—from the medical to the economic, the social to the political—demands all the moral and deliberative clarity we can muster. In Thinking in a Pandemic, we’ve organized the latest arguments from doctors and epidemiologists, philosophers and economists, legal scholars and historians, activists and citizens, as they think not just through this moment but beyond it. While much remains uncertain, Boston Review’s responsibility to public reason is sure. That’s why you’ll never see a paywall or ads. It also means that we rely on you, our readers, for support. If you like what you read here, pledge your contribution to keep it free for everyone by making a tax-deductible donation.
May 01, 2013