The plight of the migrants following the lockdown imposed, within less than four hours of notice, has moved many. Images of migrants dying on railway tracks, a mother dead on a railway platform on the journey back home, leave one speechless for justice. Sometimes there seems no way to seek justice except to lament its loss. The author here expresses her emotions in the best way she knows how to, not by petitioning the Supreme Court but rather by pointing to its silences.
As I stood hapless and hungry on the streets,
In this world of gloom and doom,
I was hoping a light at the end of the tunnel,
was coming my way to make me whole again, soon.
I was told I am precious and that I was cared for,
My pain was seen by those in the ivory towers.
Thou need not worry for there is justice in this world,
The Lords are hearing your plea and they have all the powers.
Assured I was that I ain’t alone,
The founding fathers and mothers of the Constitution had set my rights in stone.
Little did I know that the rights were not all that mattered,
Nor did the Constitution to which allegiance was once sworn.
Words were spoken and words were believed,
Everybody was glad that I was no longer on the street.
But then came my stories, my tears and my blood,
Till they could no longer ignore me or my herd.
My body covered with a cloth while my child played by,
My daughter carrying me when she ought to sing and fly.
My remains on the tracks that said I lay there famished,
They rushed, they hurried for their reputation was sullied.
“Let no one go hungry or we shall come down heavily”;
“Tell us what you are doing for the hungry soul and tell us daily”.
“Look we are helping you and we have your back”,
“There may have been delay but now we are on the right track”.
I hope, I pray, I beg, I trust;
I am in your hands My Lords as I must.
My faith is shaken, my core is broken,
Can I go back to taking you on your word and not be mistaken?
I turned to you in despair after I saw my hope exhaust,
Do I exist in my country? Can you see me my Lords?
I live in the Constitution; I live in its words,
I would have lived in flesh too if you had heard me my Lords.
(The author is an advocate practising in the Bombay High Court. She pursued her Masters from the University of Cambridge. She can be spotted eating her way around when not arguing her lungs out in court. Views expressed are personal.)
Image courtesy Financial Times.