Trolls on twitter. Hecklers on the street.
Followers on facebook, “where shall we meet?”
They seem to think we are not human but meat.
Women are fair game, it’s love and it’s war!

Namo…nnamaha! Vande Mataram!
Mothers and sisters, our salutations to you!
Only make sure your limbs are fully swathed
Smothered with textile, yard upon yard of silk or polyester
Head covered, face veiled with ghungat or scarf.

We men will sit at the chaupal and drink chai,
Talk about the elections and get home by and by.
For what work has a woman where men sit and talk?
And as for that low-born scoundrel, he can sweep all he can.
And when he is done, he can crouch on his heels,
sip some chai in a disposable cup, go staggering home,
To beat up his wife and curse all his kids.

For governance is ours, and it’s only fit for men
With 56-inch chests and egos to match.
What’s that? Did I hear you say “my vote”?
Cast it if you can, the voter’s list is mine.

While India goes shining and Mangoes get cheap,
While Hum, Aap and Woh make slogans galore.
Haath dega ya saath dega, yeh to nahin pata.
Aur cyberspace mein khile hain phool gulshan gulshan.
Aam hai aadmi,
lekin kahin nahin hai aurat,
kuch khaas nahin bhai, yeh baat hai purani!
Nahin bhi hai bhooke, pyaase aur runk.
Chhodo unki baat,
Nahin nikalthi hai ghee seedha ungli!

Cynthia Stephen is a social activist.

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One Comment

  1. K SHESHU BABU says:

    We are but machines
    Cast our votes or vote our caste
    And pronounce to the nations
    Our elections are free , fair and chaste

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