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Rights

Come to Shaheen Bagh 

To the women of Shaheen Bagh.

If you want to see ripples of light
In the heart of darkness,
Come to Shaheen Bagh.

If you want to see the night cover
Its hair under the moon,
Come to Shaheen Bagh.

If you want to listen to the women
Unlike Kiarostami’s film,
Not silent, nor sobbing for Shirin,
If you want to hear
A mother who can hear the earth,
Come to Shaheen Bagh.

If you want to see children wave
Words they barely know,
Braving the cold street of protest,
Come to Shaheen Bagh.

If you want to see where freedom
Ends and fear begins,
And fear ends and freedom begins,
Come to Shaheen Bagh.

The master’s men shiver at the gates,
They inspire nothing, no one.

Their eyes measure our footsteps,
They fear what we desire.

The winter of fear belongs to all,
And the women fight for
What the police can only guard.

Come to Shaheen Bagh,
Come and see the children bear
Nothing except hope;
They know something we don’t.

They know something
The tyrants of the world forget.

M​a​​nash Firaq Bhattacharjee is the author of Looking for the Nation: Towards Another Idea of India, published by Speaking Tiger Books (August 2018).