Rights

Rape Nation': Meena Kandasamy Poem on the Hathras Case

In a land where Dalits cannot rule, they cannot rage, or even mourn. This has happened before, this will happen again.

Trigger warning: Descriptions of violence, rape

In Hathras, cops barricade a raped woman’s home,
hijack her corpse, set it afire on a murderous night,
deaf to her mother’s howling pain. In a land where
Dalits cannot rule, they cannot rage, or even mourn.
This has happened before, this will happen again.

What does that fire remember? The screams of satis
dragged to their husband’s pyres and brides burnt alive;
the wails of caste-crossed lovers put to death,
the tongue-chopped shrieking of raped women.
This has happened before, this will happen again.

Manu said once, so his regiment repeat today:
all women are harlots, all women are base;
all women seek is sex, all they shall have is rape.
Manu gives men a licence plate, such rape-mandate.
This has happened before, this will happen again.

This has happened before, this will happen again.
Sanatana, the only law of the land that’s in force,
Sanatana, where nothing, nothing ever will change.
Always, always a victim-blaming slut-template,
a rapist-shielding police-state, a caste-denying fourth estate.

This has happened before, this will happen again.