Write me down, I am an Indian, my name is Ajmal: A poem of protest for these troubled times

After Mahmood Darvesh in Palestine, Agha Shahid Ali in Kashmir and the Mia poets in Assam

***

Write me down

I am an Indian

Write it down

My name is Ajmal

I am a Muslim

and Indian citizen

We are seven at home

all are Indian by birth

Do you want documents?

 

Write me down

that I am an Indian

I am a Moplah

My ancestors were untouchables

Hindus in your language

Slapped on the face of Manu

they changed their names

when they were given dignity

centuries ago

before forefathers of your ideologues were born

Are you suspicious?

 

Write me down

I am an Indian

My ancestors tilled the soil here

They lived here

and died

Their roots are deeper than the roots of these banyan and coconut trees

Though they weren’t landlords

but only peasants

this land is their root

The scent of their root is the scent of this land

The colour of their skin

is the colour of this land

Do you want documents?

 Write me down, I am an Indian, my name is Ajmal: A poem of protest for these troubled times

Representational image. REUTERS

Write me down

I am an Indian

Do you still need documents?

Then I will dig the graves in Malabar

and many others

I want to show you the boot and bullets on their chests

when they fell down with the British bullets

Do you still need documents?

I know

What documents you have

The copy of a confession at Cellular Jail

And

The blood stains of Gandhi on your hand

Do you want me to remind you more those ?

 

I say

Shut the fuck up

If you ask me for documents.

 

Write me down

I am an Indian

Remember

I have not forgotten

that you sent people to demolish Masjid

But now

you have demolished the Constitution

the soul of this land

I am angry

How dare you?

How dare you?

 

Write me down

I am Indian

This is my land

If I have born here

I will die here

There for

Write it down

Clearly

In bold and capital letters

On the top of your NRC

that I am an Indian.

 

The author teaches at Ashoka University and Ambedkar University

The verses are in the style of Mahmoud Dariwsh's 'Write down! I am an Arab', Hafiz Ahmed's 'Write Down, I am a Miyah

Read on Firstpost: A Traitor's Testimony by Malathi Maithri, and Aditi Angiras' Seance in Kashmir

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Updated Date: Dec 18, 2019 13:37:13 IST