Before I get lynched (You too) | A Poem by Ajmal Khan

Name is the problem
Those letters
carry more than just names
That qualifies us to be killed or not
It was in my name
and yours
In 1968 at Kilvenmani in Tamil Nadu
In 1985 at Karmachedu
In 1989 at Bhagalpur
In 1991 at Tsundur in Andra Pradesh
and in Kunan Poshpora
In 1996 at Bathani Tola
In 1997 at Lakshamnpur Bathe
In 1997 at Melavalavu
and Ramabai Nagar
In 2006 at Khairlanji
In 2011 at Mirchpur
In 2012 at Dharmapuri
In 2014 at Javkheda
In 1992 and in 93 at Bombay
In 2002 at Gujarat
and 2014 in Muzaffarnagar
and many more
Kashmir is bleeding in your name
Bastar is being hunted in your name
How many more in your name?
What is not in your name?
Muhammed Akhlaq
Najeeb Ahmed
Pehlu Khan
Zahid Rasool
Muhammed Majloom and Azad
Abu Hanifa and Riyazuddin
Zafar Husain
Usman Ansari
Riyal Moulavi
were not just names
They are now stars looking at us from the heaven
watching if we are still silent
if we are still sleeping
How many more stars we make?
How many more we need to break the silence
until each one of us become stars?


Ajmal Khan A.T is a bilingual writer and activist who writes in English and Malayalam. His English poetry collection My Tolerant Nation is forthcoming, published by Wings & roots (2017) and Malayalam one line story collection Museebat (2017) published by Monsoon books, Mumbai. His poems and articles have appeared in important magazines Online and print in India and abroad. His poems have also appeared in anthologies including GOSSAMER; An anthology of contemporary world poetry by Kindle Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *