On a peaceful scenic hill overlooking the mighty Kanchenjunga lies my home.
Abode of the peace-loving people, who live in harmony and above the clouds they roam.
Today my home is still, empty and lay desecrated.
The chanting of prayers and the ringing bells, with gunshots, replaced.
The right to live and the freedom to speak,
Are they just hollow words with no meaning to seek?
Over two months now, my brothers have been murdered.
Our voices have been squashed and our beautiful hills plundered.
The nation celebrates seven decades of independence,
While my people are hopeless and sick of the political indifference.
He left home with a promise to be back before night.
Little did he know a bullet awaited to pierce him during the peaceful fight.
A son lost his father and a wife lost her soul.
Everything around her crumbled to pieces, the house lost its glow.
Death dressed in protector’s clothes
brought terror on the hearts of men and women both.
What was their fault they did wonder
As the men with guns did their houses plunder.
Gunshots at midnight woke up the little child.
Wasn’t until morning they heard the news of gunfire.
Another innocent soul laid to rest for no fault of his own.
His brother served the country at the border but he got martyred at home.
O Justice where art thou?
My people are silenced when they ask for what is rightfully ours.
Where are the political crusaders or are you blind?
Where are the people who claimed to share our dream?
Speak up before it’s too late to look behind.
When all hope is lost peace transcends to violence.
When men have nothing to lose guns won’t put them to silence.
The same hands that held the nation’s flag so proud
Might be forced to wield the sword to protect their ground.
Pray such a day shall never come to light.
Let justice be done with no more of this fight.
We have lived in peace and wish to live on,
but not without dignity and our heads down.
(Note: This poem was written during the peak of 2017 agitation for a separate state in the Gorkhaland region. What started as a protest against an attempt of the forceful imposition of Bengali language upon the non-Bengali speaking people of the Darjeeling hills in 2017 quickly snowballed into a full-fledged agitation for a separate state. During this period, a complete lockdown of the hills was called by the local political parties which lasted 105 days. The West Bengal state government shut down the internet in the region for around 3 months. More than 12 people lost their lives in police firing for which the state government did not own any responsibility. And while all of this transpired in the hills and plains of Darjeeling region, the rest of India was completely unaware and ignorant of the hardships faced by the Gorkhas at the hands of the West Bengal government.)