A young person opens up to prisoners who have been put behind bars for the wrong reasons. Read this open letter full of honest self-realisations about one’s own privilege; and a pat on the back of the thinkers and leaders in jail, asking them not to lose hope.
Dear imprisoned friend,
A cell isn’t enough to quash your thoughts. Your words have traveled across barricaded walls and inspired crowds. Whenever I read your phrases, I go numb. I realise how privileged and helpless I am. The cold bars didn’t stop you, they never will!
I think about the change your presence might have made. I think about the change you had made, for which you are in clutches. I think about your change and realise that it is because of you that I can live with peace.
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How courageous you are, and how strong you are, that the tyrant himself has feared your voice? How stupid was he to think that the dark cells can stop you? You are speaking louder than those who are “free”. Your innocence is your weapon, not many know that it exists.
My troubles on some days make me worry about you. Your patience, which kept you going. I forget about my own ambience when I start to think about you. Your pain, trust me, will be remembered! Your strength will be engraved in every oppressed mind.
Your bitter night chills will be worth the trouble for the tyrant. Yours words will be read to defeat similar souls who resemble your bully. I don’t predict events which haven’t happened… Yet, your freedom is never a doubt. Your inherent rights can never be quashed.
We will remember your struggle. We remember your name. We often remember the memories you gave us and end up moistening our eyes. Your smile gives me the promise that we can escape this dark phase.
I often search for sanguinity. I end up having a breakdown. I later realise that cold nights are always accompanied by warm mornings. The catalyst for the change is you. Little hope in our hearts can help us fight for these warm mornings.
When they come—the birds will chirp in your praise, the clouds will cry for your struggle, and your beloved will give you warm hugs!
Never have I ever learned so smoothly. You ask what I learned? I learned to be patient, I learned to value the privilege that I have, I learned to speak up. Hundreds have admired your courage and many more will. Peace shall arrive, hatred will end, and when it does—your name will be remembered!
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Your name will be remembered as one among the leaders who worked for change, despite being captured during one of the most dangerous phases of history. You will be synonymous with the power of dissent. You will bring the day: your thoughts and struggle will.
Your fierce talks will bear the revolution’s fruit. The slogans of victory will echoed upon your freedom. Huge crowds will say your name. Your heart shall feel the ease. Sparkle shall swim in teary eyes. The oppressor will hear his music and we will sing.
Ifra Rameen Fathima.