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polly hazarika pollyhazarika at rediffmail.com
Fri Dec 20 23:36:31 IST 2002

In response to shuddha's - the worst is always precise

It is at moments like these
 and of late there have been so many such moments, when blatant injustice is dished out as the morning news
 it is at moments like these that helplessness sets in.

 Full color pictures of seventeen-year-old boys
somebody's terrorist, somebody else's son
blood spattered on the ground
with ammunition and dry fruits scattered indiscriminately around the body. Or maybe an almost smiling captive
who you know has been tortured
just under the neatly ironed shirt and trousers.

 At moments like these it is hard to remember that the uniformed face smiling over the body, or around the captive, is just another guy, doing his job, in the way he knows best
trying grab his moment of fame, and it is even harder to answer the question 
in his place, with his life would I be any different. It is hard to avoid the binaries of good and evil. Of sympathy for the dead of hatred for the ones who are alive. But of the tears that are shed perhaps some are for the oppressed and some for the oppressor.

Things never really do boil down to easy choices
the all consuming power of the state,is projected in the uniform, which, when stripped off reveals a person
naked, vulnerable, and looking just like me. The 'pawn in the game', the cog in the wheels. Where is the Person behind it all? Who can I hold Responsible? To whom shall I say 'you made this mess
fix it immediately and give me back a world that is worth inheriting.'?  Wherever I look, the individual people look just like me, vulnerable afraid, trying to protect what they think is worthwhile
sometimes it is power, sometimes it is dignity, sometimes it is a family sometimes it is just sanity
 they protect it fiercely in the manner they think is best.

And me? Where do I fit in ...into this routine of bad news, this cycle of tears and anger
what do I do when this happens to me
(Happens to you? What happens to you? These things never happen to you. You are a part of the police protected, money spending,luxury loving, intellectually comatose upper class
you are the problem
you will never solve it)
but something happens to me. When a life is lost, something does happen to me, the tears are for potential which is lost, for the suffering at the moment of death, for the courage to die, for the fear of death, for the lies that will be built around the death, for the many many more who will be enabled to follow
who will be enabled to keep the cycle going. But what of these tears? When the tears have dried and the anger subsides
at which moment exactly does life slip back into a routine of days and nights, of house rent, and bus tickets, tomorrows classes and tonight's dinner

Here I stand with no faith in the State. In its system of justice in its democracy in its promise of freedom, in its guarantee of life. 
And here I stand with no faith in Protest. In its signature campaigns, in its demonstrations and marches, in its ineffectual slogans, yelled out at uncaring policemen.
And here I stand with no alternative plan.
Everytime this moment repeats itself
I stand accused of doing nothing.


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