Elections Long Over in Koodankulam

In support of ‘people of Koodakulam’ whose voices and rights have been suppressed.

Get off your Ambassadors
And Tata-truck podiums-
Elections have long gone
And your lies well sold
To ordinary people who
regard cotton sarees, big red bindi’s,
khadi kurtas, worn-off blue slippers and
marigold flower garlands
As symbols of the saviours-
The ones who protect
And shield their people

Stop the dance of democracy,
You danced well while the others lost-
Elections are over.
Thousands and more stood in queues,
A number that to count needs
hundred others,
They proudly had half-a-nail painted
in black ink
That takes weeks to wipe off-
The ink, the promise of your commitment
and service.

Go back to the streets,
To the people you begged for votes,
One-a-day is beaten by your own men-
The police-
Guardians of the laws,
Rules that you and your friends sign
in the world’s biggest round building.

Watch it with your own eyes,
As guardians of the law violently force open
Shop shutters,
Order fishermen to kill more sea-life,
And use food, water and electricity
As weapons against your own people-
People who voted for you,
Yet day after day,
You vote for their silent massacre-
As they fast unto death,
Lie down in punishing heat
And tremble for their call-
Whilst infants and children learn
Ways of the world,
One day, they
too will die, perhaps not on a satyagraha fast,
but in the backyard of a sleeping nuclear dinosaur.

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Sumeet Grover

Sumeet Grover is the founder of Global Poetry, dedicated to creativity, human dignity, dialogue and global citizenship. He is a winner of the Portico Brotherton Open Poetry Prize 2014 and was shortlisted for the Jane Martin Poetry Prize in 2014 & 2015. He has authored three books of poetry: Signals (2017), House Arrest & Disobedience (2015) and Change (2011). Grover is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment.

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