What Is Real Violence?

Violence is not on the streets–
it’s in the helpless cries of a starving child
in the mounting number of suicides
in sleepless nights spent in rotting jails
and in bullets fired at free minds.

Violence is in the ruthless laws passed in empty halls
in the sold-out bangs of cheap gavels
in the shameless screams of primetime fools
and in nations run by corporate goons.

Walking for hundred miles in scorching heat
carrying the young, old, and dead on shoulders–
violence is in the forgotten bodies
reaching home after crossing a thousand boulders.

Violence is a shadow peeking at your plate
getting you killed for what you ate–
it is like a dangerous drainage
drowning you until you suffocate.

Reading books is not violence,
shooting in the library is.
Demanding rights is not violence,
denying them is.
Desperation to survive is not violence,
snatching away someone’s survival is.

Dhathri is a student of sociology at JNU.

Featured image credit: Pariplab Chakraborty