‘Why Should We Care?’

Of COVID-19.
Of hunger and lockdown.
Of unavailability of beds.
Of zero empty ambulances.
If people are dying,
so what?
They die anyway, every day–
while crossing the road
colliding with an overspeeding car.
They die by hanging in a field,
unable to pay their debts.
For denying upper caste men
her body, only to see her raped and murdered.
So what’s new?
Death is death.
What’s so different?

You are at peace, aren’t you?
Your electricity is unobstructed,
the water supply is running well,
food is reaching your plates.
Television and the internet are more entertaining
than the cries over health.
Why do you bother then?
Go and sleep,
Let the state and others handle the crisis.
The migrant that travels to earn
by working low-wage jobs;
the worker that cleans up
the shit in the drains;
the worker that produces the food
that you cook;
the men who drives public buses
or pull the rickshaw
you travel by so often.

And even if they die,
why should you care?
The system will produce
and exploit another
without you knowing
the old one ever existed.
So stop showing fake care–
you just want a selfie
to claim you some likes
and appreciation
of privileged bellies.

How do I know your plan?
It’s because I know your breed–
it pays no attention
to the worker in its own factory,
the manual scavenger dying
or the farmer
tying a rope around its neck.
You don’t give a f*** about help.
All you care about is your ego
and how great you are
to be helping helpless souls.

Who made them helpless–
by not paying the taxes,
by looting money meant
to uplift and elevate,
by making fake certificates
to snatch what was theirs?
Isn’t it you, dear generous fellow?
Giving them part of the whole
you have earned by murdering
so many dreams that belonged
to a lower caste, a lower class.

Featured image credit: Lucija Rasonja/Pixabay