Big Brother’s Minions

Big Brother’s work is nearly done
He has taught scores of Little Brothers
To have their fun
(And Little Sisters, too:
He’s gender aware)
Beating up the weak and
Harrying the meek.

And those who seek
To speak Truth to power
Are soon made to lower
Such lofty goals.
They whisper half-truths
Amongst one another
And postpone the evil
Moment of reckoning
The one or two
Who up the ante
Soon find out that
Even judges turn ranty
Your tenacity
Is termed audacity
And all your toiling
Is labelled pot-boiling

Who is the victim?
Who the perpetrator of the crime?
Answers to these questions
Are turned on their head
Luckily those who are already dead
Cannot hear or see
This double ignominy
Kabir’s ulat-baasi
Is now easy-peasy
To understand
The pack of deer harassed
The poor tiger to death
So with every breath
We must affirm
Justice for the tiger
And woe betide any deer
Who cries

Death to all deer
Both dead and alive
Death to all the lovers of deer
Our national animal is the Tiger, dear
Tiger tiger burning bright
Big Brother’s pets are a ferocious sight
Enough to make the likes of
You and me quail
Well we may quail
But mustn’t turn tail
For if you and I fail
To do our littlest bit
There’s no hope for the deer
Or anyone else, I fear
Big brother’s minions shall
Overrun us all
Crying Justice Justice
At the top of their voices
As if sheer lung power
Will make all our choices

Well lung power won’t
But neither will silence
And a certain silence
Is an abettor of violence
So Bol as the great Faiz said
Speak while your lips are free
Bol ki jaañ ab tak terī hai
For soon, all the deer may be dead.

Sunder and Sonati have been living and growing a forest on a small piece of land in Thekambattu in rural Tamil Nadu for the last 20 years. You can read their blogs here and here

Featured image: People watch as a bulldozer demolishes the house of a Muslim man that Uttar Pradesh state authorities accuse of being involved in protests. Photo: Reuters