by Bardi Raina
Woman, if and when you bless me,
You are goddess;
When you do obey unquestioningly
My command, you are devi;
When you say, wear, think your own thing,
You are whore.
In this, every indian male from Manu
To modern judge, police and politician,
Father and son and more are agreed.
Such is the cultural nationalism
That makes of us a unique breed.
Yet, the rapist must hang in public square,
Where potential rapists among the common dregs
May take fear, and shelve their frustration
With women’s proliferating visibility
On the street, office and station.
Only those among the rapists who rape
Their own wards in privacy of homes
Must not hang; priests and temple domes
Must be deployed to set to right
Their so excusable oversight.
Education must be used to train
Women to know why their troubles
Issue from their pretence to brain.
In this one thought all Indians come
Into such exemplary unity:
Hindu and Muslim patriarchs happily see
The infallible truth of that recipe.
Om shanti, shanti, shanti.