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  • Writer's pictureShruti Jain

History, I Mourn You Today

History, I Mourn You Today

History, I mourn you today.

You told me

that my ancestors

planned cities and built a civilisation

that was to challenge

each successive generation

to come.

But they confined you within a museum,

treating you like a mere plaything,

a doll to be adorned

in their chosen colors.

You told me

that my ancestors

shared the same breath as Mahavira and Buddha,

challenging the societal norms

that encompassed

blatant casteism

and rigid Brahmanism.

But they imprisoned you in cages,

cut the live-and-let-live into pieces

keeping the former with themselves

and throwing off the latter in a ditch

ironically built by the subaltern themselves.

You told me

that my ancestors were invaded

not once, not twice,

but more than thrice

each wave settling down here,

barring a few,

like our very own tribe

contributing to your grandeur.

But they erased you

and declared you be rewritten

with a web of deceit,

and a truth

visible only to their blinded eyes.

You told me

that my ancestors united

in 1857,

to confront an overpowering force,

even when the king relinquished,

persuading him

to rise once again and reclaim their past.

But they labeled you

a war of independence,

a first-of-its-kind,

disregarding the rebellion

that unfolded in everyday lives.

You told me

that my ancestors

of diverse castes, religions, and genders,

refused to surrender

while striving for self-governance,

within a structure

mostly dominated by a man

standing on a stick

relying on non-violence as his weapon.

But they murdered you

for you stood for all,

until your last breath

unyielding in your refusal

to discriminate between Hindus and Muslims.

You told me

that my ancestors

evoked divinity

to legitimise their authority

over a populace

subjected to their whims,

ultimately replaced by a just electoral system,

a democracy

where every vote held significance.

But they couldn’t tolerate you

existing above their failures,

so they assaulted you

wielding your own weapons,

and built you a coffin

to bury you

over which they now stand

proudly celebrating their triumph.

History, I mourn you today.

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