#47. Shruti Sareen

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The Preamble and Power Politics

I first read the Preamble in class seven 

The Indian constitution seemed straight out of heaven

I looked up at my mother with eyes lit bright

And found in hers a reflection of my delight 

                    

Now the constitution lies torn, disregarded

Surreptitiously before us the manusmriti is paraded 

Slowly we celebrate Gandhi’s murder

Stop mourning his death, I shudder 

 

Innocent people are imprisoned, killed, lynched

The courts bat not an eyelid, nor flinch 

I realise I must dispense with rhyme

Which represents a youthful, childhood time 

 

I see a world enmeshed in power

I see ordinary people trapped in nets

Lives and homes so fragile

Big men rich men orchestrate

And snap power hungry fingers

Which cost lives and deaths in faraway places 

anonymous people, anonymous spaces

They will never know about, nor care about. 

Common people like us prance-dance to their tunes

In this circus-ring, who’s the top master, 

Who’s the elephant jumping fire

And who’s watching? 

Shruti Sareen, born and brought up in Varanasi, studied at Rajghat Besant School, KFI. Graduating in English from Indraprastha College for Women, University of Delhi, she later earned a PhD in Indian English Poetry from the same university. She has had over a hundred poems and a handful of short stories published in journals and anthologies. She is currently seeking publishers for her novel. Her debut poetry Collection, A Witch Like You, is forthcoming from Girls on Key Poetry (Australia) in April 2021.

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