Four years ago, academic and activist MM Kalburgi was gunned down at his residence in Dharwad by Ganesh Miskin & Praveen Chatur, both linked to Sanatan Sanstha, a Hindutva outfit. Kalburgi was a vocal critic of idol worship and superstition, which often got him locking horns with Hindutva groups like the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which made Kalburgi the target of their campaign during the years following up to his assassination on 30th August, 2015.
As a tribute to Kalburgi and to the countless other pens that will not be put down, ICF presents an impassioned Kannada poem on political killings, by poet-activist Huchangi Prasad.
You cowards —
firing at us who wield pens.
You murderers —
celebrating the cold-hearted killing of innocents.
Let the sparrows
at your gunpoints.
Your guns may have wounded us.
But we are not just bodies,
We are children of the earth,
our mother gives us life with every letter,
strength with every word.
Look, this is not blood we shed
but ink, fresh and indelible,
writing the history of truth.
Every drop of blood now reborn
into a thousand truths.
Listen — I know, you Great Devotees!
I know the sword that chopped Shambuka's head.
I know who demanded Eklavya's thumb.
I know the truth: I know that sword.
I know you who became a gun
to kill me.
Listen — lies are not termites
eating away at truth.
Guns cannot destroy it either.
But these pens, these countless pens,
How they grow, tall, strong,
like a gigantic tree of many truths.
Read the original here.