Shujaat, by VK Shashikumar

(For my friend Shujaat Bukhari, Editor of Rising Kashmir who was assassinated recently in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir.)
Mountains with memories watch
trespassers of vulnerabilities
drawing blood from brave voices.
Security vehicles run over
angry youth with dead dreams.
White vans, dark windows,
Provocatively masked young men
Crazy with unfreedom on the streets
Calling for bullets in return for stones.
Unknown killers on motorbikes
coward slaves of mayhem masters.
He was about to leave for home
the daily responsibility to readers
dismembered by 16 bullets.
She was standing at the window,
a bullet found its mark
on the mole above her eyebrow.
He was home-bound with milk
shot at his doorstep,
school-homework in his mind.
So many stories of fathers, husbands, brother, uncles
facing pointed guns,
pushed out of their homes
squatting *murgas* of the merciless State
with States’-men taking turns to rape
the women at home.
Through the burning capillaries of the community’s life-blood
you strove for healing charred hearts and mind
In Kashmir this is a crime
You knew this Shujaat…
Note: The word murga means rooster in Hindi and Urdu language. The punished person takes a position resembling that of a rooster, by squatting and then looping the arms behind the knees and firmly holding the ears. (Source: Wikipedia)
Indian security forces in Jammu and Kashmir use it as a summary punishment, administered in public view, to shame Kashmiri men and boys.

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