Art by Ashwin Chacko
The charge of the murderous police
(Set to Tennyson’s The Charge of the Light Brigade)
Past the watchful moon and stars, Past the prohibited hours, In the wakeful varsity Stormed the murderous police. “Spare no one!” They said, creeping, “Rebelling, studying, sleeping!” Over books, students, leaping, Into the silent library Stormed the murderous police.
“Spare no one!” They declared. Were all morally prepared? Did not a man, dismayed, Feel his body freeze? Theirs not to match the size, Theirs not to pay the price, Theirs but to brutalize. Into the silent library, Stormed the murderous police.
Students to the right of them, Students to the left of them, Students in front of them, Frightened, falling to their knees. Their temper, voices, lathis raised, Charged the mob, brave or crazed, Into the defenceless night Into the library, unfazed, Stormed the murderous police.
Malice quivering in the air, Flashing all their lathis bare Assaulting students here and there, Also chairs, books and cameras. Breathing in the country ceased, Some were thrilled, some were pleased Some disgusted, some sickened Progress of violence quickened Sweeping other varsities. What no one had reckoned Some students also soon Became the murderous police.
Targets to the right of them, Targets to the left of them, Targets in front of them, Violence became the breeze. Their temper, voices, lathis raised, Charges the mob, coward and crazed, So the cities are erased. Beyond noble libraries, Beyond universities, Everywhere is them, The state is murderous police.
When will end this reign of hate? Will we remedy the state? We can’t restore justice! Remember the criminals’ face, Remember, national disgrace, We are murderous police.