Higher Order Violence

Higher Order Violence

We (me and my mum) were recollecting one evening
The months of March and April in the year 1971
When a woman butted in from the structures of our memory lane,
Saying that her husband and children had been slaughtered in the shade for brick-laying workers;
She was crying and I was thinking.
I have seen the slaughtered bodies of her husband and children
I have witnessed the stiffened and bloodless bodies floating on a pool of blood
I have peeped through the narrow window.
I am the eleven year old have witnessed in the morning of the 27th March 1971.
We carried on discussing – how we were safe in a house not far from the shanty in which the woman’s sons and husband were butchered.

A headline appeared:
They killed many slum-dwelling workers
Killed them with bayonets and bullets
And threw one of her sons into the river Monu;
The woman in a land liberated with the blood of slum-dwelling workers
Wanted to know why the butchers preferred to kill her sons and husband?
Why not the riches of the buildings?

As I have witnessed – the bodies were dragged to a not so deep trench.
I know the answer – the butchers were too scared of the power of masses.
The power the masses showed at Polton on the 7th of March 1971.
The thick-skulled butchers wanted to silent that mighty, powerful voice of the day-labourers, workers and peasants of Bengal in the year 1971.

The woman appeared on our memory lane.
When I think of her grief
I think the conventional history is too small to contain her tears, sacrifice and loss.

Wollongong: December 1, 2009

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