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I wanted to make this longer, but EXAMS UGH

For Aurelia.Valus and BurningMidnightOil's #apoemaday contest. Go check it out!

but here in this land, we promise equality | #apoemaday20

January 23, 2020


**I wanted to start the piece by quoting India's constitution here which, tldr, is about the Fundamental Rights granted by the constitution. Also, if you support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, you can honestly either piss off or pick a fight with me**   

13. Laws inconsistent with or in derogation of the fundamental rights
(2) The State shall not make any law which takes away or abridges the rights conferred by this Part and any law made in contravention of this clause shall, to the extent of the contravention, be void
(3) In this article, unless the context otherwise requires, (a) 'law' includes any Ordinance, order, bye-law, rule, regulation, notification, custom or usage having in the territory of India the force of law   

Right to Equality 
14. Equality before law— The State shall not deny to any person equality before the law or the equal protection of the laws within the territory of India. 
15. Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth— (1) The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them.

but these remain just   
promises, assurances—  
words— written on 
some sheets of paper 
(how fickle and frail), 
as leaders of the country  
decide who an indian is— 
and who isn't—  
based on which of the many   
books written on   
supernatural beings they  
believe to be true; 
as leaders of the country  
call to ban the meat of
an animal that their
chosen books   
instruct to worship.      

but here in this land,  
dotted with countless 
ancient edifices, 
inhabited by hundreds of people
(languages, cuisines, beliefs),  
we promise equality.   
I'm totally quoting Wikipedia here: "The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 was passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019. It amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan before December 2014. Muslims were not given such eligibility. The act was the first instance of religion being overtly used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian nationality law."  

So as the quote from the Constitution here illustrates, this law isn't only downright discriminatory, but also unconstitutional. The far right party in power at the Centre and in many states, however, justifies it by saying that Muslims aren't persecuted minorities in these countries, while very conveniently ignoring certain persecuted Islamic sects as well as Rohingya Muslims from Myanmar that seek asylum in India. 

Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, and at present, 20 put of 29 states in India have banned the consumption of beef. Since this government came to power, there have been alarmingly frequent cases of beef traders and consumers being attacked by Hindu vigilante cow protection groups.

Finished: 20.01.20, 2:21 pm EST


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  • babybluelamentations

    Omg woah, that’s powerful. Great job on putting this into such beautiful, compelling words. I hope this law gets abolished right away. Amazing job <3

    10 months ago
  • Riley Noel

    All i can say is wow! You have written about such a politically charged topic and yet, you handle it with grace and wisdom. Your steadfast belief in "equality" is so clearly shown. Beautiful work!

    10 months ago
  • agustdv

    o h man o h man. there is such a limit to politically charged poems focusing on india, it makes me really regretful. but you've encompassed the crux of the issue so well. im so glad this was written.

    10 months ago