Writer, poet, intellectual and member of Parliament from Tamil Nadu, D Ravikumar brings to his works the sharp analysis of an Ambedkarite and the accumulated wisdom of fighting and writing for the marginalised over the decades.

His poem, It is indeed my wish, emerges out of the turbulence of 2019, when the rights of Kashmiris were trampled upon by the Indian state, with an erosion of the institutions expected to guard these rights. The year ended with police violence on those protesting against the controversial Citizenship Amendment Act – citizens seeking to protect India’s secular Constitution.

Ravikumar’s poem is at once a record of 2019 and a hope for a better future. It is a yearning for justice and dignity, a call to his fellow countrymen to eschew violence and inequality.

It is indeed my wish to say

That another house will not be burned

That another throat will not be slit

Another honour not defiled

Another passage not denied

Another door will not be shut

Another opportunity will not be blocked

It is indeed my wish to say

That everyone’s voice will be heard

All grievances are redressed

That every wound is healed

Every tear is wiped

And everyone’s view respected

It is indeed my wish to say

That the innocent will be identified

And the guilty punished

That the vile ones will be removed

And the virtuous recognised

It is indeed my wish to say

the next year won’t be like this year

Translated from Tamil by K Venkataramanan.

Read all the articles in the Art of Resistance series here.