If on a winter’s night, azadi…

Coming back to my neglected blog with this piece by Sarover Zaidi and Samprati Pani, which I want to archive here.

Chiragh Dilli

They’re selling postcards of the hanging
They’re painting the passports brown
The beauty parlor is filled with sailors
The circus is in town
Here comes the blind commissioner
They’ve got him in a trance
One hand is tied to the tight-rope walker
The other is in his pants
And the riot squad, they’re restless
They need somewhere to go
As Lady and I look out tonight
From Desolation Row
—‘Desolation Row’, Bob Dylan

On 11 February, results day of the Delhi Assembly elections, the road to the protest site in Shaheen Bagh was filled with protestors with black bands around their faces and placards saying, ‘Aaj maun dharna hai. Hum kisi party ko support nahi karte hain.’ (Today is a silent demonstration. We don’t support any political party.) The day before, students from Jamia had been thrashed, abused and detained by the police to prevent them from carrying out a…

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