LETTER TO THE PMO
February 14, 2021
The Prime Minister,
South Block, Rashtriyapati Bhawan,
I write this letter to you on 14th February 2021, a day I fell in love with agony.
I wake up on this fine day, kissing my 4 dogs and hugging my mother from behind. I then proceed to sit in the living room with my father, sipping on the worst tea ever made. I am sure you of all people out there would understand my plight when it comes to having bad chai. I read the newspaper, only after which I go to check my phone… It’s a habit I really pride myself with- ‘Social Distancing’ with my phone.
However, the first message I received was from my best friend, telling me that 2000 kilometers away in Bangalore, Disha Ravi, a girl only a year older than me, was kidnapped by state sponsored goons dressed in Khaki. The reason why if you may ask? It was because she was patriotic enough to speak up against the parasites hollowing my country.
I’ll be honest with you. I have been quite reckless in terms of how I have chosen to speak up against the corrupt establishment in our country, but for the first time ever, I felt true fear. I was so comfortable with being a nobody that I never thought you’d come for me. Mujhe laga tha mera chota darja aur meri gumnaami hi mera kawach banenge.
I was wrong, because now, I know I am not safe.
As the day went by, I almost forgot about that fear, in fact I forgot about Disha. Ab kya kare, college mein kaam bohot tha aur ek dost ko badminton mein bhi harana tha. But then, as soon as I opened my phone to map what 7 billion people were up to onto the 6-inch screen in my hand, I realized, all my friends were scared too.
Scared because they thought you’d come for them as well, the people who have known nothing but true love for this country, kebabs, and perhaps Vidya Balan. This was when the fear in me escaped- liberating me of all the inhibitions and allowing me to continue my romance with recklessness. But something felt different this time, I wasn’t just angry, I was hurt too.
I was swamped with emotions I had never known, as if I just hit puberty and fell for my high-school crush all over again.
It was then I realized- on 14th February 2021, I fell in love with agony.
I was furious, for you thought I did not love my country. Agonized because you stole our voice and replaced it with fear. Shocked at how you hurt my religious sentiments by turning my religion and God into a political joke.
Pradhan Mantri Mahodaya,
Yeh mera vatan meri shaan hai,
Aur kasam mere iss kalam ki ispe meri jaan qurbaan hai.
Isiliye iss khat ko ek chetawani hi samajh ke padh lo tum,
Jo iss desh pe laayi tumne yeh kaali, darawani aanch hai,
Jo zulm aapne humpe bakshe hai,
Issi se paida hone waale aakrosh ko banane waala yeh Hindustaani apna hathiyaar hai.
I pray you see the day when every street in this country will be painted in our tricolor, marking a rebellion against your Saffron Fascism.
Keeping you in my memory, now and always.
Cover Image: Maulik Thummar
About the author: Swaraj Tiwari is an International Affairs student at Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University. He is passionate about politics, philosophy, and social and humanitarian work. He also writes poems and short creative proses and hosts podcasts for JSIA.