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Sculpture by Kwame-Bamfo / The National Memorial for Peace and Justice

Social Injustice ~ 3 Poems

by Aju Mukopadhyay


Slavery is Still Forced on Africa

Tagore wrote towards the end of his life’s journey

In deep sympathy for the pristine and innocent Africa’s ignominy

That when under the shades of big trees she used to hide

When her humanity was unknown outside

They came, the man catchers, with iron shackles 

With fingernails sharper than African wolves, among the rabbles 

Newcomers, blinder than the sunless African forests gloomy

Shameless, they stood naked inhuman and shoddy

With pride of the great and civilized

Marked with insult the body of African history

Sharp nails in their paws having utilized.

Tagore was vocal mainly against the tortures

Of innocent humans by the greedy marauding barbers

Who occupied all native lands with minerals illegally

Making the humans slaves gradually;

Chained slaves were sent to the West forcibly

Exposing the ill designs of the civilized

Inhuman torture of the black Negro by his white master

Tarnished the name of Western culture. 


Kentucky boy George vehemently punished Legree as did he utter,

“After all, what a fuss, for a dead nigger!”

Penitent George over the grave of Uncle Tom promised,

“Witness, eternal God! . . . Oh witness that from this hour

To drive out the curse of slavery from my land

I will do what one man can.” 

History recorded long struggle against the system Apartheid

 Martin Luther King (junior) and Nelson Mandela were in the lead:

But never has the slavery been entirely abolished.

The same man catchers are there with the same mindset brutish

Who slave ambitious Africans who try to migrate to Europe

Robbing them through their agents of all their hopes

Kidnapping, torturing, repeatedly selling them causing serious grief

While extracting ransoms from their relatives;

Able bodied educated Africans in Libya are condemned like thieves

Compelled to work without pay, compelled to live in constant fear

Auctioned like chattels, sold and resold from one militia to another.

This time they don’t wish to take such burdens to their territories

But fix slave owners to do the work from other countries.

 © Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2019




Innocent Children are the Largest Victims

No blood would ooze out if cut by blade

No flesh below to sink, nothing inside shakes

Bare bones protruding here and there like spikes

Vacant look in the eyes

Yet the body breathes and survives;

Skeleton like children of Somalia, one of the African tribes;

Somalia carries the most pathetic tableau in the world stage;

Three fourth of its children below two are anaemic

and large numbers are stunted below five years in age

Yet, each mother can’t resist giving birth to six, seven children though sick!

High temperature, polluted water, inadequate housing and sanitation

Poor infrastructure added to their plight makes the poor Africans

Chased by the changed climate and the natural calamities

Fighting among themselves, vulnerable to many a tropical disease

Some of them are obese too who wait for more ways to suffer

Poor healthcare system compelling them to incur

Huge out of pocket expenses pushing millions of Africans

To the path of poverty and indignity, mostly among the Nigerians;

Paucity of doctors and health centres add salt to their wounds

As some age old dreadful superstitions surround.

 Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2018




Evil and Suffering

(Dedicated to the Memory of Aruna Shanbaug)

Karuna, a beautiful nurse with a mother’s heart

Used to take minute care of patients in her ward

In a Mumbai hospital

Her services to the patients befitted her name

Full of understanding full of compassion

For each one the same;

But during the wee hours of the morning

When everything waits for a change

She was alone changing her uniform

At the end of the night shift preparing to go home

All on a sudden with an iron chain throttled

She was wantonly attacked by a sweeper    

Who she rebuked verbally during the night

For some negligence in duty which she forgot as usual                                                                                    

Like all seniors chiding an erring subordinate

For an offence casual;

She was sexually attacked by the lustful creature perverted  

Raped and sodomized so brutally that she became paralyzed

Left in a vegetal state, victim of revenge 

Found lying in a pool of blood

Without a vision without a word.

A nubile, she was to be married a week hence to her lover  

Who would aptly adore her, such an exquisite flower;  

But instead of him she was force-loved by the inhuman brute

Virtually killing her up to the root.


This happened in 1973 since when she remained

Brain-injured, blind, deaf and mute

Inert and steel  

Until fifteenth year after the new millennium;

All appeals for Euthanasia

Were rejected by the court without consideration minimum

Rejoicing the sanctity of the Dry Law like ambrosia;                   

She remained in the same hospital

Without a taste and sense of life in a state vegetal 

A cynosure to all her patients and colleagues regular.


Brain injury must have reduced her suffering utmost

But the very joy of life having been lost

It was immaterial how long she lived

In a life like death though survived

Receiving utmost cruelty in return

For her love and sympathy for patients

From a rare rudimentary devilish fiend.

His punishment was not at all to his crime commensurate

  But punishment would not reduce the evil in man and its threat.    


Evil is a worm lives in man inflicts injury and suffering

Its shape, volume and power in each human

In degrees differing

Corrodes the progress of its owner

Brings havoc in the life of the others

It gets the most vibrant support from the dirtiest shelters.                                                                                                                                                                                                  

© Aju Mukhopadhyay, 2018/2019






Compiled/Published by LeRoy Chatfield
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