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Koshur Music

An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri



Civil Curfew

They call it the civil curfew,
civilian groups enforcing it
on fellow civilians,
by word of mouth,
a decree from the mosque,
or a diktat through the newspaper,
a day and night curfew
on one pretext or the other…
the Pakistan day today,
that is sought to inspire;
tomorrow, the Indian independence day,
a black day for ever;
and a day to look forward to,
the Kashmir day, the day after!
The martyr’s day yesterday,
in memory of the mujahideen;
and the day before, a protest day,
against the police crackdown.
There are the Fridays too-
the Friday before and the Friday after...
The civil curfew keeps repeating
at the behest of militant groups-
the Hizeb-ul-mujahidin today,
the Harkat-ul-ansar tomorrow,
the Hurriyat the day after
and others waiting their turn,
vying with each other.
The hapless citizens see no end,
nor does anyone dare
to call off the curfew,
so the civilians too declare
a curfew against the civil curfew.
Pray when will the curfew clear?

Srinagar - September 1989



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