No. Oh Hunter! No

a poem by P.K.N. Panicker, India

Maa Nishada.
No! Oh hunter no.

The first words of the first poem
conceived thousands of years back;
So believes the people in India.

Oh! You hunter no,
but the arrow was already shot
and continues to be shot –
to be shot against the innocents,
the defenceless, living
in the comfort of shared values and love
as was the case of that ‘Krauncha’+1.

That hunter had at least an alibi
to justify his shooting down the Krauncha;
he was only looking for food
for him and his family;
for him the Krauncha was just meat,
a piece of meat and nothing more.

No sense of anger or vengeance,
not an act of killing for pleasure,
no not to satisfy lust or covet possessions.

What alibis do we have
who shoot deadly arrows –
arrows dipped in the malicious venom
termed ‘FAITH’ –
at the innocent defenceless
merely to satiate the lust,
to flirt with the pleasure
of power and authority,
for the sadistic urge to inflict pain
and to destroy –
destroy not only us, but the fauna and flora,
the waters of the oceans and the air
so lavishly gifted to us by mother nature.

When will someone among us arise
stand up straight
with authority derived of trust and love
to effectively tell ‘No hunter, No.’

+1 Krauncha, could be one of the migratory demoiselle cranes found in Eurasia which spend the winter in the Subcontinent; The bird is symbolically significant in the Culture of India.

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