Sediments of Silence
About the Author
Professor Mohammad Hasan, born in Taranagar (Rajasthan), studied geography in the Universities of Jodhpur and Syracuse, New York. He taught at the Universities of Jodhpur and Nairobi (Kenya), and HCM Rajasthan State Institute of Public Administration, Jaipur. A recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Scholarship for doctoral and advanced research on South Asians in the USA, he was also awarded a British Council Fellowship at Manchester University, UK. He was a member of the Academic Council and Board of Studies, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), and the Rajiv Gandhi Social Security Mission, Rajasthan. He has delivered lectures at the University of California-Davis, Syracuse University, International Rivers Network (Berkeley), Osmania University, AMU and administrative training institutions in India. A peace rights activist, he writes on environment and community issues, and organizes relief operations for disaster victims. He lives in Jaipur.
History has strange warps and wefts
Across the world we live in.
When it comes to minorities,
Things often take a familiar tilt.
When the Sikhs of Delhi were burnt alive,
There was a Sikh President,
Snubbed and ignored.
We don’t know
Whether he cried or was indignant.
When Gujarati Muslims were slaughtered,
Women were raped, their houses razed,
There was a Muslim president,
Humble and always in bliss.
Many vociferously chorused: He is great!
Then the greatness was in gazing at stars.
He was a President restrained!
When a white policeman
Killed an innocent black
In a crowded American lane,
The first black American President
Looked helpless and very sad.
But he said what he could say,
In sympathetic, dignified ways,
Putting balm on green wounds
Always kept flared.