One of these days, as one does, we come across a relic. It is a relic that feels alienating precisely because it is not our past. It is a past that we have not lived through. We cannot look back. This is the past of our grandparents, at best.
The use of the word “goodwill” hints at the “peril” that he picks up later. Like, a host, he charges his Muslim guests of Bengali origin “goodwill” to accept the occasional snide remark and not dare use the language (s)he uses at home to create poetry. The peril – he says – is that of Hindutva. The fear, perhaps, is that Hindutva will do better what Assamese ethno-nationalism has not been able to do so well over the last decades.
Ten poets have been booked for “spreading communal disharmony”. They have been harassed, bullied and threatened online. Their private life has been ridiculed on my own social media feed over the last few days. The people have were part of the “intellectual” debate have gone silent. If they thought of their fellow poets as equals, one would assume at least one of them would have created a hullabaloo with the same fervor with which they debated the very idea of “Miyah poetry”