Varun’s Poetic Silence

May 27 2018

Varun Gandhi has no ‘second’ in giving lips to words that have been suppressed. It seems now that the saffron party’s recent attitude towards him made him decide not to pull punches any more in his public utterances. He seems to be ready to cross the Rubicon and is shaping up a different kind of politics. Last Friday he waded into strange waters. Varun was slated to address a meeting organised by the Swaniti Initiative at New Delhi’s Constitution Club. His topic was ‘The role of the legislature in social reforms’. As he alighted from his car and proceeded towards the auditorium, people found Samajwadi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Neeraj Shekhar standing at the Coffee Counter in pristine white kurta pajamas, enjoying ice cream with his family. Some of the organisers apparently told Shekhar to stand aside and give way, and by then Varun too had reached the auditorium. Shekhar had felt hugely peeved, and the moment Varun started his speech, Shekhar started bawling from outside, saying “You don’t know who I am!” Varun, the least bothered and cool as a cucumber, went on with his speech, completely ignoring the MP. When Shekhar started crossing the limits of civilized behavior, two Sikh hulks from the audience came out, grabbed him and forced his exit. It is learnt that Shekhar not only complained to Rajiv Pratap Rudy, but sent a scorching WhatsApp message to Varun himself. Varun remained silent, making silence as the weapon he had articulated in his poem “Control”, from his anthology “Stillness”:
“I am not at war I tell myself
And I hold these captured silences
As trophies in my war of repose
My hands are too long for these shackles
But fit neatly into your sadness
I am not lost
Waiting to be tamed
I have become
the residue of the chase
How many lives
walk through us in pain
As we wrest control of this climb”

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