The known neighborhood has become
Unknown even to its residents.

They fail to fathom why a prayer
House was burnt down.

“Outsiders”, they whisper vandalized
The seat of God.

They were afraid of being ‘targeted’,
So they kept mum – the locals mumble.

They come from all religion and have lived in peace
And are still living in peace, but shops are set on fire.

“ ‘Outsiders’, ‘Outsiders’; they have done the damage,”
They say under their breath, scared to speak aloud.

Some vacate their homes and scurry with their
Belongings for safer places.

The ‘war’, the ‘riot’ has been thrust on them,
They accuse!

Police at places stand as mere spectators!
It’s a ‘pogrom’,
Pundits declare.

Now peace shall return walking over dead bodies
Lying in stony silence, in the city morgue!

Can you say what religion the dead bodies
Belong to?

• See:  Delhi Riots:  City tense after Hindu-Muslim clashes leave 27 dead

Pranab Ghosh is an award-winning Indian journalist and writer, who has worked for major news outlets of the country, including HT Media Ltd., Eenadu Digital, TNIE, Business India group etc.. His books of poems have been published by English and Canadian publishers. Read other articles by Pranab.