'Which holy river of this country..': DMK MP's poem seeks to capture agony of women in Manipur

Poo Naagam, the poet explains, "is a mythological creature – a tiny snake that lives in flowers and is extremely venomous."
DMK MP Dr Thamizhachi Thangapandian. (File Photo| EPS)
DMK MP Dr Thamizhachi Thangapandian. (File Photo| EPS)

CHENNAI: At a time when the whole of India is outraged by the video of two women in Manipur being paraded naked by a mob and tortured, DMK MP Thamizhachi Thangapandian has Tweeted a poem penned by her in Tamil, Poo Nagam to capture the violence perpetrated against women. 

The poem, which is a lament that echoes the agony and anger of women everywhere, starts with the lines, "Which holy river of this country / Could wash the stains of flesh clean from our rapes?"

The Lok Sabha MP has tweeted the poem on July 21, 2023.

Prabhu Chawla in his column in The New Indian Express, published on Sunday, has cited the first lines of the poem as a prelude to his piece.

Poo Naagam, the poet explains, "is a mythological creature – a tiny snake that lives in flowers and is extremely venomous."

The poem concludes on a resounding note, "We will bloom in the flowers of this country, As Thousand Neelis! (Neeli is a mythological woman character who exacted revenge on those who wronged her) When it’s time, The era of the Poo Naagam, Wouldn’t just avenge those that wreaked havoc on us, But also, who  remained, as Silent Witnesses !

On July 19, a video emerged that showed two Kuki women in Manipur being paraded naked by a mob from the other side. The incident, which happened in Manipur's Kangpokpi district, took place on May 4, a day after the violence erupted between the two communities.

More than 160 people have lost their lives and several have been injured since ethnic violence broke out in Manipur on May 3, when a 'Tribal Solidarity March' was organised in the hill districts to protest against the Meitei community's demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status.

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