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‘They’ll never silence us all’: Watch a young poet speak (and sing) for the right to dissent

‘Violent night, unholy night, baaki sab wrong, the Right has might...’


In response to the cold-blooded murder of journalist and activist Gauri Lankesh, there has been widespread outrage from students, activists and journalists alike. But a poignant response has come from the 28-year-old poet Sudeep Padegar, who has composed They’ll Never Silence Us All in honour of what Lankesh stood for.

Starting and ending with a twist on the hymn Silent Night, Holy Night, Padegar goes on to proclaim that “the politics of terror and the terror of politics” are leading to a divided people, as we “celebrate, together, our failing human race.”

He also urges his fellow poets, in an address after the poem, to speak out against injustice: “It’s our responsibility to be the last bastion against a violent world, because if we don’t speak up, no one else will.” An act as simple as writing and reciting a poem, he says, will send a strong message: “We are no longer afraid and we will never be, henceforth.”

“Violent night, unholy night,
Keeping quiet emboldens the Right,
Say it out loud, right to their face
Divisive tactics, we will not embrace,
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
They’ll never silence us all”

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