Kashmiri poet Rafiq Kathwari found Mir Laieeq’s anthemic expression of the meaning of azadi as inspiring as I do & wrote this poem, saying “The write up…wanted to be a poem. Appending, with apologies to Mir Laieeq for liberties taken.” I am honored to post it:

“Non-Lethal Pellet Guns

Yes, there are sorrows more lethal

than blindness but India knows

we can see, so can the world

community despite the fiscal

allure of shining New Delhi.

Despite its Hindu war on Kashmir,

India has failed to make bigotry

a central burden of our freedom

struggle. We haven’t turned into fiends,

have kept our dignity intact, our

compass points not towards Mecca

but human fraternity, a mirror

of who we are, what we aspire to be.”

—Mir Laieeq