The Poet Has Left the Room

Bhattacharya’s most iconic poem, written in Bengali, “This Valley of Death is Not Mine,” is a chilling reminder of the way cycles of democracy, interspersed with periods of absolute fascism, both feed off each other. He knew fascism would raise its ugly head in his country again. He was absolutely certain. The poem—written in early 1990s— reverberates with echoes of this new India. No other poem has been or would be able to capture the helplessness and anger of seeing our country slip into the hands of traders of hate.

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