By Mallika Sengupta


Dedicated to Kamla Bhasin, Syeda Hameed, and Mohini Giri

And to Women’s Initiative for Peace in South Asia/WIPSA and WIPSA’s

   South Asian Women’s Journey for Friendship & Peace - 2003


We have come in search of peace

On behalf of each and every woman

From Kashmir to Kanyakumari

Rejoicing our plurality

In bindi, kajal and burqa

In Quran, Gita an Granth sahib

In Karl Marx and Kate Millet

In tradition and protest

In agreement and disagreement

We have come.


We have come to speak for freedom

On behalf of Saifunesa

The ten year old girl of a border village

Whose goat has crossed the no man’s land

And who is arrested by the force

For seven hellish days.


We have come to speak for open borders

On behalf of two hundred and thirteen

Gypsies-men, women and children

Who ‘vanished into the blue’

After a seven day tug of war

Between the two neighboring countries.


We have come to speak for love

On behalf of Muskan and Parvez

Two pardesi lovers

Separated by their country men

But for whom, even

One second of separation is intolerable.


We have come

On behalf of land, water, and sky

We have come

On behalf of poems, music and dance

We have come

On behalf of tears, smiles and kisses

We have come
On behalf of men, women and children

We have come

To speak for love, peace and friendship.



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