Hunger for Justice: A Sestina of the Labor Movement in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong



In North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
Protest for workers rights did begin
In front of Vice Chancellor office’s baranda,
We stood for days and nights, with hunger strikes,
Demanding for a living wage, as per rules
And government notifications to be adhered.
We learned about love, as we shared food
Without discrimination, building unity
To fight for the betterment of our alma mater to rise above the ground to the sky high
The workers rights been
Neglect and exploitation, for thirty years
We tried to negotiate with in charge of departments
But found that many didn't pay heed to workers.
I felt bad, as I couldn't help them
But with the power of the people's unity
Under the All NEHU Worker's Union (ANWU),
We stood up and pushed for change
Demanding for a chance for series of negotiations
To solve the matter, with the current incharge of admin section and Public Relation Officer.

We see no hope in the current incharge of admin section and current Public Relation Officer,
As they are not ready to solve the problem
Maybe they are stuck with the historical wrong
But we don’t know because they never opened up to us,
Let them work, let time reveal us who is good and who is evil,
But we have good hope in the strong leadership of our vice chancellor
We believe he won’t let us down

As we give them a chance to solve the matter
In this fight for workers rights, we will fight
With workers till we find victory
Sprayed with opinions, but we know what we demand.

We found discrepancies and anomalies
Under the function of admin, swept under the carpet
To exploit workers, but we will be the voice
Of the voiceless, even if we don't gain anything material
We lost our time, but learned more about people and life
As we organize and make workers aware of their rights.

We found that solving the problem brings more problems
Holding a double-edged sword, we will try
To do things with less harm to the university
But we cannot predict how much we can do
As we fight till workers rights are restored
In North Eastern Hill University, Shillong.

We will not back down, we will not falter
We will fight for what is right, for what is just
For the rights of workers, who have been neglected
For far too long, in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
We will not rest until victory is won
And the admin section is held accountable.

We will not be silenced, we will not be ignored
We will make our voices heard, loud and clear
For the rights of workers, who deserve a fair wage
And the respect they have earned, through their hard work
In North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
We will not be denied, we will not be defeated.

We will stand strong, we will stand united
For the rights of workers, who have been oppressed
For far too long, in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
We will not stop until justice is served
And the rights of workers are upheld.

We will not be swayed by the opinions of others
We will not be deterred by the obstacles in our path
For the rights of workers, who have been denied
For far too long, in North Eastern Hill University, Shillong
We will not give up, we will not surrender
Until victory is ours, and workers rights are restored.

Under the banner of All NEHU Workers’ Union,
Our registered trade union under the Trade Union Act 1926,
We will continue to be kind, honest, and transparent
To the admin section who take care of workers rights.
But we will not be silent or compromise
What the workers are entitled and deserved.
We believe in humanity and fight for justice,
To leave our legacy for the future generations.
And no one should exploit anyone,
Because every dog has its day, they say.

Come one, come all, and let us lend our hands
To university, solve this workers rights issue together.
Let us rise and build together our North Eastern Hill University.
With determination in our hearts and unity in our souls,
We will not falter in the face of adversity.
For we know that together we can achieve more,
Than we ever could alone.

Let us stand tall, in the face of oppression,
And fight for the rights of our fellow workers.
For we are not just fighting for ourselves,
But for the future of all those who come after us.
Let us not be afraid to speak out against injustice,
For it is only through speaking out, that we can bring about change.

So come one, come all, and join us in this fight.
Let us rise and build together our North Eastern Hill University.
For together, we can achieve what seems impossible,
And leave a legacy of hope and justice for future generations.
" The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall"


Together we can build a strong foundation, brick by brick, and watch our North Eastern Hill University soar to new heights."

About this poem

The sestina above highlights the struggle of workers at North Eastern Hill University (NEHU) in Shillong for their rights. The workers, under the leadership of the All NEHU Worker's Union (ANWU), protest in front of the Vice Chancellor, Baranda, and engage in hunger strikes to demand a living wage as per government rules and notifications. The workers also strive to bring unity among themselves and fight against neglect and exploitation that has been ongoing for thirty years. Despite attempts to negotiate with the incharge of departments, they find that their pleas are not being heard. The workers express frustration at the current incharge of admin and hope for change through the leadership of the Vice Chancellor. The sestina also touches on the complexities of the situation, as solving one problem often leads to more problems, and the poet is aware that he may not gain anything material from their fight. However, workers continue to strive for workers rights to be restored at NEHU. 

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Submitted by Mawphniang.Napoleon on January 25, 2023

Modified on April 26, 2023

4:37 min read
148

Quick analysis:

Scheme Abcxxcccdbxxexcxfgh hxaijhx hcxc xcxjxk xdcccA hccAlj cxxaAc ccAcc excAhc lcckxciglx xhCxcxx lexixf cCjgx k
Closest metre Iambic heptameter
Characters 4,766
Words 920
Stanzas 14
Stanza Lengths 19, 7, 4, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5, 6, 10, 7, 6, 5, 1

Mawphniang Napoleon

Mawphniang is a person who is always striving to live life to the fullest. He is someone who is always open to new ideas and ways of living and is unafraid to take risks in order to explore the unknown. He is passionate about life and is always looking for ways to make use of his time and energy. He has an inquisitive nature, and is always looking for answers to life's mysteries and questions. Though Mawphniang does not pretend to have all the answers, he is determined to taste life and live a simple life, without overcomplicating things. He's a person who appreciates the small moments and cherishes the little things in life. He enjoys spending time in nature, exploring the world, and connecting with people. He is a person who is always up for a new adventure and never stops learning. He is on a daily journey of self-discovery, trying to make sense of the world and his place in it. more…

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