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Thursday, 24 November 2011

Dalith poetry & the Hindu Blood !

This thread is dedicated to the great Dalith Poets who have risked their lives showing Taryynaical Brahmin Hindus their real Status!

One of these days,
in front of the house,
on the branch of a neem tree,
stripping you naked,
I will hang you.
Tearing out your veins
I will see
how much of my ancestors' blood
yo have consumed--
One of these days
I will flay your skin.
You decreed we should serve
Brahmins, Kashtatriyas and Vaishyas.
You inscribed the fate of Chamar, Bhangi and Chandal
Stay outside the precincts of the village!
Eat from broken vessels!
Here, even the buffalo is a wise pundit;
even a donkey partakes of holy Ganges water!!

But are you aware?
I have now learned to soar like a falcon;
to spring like a tiger;
to use words as weapons..

One of these days
I will flay your skin
and hand it back to you!
In the same way
you stripped my father naked and struck him down

---Jayant Parmar

Dalith Poet

 Excerpts from Dalit Poetry by Gandhvi Pravin

I can be a Hindu
A Buddhist,
A Muslim
But the shadow
Shall never be severed from me,

The Kuladi is done,
The broom is gone,
But the shadow
Still stalks me,

I change my name,
My job,
My village,
My caste,
But the shadow will never leave me alone,

The language has changed,
The dress,
The gesture,
But the shadow
Plods resolutely on.

Another excerpt from Dalit poet Vaghela Yeshwant

They know
Who I am
Yet feigning ignorance
They ask me:
Who are you ?

I tell them
This head is Sambooka's
These hands are Ekalavya's
This heart is Kabir's
I am Jabali Satyakama
But these feet are still untouchables

Today I am a man
Isn't that good enough for you ?

 Ajay Navaria’s poem “Sendh” (Hole) is to acknowledge and celebrate the power of that self-representation.

There were words, a long time ago
But they weren’t
In my grasp
They were bound tight
Around my eyes
So that I couldn’t see

Now these words grow wings
Take flight on my palms
Their limitless meaning
Bores a hole
In this whole existence

 Time and Us----Awwal Kalima.

You won’t believe us
but no one’s talking about our problems
now, again, it’s the tenth or eleventh generation scions
of those who lost glories
who are speaking for all of us.
Is this what they call the loot of experience?!
In reality, Nawab, Muslim, Saaheb, Turk-
whoever’s called by those names belongs to those classes-
those who lost power, jagirs, nawabi and patel splendours
they have retained, at least, traces of those honours
while our lives have always been caged between our limbs and our bellies.
We never had anything to save.
What would we have to recount….?
We who called our mothers ‘amma’
never knew she was to be called ‘Ammijaan’.
Abba, Abbajaan, Papa- that’s how fathers are to be called, we’re told
How would we know- our ayyas never taught us that.
Haveli, chardiwar, khilwat, purdah-
how could we of the thatched palaces know about them?
To perform Namaaz is to bow and rise, my grandfather said!
The language of Bismillahir Rahmanir Raheem, Allahu Akbar, Roza-
we never learnt all that.
A festival meant rice and pickle for us
Biryanis, fried meats, pilaus and sheer khormas for you
You in Sherwanis, Rumi topis, Salim Shahi shoes
and dresses soaked in itr
We, resplendent in our old rags.
You won’t believe us if we tell you
and we might end up only embarrassing ourselves.
Scentusaabu, Uddandu, Dastagiri, Naagulu, China Adaam,
Laaloo, Pedamaula, Chinamaula, Sheik Srinivasu,
Bethamcharla Moinu, Paatikatta Malsooru- aren’t these our names.
Sheikh, Syed, Pathan- flaunting the glories of your khandaans
did you ever let us come closer to you!
Laddaf, Dudekula, Kasab, Pinjari…
we remained relics of the time when our work bit us as caste.
We became ‘Binishtis’ carrying water to your homes
and ‘Dhobis’ and ‘Dhobans’ who washed your clothes,
‘Hajaams’ when we cut your hair
and ‘Mehtars, Mehtaranis’ when we cleaned your toilets

 s relics of the age when our work bit us as caste
we remained.
As you say, we’re all ‘Mussalmans’!
We don’t disagree- but what about this discrimination?
We like it too- if these excavations will unearth those accounts
which had remained buried for long, why would we object!
What more do we need to know about the common enemy,
we need to discover the secret of this common friendship now!
We agree: all those who are oppressed are Dalits,
but we need to define what’s oppression now!
Surprise- the language we know isn’t ours, we’re told!
We don’t know the language you call ours
We’ve ended up as a people without a mother tongue.
Cast out for speaking Telugu.
‘You speak good Telugu despite being a Mussalman’
Should I laugh or cry!
All our dreams are Telugu, our tears are Telugu too
when we cry out in hunger, or in pain
all our expression is Telugu!
We stood clueless when asked to perform Namaaz
jumped up in surprise when we heard the Azaans.
We searched for only ragas in the Suras.
When told to worship in a language we didn’t know
we lost the right to the bliss of worship.
You won’t believe us,
no one’s talking about our problems.
Self respect is a ‘dastarkhan’ spread before everyone.
It isn’t a privilege that belongs only to the high born.
No matter who belittles a fellow man’s honour, betrayal’s betrayal
the loot of experience is a bigger betrayal.

 xcerpts from Yashwant Manohar’s collection of poems: Uttangumpha. Source: Dalit Literature.

Your produced regions of deception
With sharp beaks take my bites, in the surrounding intense wailing,
And beautiful crudeness you call literature
Dazzled by ornate words you call Mahakavi
You worship dirt covered with flowers
To infinite poverty you narrate story of king and queen
You write literature, write shashtras and philosophy of convenience
But here is the dominance of some people
I will go saying it by showing, wailing
While going I won’t remain dumb I will go cursing this clutter


Let the earth be shattered
The sounds of bells in ancient temples
rung to extinguish me be razed


The clothes of the assassins will torrentially tear
All tents of sins I will without hesitation burn
While going I won’t remain dumb I will go cursing this clutter
I have given answers on coming while going I will carry questions.

 Author Unknown

smashed skulls, speared groins
water in Karamchedu.
raped, spread naked dead
land in Khairlanji.
unclothed, unbathed, unschooled
food. on streets. in hovels.
in my country of delicate thoughts
and ancient wisdom
the white man has answers.
the poor man the reason.
pure untouched intelligent and human,
we the ones with land, water and food.

By Langston Hughes.


Wear it

Like a banner

For the proud-

Not like a shroud.

Wear it

Like a song

Soaring high-

Not moan or cry.

By Katie M Cumbo

Washiri (poet)







By Ray Durem.

You Know, Ram
You know, Ram, it’s a funny thing Ram!
You worried most of your life about me,
Always afraid I’d get a job with you,
Always scared that I might get served with you
Always afraid I’d wanna love your sister,
Or that she might love me.
Didn’t want me to eat with you,
Scared I might sit with you
But with that Atom Bomb, Ram
Looks like I’m gonna die with you!
Don’t seem right, does it, Ram?
Ought to have a separate bomb for the colored!

By Nikki Giovanni

No Name

Bitter Black Bitterness

Black Bitter Bitterness

Bitterness Black Brothers

Bitter Black Get

Blacker Get Bitter

Get Black Bitterness



Mine injury no bigger than,
Mine ancestors destruction
or descendants destitution.

My peoples numbness.
will keep this open wound; unhealed,
throbbing and festering.
Staring at me, microscoped images
in each cell, I see, my people,
disrobed, ravaged and set homeless
betrayed, beggared and left light-less.

This war is mine alone
This quiet anger is enough

To destroy, destruct and wipe out,
beliefs of the soulless aggressors.
It will guide my newborns spirit,
setting free my ancients soul.

For this, I need no friends,
no commanders, or soldiers.
Mine army is me.

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