January 30, 2010

My ancestors

You said
The Shudra is born from the feet of Brahma
And the Brahmin from his head
And they did not ask you
Where was Brahma born from?

You said
Service is the duty of the Shudra
They did not ask
What will you give for it?

You were happy
You now had slaves
They were happy too
Happy for you
They had put all their power
In your hands.

The body unclothed
The stomach unfed
Hurt, and yet
They smiled
For they saw you smiled.

They did not know
How to loot
The weak and the innocent!

Did not know
That murder
Is the badge of courage
That robbery is not a crime
It is but culture.

How innocent they were
My ancestors
Yet untouchable

- By Dalit poet and fiction writer, Omprakash Valmiki ; Translated from the Hindi by Pratik Kanjilal. [Source]

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