In the beginning, they came to the banks of the Sindhu for livelihood
With deceit, they drove out the Moolvasis who welcomed them
Next, with a sense of defeat, they infiltrated Buddhism
With treachery, they uprooted its foundation of equality
They penetrated Jainism, Shaivism as spies
and upheld the Manuwad of penal codes as the universal truth
In the guise of avatars they suppressed all Shudra emperors
With an axe they decimated all dynasties and seized control
Where they lost, they waited as ministers..where they won
they became prophets..and lords of Agraharas
Frightenened by British cannons, they ushered them inside
Brought down those who resisted with bullets
And sent the heroes to the gallows
When the time was right they called for a struggle..for freedom
Through the scheme of transfer of power they became the rulers..
and also the opposition
Sporting a red rose, they spread a red carpet
They penetrated Marx's beard and Lenin's button
and called themselves the left
If they approved, it was progress, and casteism if they disagreed
Russia's the weapon they said, China's empowered they said
The mind's Mao's, they said, and the patent is ours, they said
They turned specific realities unspecific
and became loudmouthed Gireeshams*.
* * * * * * *
The Vanara army has been wagging its tails..from then till now
If not, as feathers on tails..then as flies on feathers,
According to the only history of all the Mahaprasthanam** of progress
The history of speaking the truth and getting heads chopped is ours
Let us step into the cage+
By the people..for the people..that's the rulers' assertion
People are the builders of history….that's the revolutionary rulers' statement
Who are the people? Where is people's history?
We have a glorious history of braving ostracisms
Let us step into the cage
Only the heirs of the bloodthirsty Parasurama clan
Became the leaders of the peace talks++
Only the middlemen of Hindu imperialism are talking about autonomy
The talk of land distribution here is a conspiracy..
The Brahmanyam hiding behind land is a conspiracy
History's a conspiracy..the progress of history's a conspiracy
The media's a conspiracy.. progressive intellectuals are a conspiracy
The parliamentary democracy guarding
the four-hooded Hindu caste serpent is a mammoth conspiracy
is of those who were pushed into the list of traitors by back-stabbers
Let us step into the cage;
All through history, there's been a conspiracy against the Moolvasis
A conspiracy against the Sun of Mahajana revolution's pointer finger+++
A conspiracy against the fragrance of social democracy.
My translation of J.Gautam's Telugu poem 'chuupuDu wElupai kuTra' (from his collection of poetry 'nalu dikkula nuncii ranDi').
* Gireesham: pronounced 'giriiSam'; a character from the satrical epic play 'kanyASulkamu' written by Gurajada Apparao, a social reformer and writer-poet (in Telugu and English), in 1892. Gireersham is a smooth talking trickster who poses as a progressive thinker fighting for the freedom of 'nautch girls' and widow remarriage. Gurujada pioneered the movement for democratizing literary language by celebrating dialects of the masses and broke the hold of Sanskrit on written Telugu. A humanist, Gurujada in one of his popular songs pointed out: 'a nation is not land (or soil), a nation is people'. Gurujada's work can be viewed as a perceptive commentary on the social reform and nationalist movements of the late nineteenth century; and Gireesham as an early representaive of Macaulay's savarna 'interpreters'?
** Mahaprasthanam: or 'mahAprasthAnam'; a poem, and an anthology, written by Marxist poet Srirangam Srinivasa Rao (popularly known as 'Sri Sri') in which he echoed the Marxian view that all history was the history of class struggles.
+ cage: the Telugu word used in the poem is 'bOnu', which also refers to the witness box in a court of law.
++ peace talks: probably refers to the peace talks between the Government of Andhra Pradesh and the Maoists (formerly 'People's War Group') held in 2004.
+++ pointer finger: the Telugu word used in the original poem is 'cuupuDu wElu' ('the finger that points', roughly). So I thought, 'pointer finger' was a better choice than 'forefinger' or 'index finger'.