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Archive for April, 2013

Dalita Naaniis – 2

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Last night

Kanshi Ram appeared in my dream

he raised me from the floor

and placed me on a chair



The beloved crop

committed suicide

The farmer

only expressed solidarity




is a Hydra

If you cut it into pieces

it survives as sub-castes




the murderer


exactly like a man!




is not a clay idol:

She is the dalit mother

who changes mud into rotis



Not everyone

can become a Buddha

It is enough

if he doesn't lose his buddhi.




blew the conch:


this is the right beginning for you.



All the milk is from the buffaloes

but the cow is worshipped

Isn't that

varna discrimination among animals?



How does green grass burn?

Throw in some dogmas, 

politics into it

and you'll know how.



The one who is sold is the boss

and the buyer is the slave!


isn't even a business.


My translation of some of Netala Pratap Kumar's Telugu naaniis from his collection of poetry 'daLita naaniilu'. 

Naaniis are a new form of short poems, somewhat like haikus, that Telugu poets have been experimenting  with in the last two decades or so. Please read more naaniis by Netala Pratap Kumar here. 

Dr Kathi Padma Rao, talking about Pratap Kumar's naaniis, says:

Buddhism is the philosophical foundation of 'daLita naaniis'. Ambedkar vaadam (Ambedkarvad) is its sociology. The idiom is of the Dalit wadas. The expression stems from struggles and conflicts that are a part of life. Reading these aphorisms is like listening to my father, or my uncle, or my grandfather.

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