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All Hindus are bandhus*, you say

November 16th, 2010 by naren bedide

All Hindus are bandhus, you say,

Every drop is a Hindu, you say,

Where have the Christian, Muslim, Buddhist Moolvasis gone?

Where have all the non-Hindus gone, O Hindu brother

Could you please explain, O bandhu brother?                                                      // All Hindus..//


You say you possess merit

because you've read all the shastras

You brag you're a pandit

because you've read all the vedas

Can you catch the flying bird? O Pantulayya**!

Can you weave like the weaver? O Pantulayya!

Can you practise the smith's craft? O Pantulayya!

Can you plough dry lands? O Pantulayya!

Can you clear jambu+ from the wetlands? O Pantulayya!

Will you agree, O Pantulayya,

That the creators of all wealth on land,

the creators of all wealth from the waters

are the Dalits? O Pantulayya!                                                                              // All Hindus //


We don't practise untouchability

you falsely claim now,

Carrying water from pits

to wash animal hides clean,

it was I who sewed sandals

for your paaduuka pattabhishekam++;

cleared gutters and drains,

carried excreta and other filth,

washed unclean clothes

and shaved your moustache,

Will you make me the chief  priest

of Pandaripur's Panduranga?  O Hindu brother!                                                                       

Have I broken the pot+++? O bandhu brother!                                                      // All Hindus //


It was you who chopped off Shambuka's head

poured lead in our ears

cut off our thumbs

treacherously shot arrows from behind to kill

disrobed women

molested them

drove nails into us

cut off tongues

stuffed us into sacks

trampled us into Thunga Bhadra

Should I trust you if you say you're a brother? O Hindu brother!

Why do you call me a Hindu? O bandhu brother!                                                     // All Hindus //


Chanting Rama Rama Rama Rama

you trumpet the tall claim

that Ram Janmabhoomi is yours

You took out rathyatras

and created bloodshed

you talked of temples and gopurams

and ground our people to dust

those who believed you

their heads have gone to rot now

and when you reached the shore on the ship of votes

where did you burn the ship?

You poured bran into grain ….O Hindu brother

You started a dogfight… O bandhu brother.                                                          // All Hindus //


You won't bleed milk if you're cut

I won't bleed water if I'm cut

If you and I are cut,

you can check: we'll both spurt red blood;

In dilapidated gopurams

the cicadas are breeding

Let's go together

to a place without caste or creed

and no shortage of food, clothing

where a man can live as man

with self-respect, O Hindu brother

let's procliam our nation's glory.. O bandhu brother..                                            // All Hindus //


My translation of Guda Anjaiah's' Telugu song ' hindu..hindu bandhuwulanTawu' (from his collection of songs ' uuru manadiraa!' ). It was probably written during the early nineties, during the height of the Hindutva movement over Ram Janmabhoomi.

* bandhu: (bandhuwu in Telugu); relation or relative.

**  pantulayya: term of address for a brahmin, here.

+ jambu: or jammu. sedge, a kind of wetland plant.

++ paaduka pattabhishekam: (pronounced 'pAduuka paTTAbhishEkam')– paaduuka is Telugu (archaic) for sandals or footwear; paTTAbhishEkam means coronation. This is a reference to the episode of the coronation of Rama's sandals in the Ramayana.

+++ 'Have I broken the pot?' : an expression that signifies speaking bluntly, fearlessly.


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