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
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.
Tags: Guda Anjaiah