“When they came
There was Bible in their hands
And we had land.”
They said “No one is black or white before God
Come let us pray with our eyes closed “
I was overwhelmed.
My eyes got closed, unaware.
When I opened my eyes hopefully-
They had land and we had the Bible.
There is no other fairy story than this
To be told to grandchildren.
To teach wisdom to grandfather
On such occasion was something great.
Nevertheless I dare say a little.
After talking to yourself for a quarter of century
You came here with a loud voice.
You are the hero of the primitives
Do you want to see tribal India?
On the Republic and Independence days
The accident art dances in the capital.
At that time culture performs cabaret in the palaces.
Her palanquin and our procession pass
On the same royal road.
It’s great fun!
‘These prisons of forests are dear to everyone.
This forest cannot be Khandavavan
Because trees here are fell every day
You are welcome
Mandal commission is ignored
You are taken to visit Rajghat, Taj Mahal, Red Fort
Whereas Bastar, Belkheda, Jyotiba and Baba are hidden.
In reply to your felicitation
You narrate your own story:
“We quarrel with each other throughout the day.
In evening we go to church
And ask for pardon, then pray.”
The hall reverberates with claps.
Grandfather, there is nothing worth telling you
“When they came, they were wanderers
And we had history”
They said, “We will exchange everything
And transform the world”
We believed them.
Now they have history
And we have freedom.
Grandfather, do you know or not the Budhha?
Poet: Bhujang Meshram
[Translated from Marathi by Dr. Santosh Bhoomkar]