Tribute to Dabholkar

Sachin Mali of Kabir Kala Manch has been in Arthur Road jail, Mumbai, Maharashtra since early April 2013 awaiting trial under the UAPA. Originally in Marathi, the poem is a rough translation by Simantini Dhuru. It is a tribute to Narendra Dabholkar, Founder of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti who was killed on August 20, 2013. This poem is shared here from Anand Patwardhan’s Facebook page.

On the edge of a footpath In a pool of blood
lies the 20th of August, 2013

Narendra Achyut Dabholkar (1 Nov 1945–20 Aug 2013)
Narendra Dabholkar (1 Nov 1945–20 Aug 2013)

But you obscurantist messengers of darkness
from my jail cell I witness
the beginning of your defeat.

If you wanted to strike and annihilate Dhabolkar
why didn’t you use your black magic tricks
putting a curse on him
by crossing out his image
or offering a chicken sacrifice ?

Why didn’t you organize a Mahayagya
with 108 Brahmins at the doorstep
of his Committee Against Blind Faith
and reduce his rationality to ashes?

With hands folded and eyes shut
why didn’t you ask for a boon
to a millionaire god somewhere?
Why didn’t you build more mathas and ashrams
and gather hordes of people for your “satsangs’?
Why didn’t you denounce Dabholkar there
and brand him the atheist demon ?

Did we stop you from doing this ?

Today your crumpled faces are evidence
that exhausted by your own failed fakery
bent in your spine, you have collapsed.
Your bag of magic tricks and all your vile powers
could not contain the unstoppable storm
of Dabholkar’s rebellion.

Facing the harsh sun, strong winds, lashing rains
Dabholkar marched on his path of reason
a song of equality upon his lips

Brushing cobwebs of blind faith from our eyes
plucking out the worms of fanaticism
that crawl in our minds he rode the darkness
sowing seeds of hope and light.

From crematoriums to mathas of charlatan sadhus
fighting casteists and caste panchayats
demanding common water sources for Dalits
Dabholkar kept up his relentless campaign

But you obscurantist ghosts of darkness
none of your vile deeds and bags of black magic
could osbscure his clear vision.
Your so called power of the netherworld
could not finish the thought that is Dabholkar.

Then finally you wielded the ultimate weapon
the Bramhastra much used in your history.
Stained already by the blood of Charavaka
and Tukaram today it is soaked once again
in the blood of Dabholkar

This is the latest chapter of your terrible deeds
This the bloodied metal of your inhumanity
This the latest link in your history of cruelty.

On the edge of a footpath in a pool of blood
lies the 20th of August, 2013

But you obscurantist messengers of darkness
I witness the beginning of your defeat
From my jail cell I can still see
a Narendra Dabholkar, undefeated.

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