Monday, January 10, 2011

Group Poem 16 (ekphrasis): Dalits

Placed in the bottom of caste system

Dalits are the broken people of the world
Constantly chased away from worship place
For being the impure ones
They live in fear
Of their own shadow
For that itself is also consider contamition
If it crosses path with the elite.

The children are tortured
Their childhood stolen away
Before they can utter a word
How can you have a childhood
When people chase you away
Because they are scared the mere presence of your shadow
Will make them impure?

Untouchable they are called
Sub human they are treated
Inferiors they are from birth
Yet, their women are not safe
And those same mouth that label them untouchable
And hand that oppress them
Are quick to molest
And rape the women....

Silent they remain...
For who is to protect a group
That is deemed cursed from God
Yet the blessings of their lord they do seek
Despite being shunned away from temples
They gather the courage to pray
To resist
To live...
We speak of oppression
Here and there
Far and near

Yet who speaks about the Dalits?
The world enchanted by Bollywood
Yet no one is aware of the suffering
Of India's untouchable
And, worlds oldest oppressed people.
Although this oppression is ancient
the wounds are still fresh...

The word Dalit is a name the "untouchable" people of India call themselves contrary to being called derogatory terms by the 'elite' members of the society they prefer to be called Dalits and it means "broken or suppressed" in Sanskrit... This piece is by NO means attacking the Hindu faith but rather just speaking out against the ongoing oppression of the Dalit people... Also, please refrain from making ignorant comments about INDIA! India is home to me just like Somalia is - and both have their good and bad. Finally and most important, this piece does not even depict an ounce of what the Dalit people face - youtube, google to learn more about their struggle.

Halima Ahmed
Copyright © 2011

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