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Narendra Kumar Bhoi, translated by Pitambar Naik

The Chandala Narrative

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We’re always a commodity of sales
sometimes in the tiger-and-goat game
and other times in social law and order

has our despicable skin ever been
sealed with the stamp of humanness?
When you’re aware of our rights

that hadn’t yet been reclaimed,
truly how couldn’t you stand by us?

Awakening to the riddle of the holy basil
in us what kind of a diagram of conspiracy

you’d hatched further, could we know
that time as you’d been a terrific
wild nettle stinging us for eternity?

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