Monthly Archives: April 2010

Making hay when the city burns


In March 2010 there was a communal riot in Hyderabad. A group of citizens organisations have come to the conclusion that conflict between two groups was fomented by real estate sharks into a big riot. Here is the full report.

What started off as a tiff between the two communities over celebration of festivals was turned into a full-scale riot by real estate mafia. For the first time in the history of Hyderabad a number of religious places have been attacked and demolished and the real estate mafia is behind this. There is evidence that the mobs who carried out these attacks did not belong to Hyderabad, their language and appearance was also different. Even the stones that were used to pelt at religious places and houses were brought from outside.

Although you are gone, NK


It is so sudden, so sad, so unnecessary. NK Hanumantayya, a promising young Kannada poet, is no more.

I have not met, seen or heard him. But I have read his poems which impressed me a lot. NK was considered by many poetry enthusiasts as a good poet. Much by him was liked, much was expected of him. It was hoped he would take kannada dalit poetry to further heights.

Hanumantayya wrote poems that were intensely political and personal. He was original in his expressions, his images. Well I liked his poems. NK, you will be loved for what you have given us, you will missed.

Here is a fine one in my intrepid translation.

The King, he waits

The King, he waits

Wearing the cobbler’s shoes

Bearing the blacksmith’s sword, the King, he waits

Wearing the weaver’s dress

Bearing the gardener’s flowers

He waits, the King, he waits

Invisible when we search

Inaccessible when we seek

Hiding behind the eye’s hue,

He waits, the King, he waits

photo from

photo from

Dalit Poetry in Kannada: Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy


I have earlier offered a translation of Kannada Dalit poet Mudnakudu Chinnaswamy. He is a senior writer and a good poet. Experimental and sharp, his works are surely important. Recently I discovered his website which has lot of pictures and details about him.from:

Some of Mudnakudu    Chinnaswamy’s poems are  available in translation by Prof. Rowena Hill here

I must apologize for spelling his name incorrectly in my previous post. Thsi time around I have corrected it.


If I was a tree
the bird wouldn’t ask me
before it built its nest
what caste I am.
When sunlight embraced me
my shadow wouldn’t feel defiled.
My friendship with the cool breeze and the leaves
would be sweet.
Raindrops wouldn’t turn back
taking me for a dog-eater.
When I branch out further from my roots
Mother Earth wouldn’t flee shouting for a bath.
The sacred cow would scrape her body on my bark,
scratching wherever it itched
and the three hundred thousand gods sheltering inside her
would touch me.
Who knows,
at the end,
hacked into pieces of dry wood,
burning in the holy fire,
I might be made pure,
or becoming the bier for a sinless body
be borne on the shoulders of four good men.