Betrayal Beyond Belief

Written by Badri Raina | Published on: September 1, 2008

– Badri Raina

Agreed you were Adi Indians,
Long before the Aryans came;
Agreed we made you Dalit
To set off the conqueror’s name.
Agreed you are illiterate,
Agreed you have no say;
Agreed you are untouchable,
Agreed you are kept at bay.
Agreed that our development
Makes you resentful, red;
Agreed, in fact, we prosper
Upon your sweat and blood.
Agreed we rape your women,
Agreed we stray, at worst;
Agreed you may not use our wells
To quench your low-born thirst.
Agreed our Constitution
Is ours and ours alone;
Agreed our hallowed temples
Will not let you in.
Agreed your land, your forest
We grab, we chop, we burn;
Agreed our banks, our markets
Will never serve your turn.
Even so, your villainous move
To leave the Hindu fold –
How could we ever forgive you
Betrayal so beastly, bold?
Go tell these priests who dupe you
That all plants, animals, men
Were created Sanaatan Hindus
The minute the world began.
Do you then prefer Christian ease
To family atrocity?
How traitorous, how ungodly
Can this world of vermin be!

(From Modest Proposal and other Rhymes for the Times, SAHMAT, Delhi, 2000.)