We give our children to the God Khandoba .
Offer them to Yellama,Shantdurga
Of our own will!
Make our daughters lie beneath men!
We mother-fuckers like dumb beasts
Hock our lives.
We know what’s going wrong
But what can we do?
Our ancestors did the same thing
We are doing today.
Our children will inherit that same thing.
When there was Ramraj on earth
Rama used his sword against Shambak!
Our eyes were shut then, too.
Oh, we do plead with you
Don’t let those tears flow for us.
Oh hands clasped, we beg of you
Don’t be the least distressed on our behalf.
Don’t wash the stinking rags of our lives-
One day each year!
We are naked already.
Don’t strip us in front of the whole world.
Translated by Sylvia Martinez,S.K. and Vimal Thorat and Eleanor Zelliot
Note: Untouchables traditionally have been among the chief donors of children to serve various gods and goddesses, with the result that many become prostitutes. This reference to Rama is from the Ramayana, in which Rama killed a Shudra for listening to the Vedas.