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The King Among Paupers

The dog chases the

Cat and harries,

The cat in turn chases

The mouse and tortures,

The oppressed too

Opress, the depressed

Too depress, the harassed

Too harass,

Fair Harijans, of what God are you children,

When you bear upon your lives

The weight of your oppressor,

And chop out even more divisions,

For you to play with?

What is the difference

Between the washerman and

The barber, and the sweeper?

One cleans the street (the most honorable),

One cleans the attires of other mortals

And one shaves Heads and underarms!

No! no one is downtrodden,

Nobody a low caste,

And if you think someone is

Then I think it is you!


(First published in Kritya Poetry Journal)


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