Dalit Girl Poem by Mou Mukherjee Das

Dalit Girl

Rating: 5.0

I was born on a windy night-
When the clock stroke twelve
Under the starry sky,
In a tarpaulin covered tent.
Nothing new happened
Nothing changed
All seemed so very natural and plaintiff.
A woman from some old world
In shaking hands, with quivering voice
Declared my identity
A girl.

The whole world was deep asleep
Barring a few,
Those couple's locked in Lovelace
Thieves stealing into someone's house
New born babies in times of hunger
Crooked people devising strategic moves.
On that uneventful night
I was born.

Few days later my birth certificate
Confirmed once more my identity.
I am a girl.

I was six
My father took me to a village school.
I was once again provided a new certificate
This time by the panchayats
My identity was -
I am a Dalit.

Sitting at a corner in the school
I was banned by the upper caste girls.
In the market place boys maintained a distance.
I wondered why?

My parents stood at the end in the ration line
Waiting for their turn
In the village meeting, my parents were laughed at
for no faults of their own.
I wondered why?

Innocent questions were faced with flak.
With eyes wide, people were flabbergasted at my audacity
Parents felt embarrassed
Neighbors started avoiding.
Beaten, battered, bruised
An attempt was made to put me to silence.

My soul refused the chains.
The pangs of a bonded labor.
Every time.

I was eighteen
I was married off.
My marriage certificate had a new identity.
I am a woman now.
My husband was my guardian.

This time my identity bored
Red vermillion on my forehead
And a cloth on my head covering my face.
And again I wondered why?

Once more I was silenced.
Once more my soul tried to break free.

I am seventy now.
In the verge of death.
but still in place-
My alert mind
My fighting spirit
My unbattered soul
And an yearning to know.

I will be dead few years from now.
My death certificate will once again bear my identity.
I am a dead Dalit woman.

Surprised and hurt
I will never know why-
My certificate never mentioned-
I am a human too.

Dalit Girl
Monday, December 4, 2017
Topic(s) of this poem: gender,society
In India gender stereotypes are rampant and women are often the sacrificial scapegoats of the society. No body is spared -the young and the old; the educated and the uneductaed; the high society and the lower class all are made to feel the same. But the plight of a dalit girl gets all the more compounded due to socio-cultural barriers. The poem reflects the plight of such a dalit girl.
Archana Kumari 16 September 2021

Loved this poem Mou...such an important issue you have raised..

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mou mukherjee das 16 September 2021

Thanks Archana

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Rajnish Manga 07 December 2017

This is not a poem but a slap on the face of our society which flaunts its great ancient culture but at the same time ill treating and discriminating against their womenfolk and persons of a lower caste. A powerful commentary on our society and its hypocrisy. The poem goes into MyPoemList. Thanks.

1 0 Reply
Mou Mukherjee Das 07 December 2017

thanks for the response.

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Jazib Kamalvi 04 December 2017

A sublime start with a nice poem, Mou. You may like to read my poem, Love And Lust. Thank you.

2 0 Reply
Mou Mukherjee Das 04 December 2017

sure. thanks for your comment.

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