DALIT GIRL By Dr Mou Mukherjee Das

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Sep 25 2018 4.00

 

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.

 

About the Author                     

 

A media educator, media literacy trainer and a freelancer author and a poet by passion, I have fourteen years of teaching experience in both private and government run colleges and universities. Besides being an educator, I have published several articles in reputed media and management journals like the Indian Police Journal, Vidura-Press Institute journal, Global Media Journal-Indian edition. And chapters in edited books under reputed publications house. I won the best paper award while working on social media and opinion management in an International conference in the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur (NIT, Durgapur) and has been invited to present my research paper on environment in Indian Institute of Technology (IIT, Guwahati) , and on social media and formation of opinion in public sphere in Indian Institute of Management,(IIM) Joka and MICA (Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad). I am also actively engaged with the Jharkhand State Child Protection Society, Ranchi under the Government of India scheme- ICPS (Integrated Child Protection Scheme) as a resource person and had been a part of the different workshops organized to provide training to the various stakeholders like members of the Juvenile Board, Child Welfare Committee, District Child Protection unit, and various other NGO’s working for child protection and child rights. I was the Review Editor of American Marketing Educators Conference 2015, 2016 and the Guest Editor of Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly in 2015 -a highly acclaimed journal on Mass Communication by Sage Publications. An Associate member of PRSI. (Public Relations Society of India) Kolkata chapter, I have been invited by them to train the media students on communication, crisis management, corporate communications, devising communication and branding strategies and media management in a unique programme called BTCR (Beyond The Class Room). I have written Self Learning Materials on Rural Development Communication and Media Management under Orissa State Open University. I am presently engaged in media literacy workshops and have conducted a few in the schools of Kolkata which also coincides with my interest and active participation from 2013-2015 in UNICEF supported programme on media literacy called The Peace Gong, in India as an advisory board member. I can be contacted via mail: mou.mukherjeedas@gmail.com