ಗೌರ್ಮೆಂಟ್ ಬ್ರಾಹ್ಮಣ | Government brahmana

Rangaayana Shivamogga presents
Government Brahmin Based on the autobiography of
Prof. Aravinda Malagatti What a beautiful
and colorful peacock!! What a beautiful
and colorful peacock!! It went up the banyan tree
and jupmed… It plucked the banyan seeds When the watchman came chasing,
it opened its wings and it danced It went into a banana grove
and ate bananas It ate raw bananas as well When the watchman chased it,
it opened its wings and it danced I want to clarify something By turning some pages
of my life for you, I have no illusion of
being called ‘great’ I am an ordinary man But it doesn’t mean the experiences
are that of a common man But I can’t keep from saying these
are experiences of a common dalit I have all the desires, dreams
and lacunae that a dalit can have You might have seen
Aravinda Malagatti wearing white But you haven’t seen
Maali’s childhood Some of his classmates have
distanced themselves address me with respect However close he tries to go,
they maintain a distance They don’t talk to him as their
Maali nor do they tease hm… Reason? They have an illusion
that he is a colossal man now Hence I would like to
read out my life and I would like to
be the first reader… (Lullaby) (Lullaby continued) Ours is an undivided family Four generations are
living together even now We have some land and a house Can’t complain that
we lived a lowly life If you go low on food and clothing,
you can earn something Otherwise you die with nothing According to this
philosophy of my grandma, my people sold the
land and the house If we share the property with
this undivided family, individuals don’t
even get a handful “How do you feel like
teaching all this?” -some have questioned My own father, that is my uncle… after learning about
the subject of my novel, YOU….! Why should you write about
our women drinking etc? Isn’t it like insulting ourselves? We move around with great people you should write about that… Instead, you write useless stuff !! He questioned and lectured If our undivided family
has remained such.. …the reason is my uncle… When my father died
of a scorpion bite, he educated us, and
gave us a foothold Though he is our uncle, we call him
“dad” with love Who should call
Dr.Malagatti a dalit now?? Many raised this question
in a gathering as well I have secretly felt happy
listening to the discussion Because I have conditioned my
existence to raise such questions There was a time… To show that I have read Marxism I wouldn’t shave and
I would wear khadi clothes I would carry a book
or two about Marxism and I would move around
with a bag on the shoulder During that time, (A voice) What is the point in
giving facilities to lowly people? They will never give up
their true nature! Those insulting words challenged my self respect Whatever I am, they
defined my existence Given an opportunity a dalit can
live to tread upon the slanderers to clarify all this, I have curtailed many of my desires and steadied my existence When such questions are
raised in seminars, I have had the last laughter (Lullaby) Gold cradle and silver rings Gold cradle and silver rings cradle the handsome Krishna cradle the handsome Krishna Finished the sweet dish You insist on food,
he insists on crying You insist on food,
he insists on crying (Lullaby) In our childhood, our friend,
philosopher, guide who made us grow step by step
is our Aayi Without her, it is as though
our childhood doesn’t exist She has been such an integral
part of our childhood The responsibility of feeding us
and bringing us up in all these, our Aayi plays a
bigger role than our parents Even when I was employed, I have slept with her
thighs as pillow and dug up her life experience Though old, she still had the
natural shyness of a woman smiling, at times raging,
and coy at times she would narrate stories
of her experience and make me dumbfounded Is this hair or something else tie it nicely, he would say no
(lullaby) Her multifaceted personality has
made me insignificant Respect for her, grew multifold Before I could think of losing her, I lost her and it was a huge loss I had many more questions! I wanted to tell her so much! Everything remained as
puzzles in our hearts Her harsh experiences would make me look
like flying dry leaves I have lived four score years I will live for another twenty But she disappeared suddenly! I wanted to write as a
character in her biography Now she is a character
in my autobiography I am so sad !! A sparrow has built a nest Where has it gone after
leaving a life in it? A sparrow has built a nest Where has it gone after
leaving a life in it? Oh all knowing God! Why does it forget
the fluid of life? Flowing water sings a song Flowers and paddy
have drowned in it Flowing water sings a song Flowers and paddy
have drowned in it Oh dear God…! You know its tune… You know its tune You know its tune… There were three rich and famous
families in our town One was Shedji another was Marathis third was Veerashaivas Veerashaivas dominated
the work at Shedji’s houses At Marathis homes,
muslims were strong We think there was competition
among themselves It was evident when they
donated for charity …and while building houses We could see their
richness when someone was born or died in their houses Other families had other practices
But these would stand out So we used to be happy
when someone died ! Someone died in a
Veerashaiva family While taking the body to the
burial ground with an orchestra, traditionally, they
throw money on the body It could also be a
status symbol for them Who is dead and where? Who is following the tradition… I do not know how my
granny found out She would find out all
sources of income Probably they observed us carefully
while the body was taken They would lift the body
only after we reached It was the duty of dalits to pick
the money thrown on the body What is the value of their
money if dalits didn’t exist? They should throw money.
It should… fall under the feet
of the followers They should cross and
atone their sins Once they trample it,
we should take it!!! The highest of the coins
would be five paise one and two paise and holed coins
would be the majority Richest would have ten paise
coins as highest There was no limit to our happiness
when we got bigger coins! Aayeee, Aayeee… How much did you bring? So much! And you? And you?! -Only so much?
-Yes, that’s what I got Didn’t get lots. See empty pockets! I didn’t keep any… Empty! She applied turmeric to the king They went to Krishnaraya I will be back… Apart from eating at last rites, attending faires and weddings and
eating there is another job Wedding food or food at a fair we would know 2-3 weeks in advance One such occasion… was the wedding of
Shedji’s only daughter I heard they will
feed the whole town! -Chicken lunch!
-Chicken lunch?! Mysorepak, rice, rasam!! I’ll be back… For us, rice and rasam
were special food We would get it just
once or twice a year Just once or twice… If too many people turn up, we
may not get food. Take this Come back soon Dalits from nearby villages also
had come to attend the wedding For food that is… Hence dalits were many in number The wedding hall was huge.
It had two gates One at the front,
another at the back We had no entry from the fron gate My granny is a little talkative and energetic too! She would protect us like a hen
would take care of her brood Shedji’s appearance was like God’s As I said, the rich would dominate They would stand with
a stick in their hand They would use it to beat dogs
and pigs and to beat us as well Dalits would be allowed to eat
after the whole town ate Therre weere so many Dalits
there… My granny used to say… Too many people today…
minimum three rounds! There was a team from a caste
lower than us as well They were not connected to
any of these communities Hence they would be fed after us They had different sects as well We were disgusted by them They had made begging
as their profession They would follow certain rules
in such functions The gatekeeper would
tell us the rules and let us in Don’t take too much food Take only what you can eat here Don’t take it home After food, dip your
hand in the colorpot Understand?! These rules didn’t apply to all Citizens were served
on a banana leaf Dalits who ate once, should not return for food again hence the dip in color water Much like indelible
ink during elections Dalits were experts in
breaking such rules! The color would disappear if
you rubbed on your pants They would go for the
last round again Sometimes if you are caught,
they would push us out Sometimes we would laugh… Sometimes crying… we would get out While at lunch, my granny
would tell the server My grandchildren are too young
They eat slowly -Serve them a little more
-ok…don’t take it home! No, never! She would get more food Hey old lady, did you pack food? -let it be…
-open it and show… Told you there is nothing!
That is how I wear my saree -looks different?
-open it and show… What will you see? See… As though he is rich on his own The giver and takers
of food are somewhere Look at his ego! Mysore pak…(sweets) He wants to search me! He ate the humble pie! Touch the back of your hands
like you do namaskara Then intertwine the fingers Done? Now your left fingers
are on the right palm and the right on the left.
Correct? Keep a distance between the
floor and your legs hang from a peg on the wall Done? No, not that way The peg should be
between your fingers Yes…that way How long would you
hang without tears? This is how I was punished
in primary school and to many of my friends too You couldn’t slip
and fall from here Cry and plead… There was no point in begging The more we plead, the angrier
our teacher would get He had a stick in his hand He would get only our
buttocks to beat After eating free food, his buttocks are like tabla It is like Golgumbaz of Bijapura He would take home the free food
More than what we got to eat… Our pants had no buttons it was useless if we had… In one pant, four people like me
could have fitted Those were police shorts! So it would take the support
of our waist chain or they would have
been tied by a roap The teacher would beat
the Golgumbaz drums I would scream and wriggle Since I was facing the wall, my nose would hit the wall and burn Since I was hanging from the peg, my abdomen would thin down
and the rope… couldn’t hold and
the pant came down It was an unwatchable movie
for the kids in class Their laughter would increase
with my crying and… beating… would be stronger Swollen buttocks!! Black buttocks! It would be difficult
to sit on the floor I have brought my friends down too The list can grow… Do you know why we were punished? Not because we didn’t do homework Not even because we are dirty Before the school prayer,
we should mop the school If we don’t, this
was the punishment We were 4 in our
class from our area They would write on the black board
whose turn it was to mop They probably hated
writing our names They would distort our names Earlier, the teacher
would write the names Later it was deligated
to class ministers Mopping job was given
only to us dalits There were benches long
enough to seat 4-5 Lifting them and
mopping wasn’t easy -we used to get angry
-because we couldn’t sit on them! Four of us used to sit on the floor So while mopping, we used to
drop the benches… -I will not go to school
-Why? They sit on the bench. We have to
sit on the fllor. I will not go What can we do selling timber? You sit and it will hurt you I will stitch a new blanket for you I will stitch a new mat for you Teach me oh great
teacher, teach me… Teach me oh great
teacher, teach me… Teach me to tell the
truth amidst lies Teach me to be selfless
among the selfish Teach me to tell the
truth amidst lies Teach me to be selfless
among the selfish Teach us to be brave
amongst cowerds Teach me to be intelligent
among the rascals Teach me oh great
teacher, teach me… Look! His pant can fit four…big pant!! Then I got angry with my pants,
on my mat…everything It brought helpless tears… They didn’t distort my name Since my name was Aravinda, They were not happy
when they distorted it Hence they used my second name They would write just Maalakatti Sometimes they would write
Katti (donkey) Once I tried to correct it too From somewhere, teacher
came into the class Immediately took out the stick What if it is written as katti? You want to make it gatti? Since he can write,
he goes to war… Donkey is a donkey…
will it ever become a horse? Why does the donkey need horsegram? and he beat me to his satisfaction Even if the world abuses me please teach me to trust you Even if the world abuses me please teach me to trust you Teach me there is
no shame in crying Teach me there is
no shame in crying Teach me to laugh at myself Teach me to laugh at myself Teach me to excel in humanity Teach me to melt in humanity Teach me to be smart Teach me to be smart I was born after 7 children My parents brought me up like a boy What could your grandpa do? He would pant to bring
a bucket of water I would bring one pot on my head
and one on my waist People used to say
“A daughter should be like you” When I was young, I
used to eat everything My mother sent a buffallo with me
when I got married So that her daughter can eat well
and live happy There was nothing in this house
when I came into it Everything was hanging
in the air… Buffallo is very naughty It ran around and made me run too I almost lost my legs (Swears) We did not have a bull
to cross with the buffallo There were bulls in our
neighboring village Those bulls were maitained by
leaders of the village One village was closer to us It was decided to take
the buffallo there Raising a bull was a
status symbol for Mr.Desai The only job of that bull is to
cross with the female and be ready for a fight He would be the king
of not just the bulls but of nearby
villages as well So the bulls of these leaders
had high demand! (Popular movie song) Mother… mother… Who is it? Have you brought the cattlefeed? -Yes madam.
-How much have you brought? There is only a little here No mam…there are 2 kgs… Did men accompany you on the way? You have brought a little boy? Can he hold a buffallo? What will he hold? I will hold it. You need not come with us.
Please let the bull loose Who is it? What is it? Malagatti Yallavva Go inside (popular Kannada song) Namasthe Sir! I had told you earlier We have castrated him We can’t cross him. I told you Please don’t say that, please We have come a long distance May you be blessed with
grandchildren like mine No means no. Go back home Please Sir…please It was of no use Then her mouth opened She started beating and yelling
at the buffallo Buffallo started pulling around and made noises and the bull responded
from inside!! Conversation started He had closed the door and left Granny beat the buffallo again! It started running Granny also ran with it Owners of the bull were
in peels of laughter (popular song continues) From there we came to Desai’s house But it was the same case there Someone told granny something Then our direction
changed completely! The way led to Desai’s groves His cattle were on the
way to the groves Our buffallo made noises The bull heard it and responded Bull was trying to escape Our buffallo ran at once The bull followed our buffallo and then they disappeared (another popular song) In the morning, in our backyard, Desai’s bull and our buffallo were in the shed, together The winds of love are blowing In the cowsheds and neighborhood Crossing the border, Let us be friends let us be friends Oh my partner…! Oh my partner! Fences of untouchability and the walls of caste
and religion… Let us cross and go higher let us fly high…oh my partner! Oh my partner!! In our area, each one has a story There was anarea of prostitutes Our houses were
adjecent to each other My age was that of a
primary school student There was a teenaged girl
enthusiastic like a deer! Of course she was in our area When I started going to college,
this is what I felt about her She is an ordinary dark girl Beautiful figure Though not too tall, She seemed to have shared the
features of all our grannies So people from neighboring
villages also would come to have a look I had a connection with this
teenager from my childhood If she went to draw water, I would go with her with a rope I would do it for the
laddos she bought!! She might have missed some
of the routine at home words didn’t miss When I went back after MA, she used to scratch her body like a
dog that caught tics She had the history of all our
leaders hidden in her heart Our area would come alive at night It would be deserted during day Drinking, screaming, cursing, mud slinging, battles by pulling
hair, swearing… everything would happen In our area, if there were some educated ones,
it was in our house It was identified
as Malagatti’s area The dearest place for my study was
Padmaavathi hill I would pay respects
to you everyday Pay respect to the Jain feet Just as parrots remember
flowers and fruits I would remember the Sun! Initially only one person used to
go there for reading Sometimes he would
take me for company His name isIttappa
he works for a bank now His reading habit inspired me Once he completed studies,
I used to go alone Now it is a holy place for readers I feel proud when I see many
people reading on the hill Earlier they used
to tease my friends He will be seen in
a frame tomorrow!! Hey Mr.Frame… come on! He would get a rank and he would be
on papers was their point Once I started passing every year,
they followed me People from my area followed me People of the village followed
them to Padmaavathi hill Just as good people remember saints I would remember the holy feet! Like a good woman thinking
about her husband I would remember the
mother of learning I normally read at night Electric bulb had just
enetered our village But not into anyone’s house hence I would study
under a street lamp If the supply failed, I would read
with a kerosene lamp One day the lamp post
didn’t swtich on I complained to the
local authorities Next day it glowed Within the next two
days, the bulb fused I went to the Panchayat again and pleaded for the bulb How many times have you complained? Do you read or play with the pole? No Sir, the wire might
be loose in the pole It may be fine if tightened Go and tell KV team Tell him this would
be the last time next day the bulb glowed! (Popular song on loudspeaker) Who could it be? How did I harm
them for troubling me like this? Villagers didn’t want people
studying under a lamp post especially to the rich of the town people who go to
prostitutes at night wanted me to move from there They tried to disguise themselves
in many ways, but they would fail Though studying under the lamp post
was a curse to the dwellers, the troubles inspired me further
to study at night Even now, I like reading at night There is a stunning
connection between… …a dalit area and the
customs of the place These connections work
negatively for dalits …and positively for others “Dalits have been given the
opportunity to serve in all areas” saying this, they sink
a double edged sword Just like lower level employees
are hired in a Democratic set up earlier it was for
traditionally low jobs I would like to narrate such a
heart rending tradition Shravana month’s water jet fights
in our community brings joy to some of our women Some would be sad Water jet fights in
Bidirkundi was famous Our women would take
part in the tradition Tradition is like this… Dalit women should wear no tops
but only a saree with split legs It would cover just
the waist and head In their hand, there would be thin, long sticks There is an opposite team as well It would consist of non brahmin,
non dalit men They would wear a
waist length dhoti Usually the men would
be rogues of the town You can see usused
pits near temples The water jet sport happens
around these pits Men would bring water
and spray it on women The women, despite the saree
falling off their head, run and try to beat the
men with the stick Wet body, full bosoms and thighs… everything is in the open To the salivating audience and to the itching players
it was free entertainment The red and yellow colored water
splashing on the women has been captured on Eastman color This sport has to
happen every year! Otherwise there will be no rains Crops will catch a disease There will be plague Shani God will torture us Such beliefs exist In the name of beliefs
Dalit women and men are victimised Run run run… People who rape women and
turn them into prostitutes use these tactics to
protect themselves Don’t these women have dignity? They have dignity just as our wives When will they ever
get that thought? In the guise of tradition these men still watch this
eastman color event Will they ever play this game
with their wives in public? Will they ever play in public? One or the other day women of this land will go on a procession Will go on a procession Breaking all lies lighting lamps will go on a procession They will remove everything
that covers the body and scream They will free themselves They will be on the
streets of this land They will go on a procession They will go on a procession

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