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Namdev Dhasal’s realistic Marathi poetry is like a 1 hard punch

The man asserted that if poetry had not entered his life, he would have become a smuggler or gangster. Namdev Dhasal (15 February 1949-15 January 2014) was born (as untouchable) into a dalit family, one of India's backward classes (castes). Dhasal organized a war in his poetic soul and gathered everyone who had been completely disregarded. His poetry from everyday ...
Lokeish Umak
Lokeish Umak

The man asserted that if poetry had not entered his life, he would have become a smuggler or gangster. Namdev Dhasal (15 February 1949-15 January 2014) was born (as untouchable) into a dalit family, one of India's backward classes (castes). Dhasal organized a war in his poetic soul and gathered everyone who had been completely disregarded. His poetry from everyday life discusses the difficult lives of gangsters, prostitutes, and criminals. Dilip Chitre, Namdev's biographer, explained in his book "Namdev Dhasal - Poet of the Underworld" how and why Namdev's life took the course it did and how it was shaped by rhythmic poetry.

The man eventually learns from the experiences in his life. That I call it pure practical life.Namdev Dhasal

Dhasal played many roles in his real life. Once upon a time he was a taxi driver, alternate day drinking habits, had criminal connections, mate many Tamaskhor (Mujara Dancer), lived in the houses of local prostitutes. Thus, from that experiences, he incorporated reality into his poetry. The face of life that turned into unavoidable circumstances of the practical living. He also told that how untouchables were being treats in India and pen down many poems to awake the human soul of untouchables.

I boozed. I visited brothels, I went to Mujara dancing women’s establishments and the houses of ordinary prostitute. The whole ambience and the ethos of it was the revelation of a tremendous form of life. It was life! Then I thus all the rule books out. No longer the rules of prosody for me. My poetry was as free as I was. I wrote what I feel like writing, and now I felt like writing.

The poet who never had attended any college. However, had tremendous will to learn and acquittances. He was a voracious reader in his leisure time after his taxi driving job. The collection of poems of Namdev, “Golpitha” was the first publication which was published in 1972. Golpitha is nothing but a place in Mumbai famous for the cheapest Bazaar of bodies, where brothels are as blatant as meat markets. However, the most of them are minor girls from all the parts of India. Therefore, they are from scheduled castes and tribes and from the poorest rural families.

namdev dhasal
You left us in 2014 but your revolutionary poems are immortal. | Picture credit to Twitter @scribe_it

Why to hide Reality in poetry of Namdev Dhasal?

Dhasal’s poetry that had settings which revealed local life of Mumbai. Therefore, like Annabhau Sathe, another poet of marathi dalit literature, earlier wrote about untouchables. Dalit literature is nothing but the literary work produced by dalit writers and their community. Namdev in his poetry easily captured the face of native marginal workers in Bombay “as a city of dream” Who actually are the hearts of the city whose keep functioning the world’s famous dream city. Thus, Namdev Dhasal received a Padmashri award as well as the Sahitya Akademi Lifetime Achievement Award for his beautiful work. His Marathi free frank poem talks about how others feels “When I say Jai Bhim”.

Poem “मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला” By Namdev Dhasal

मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला

दोन वर्ग शिकला नसंन

पण मोठा माज आला…

पडुन होता पोयट्यासारखा

घोंगवत होत्या माशा

नवता कपडा आंगावर

खराब होती दशा

आरक्षणच्या माथ्यावर

खुप मोठा साहेब झाला

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला…

खुप होत्या पोथ्या

अन् खुप होते देव

दररोज वात लावुन

म्हणे मले सुखी ठेव

पहील्या वर्गापासुन

खुप सवलत घेत आला…

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला…

नवतं त्याच्या पिढीत

कधी कुणी शिकलं

वावरात नारळ फोडुन

कधी नाही पिकलं

बांधावरचं पाणी

दिमाखानं घेत आला…

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला…

ज्यानं केला राग त्याचा

त्याच्या मागं धावला

त्याच्या सांगण्यावरुन

फोटो नाही लावला

त्याचं जड पारडं

तु हलकं करत आला…

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला…

तुले नवतं माहीत

तु आहे कोण

कायदयाच्या नावानं

करत हात दोन

तु आता कायदा

लोकाले सांगत आला…

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला …

नाही आपली अक्कल

भिमावानी केली

त्याच्या एवढ शिकावं

हिम्मत नाही केली

दम नाही रक्तात

पण जातीभेद करत आला…

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला…

आतातरी सुधर

सोड आता गर्व

धर्मग्रंथाच्या नावानं

करुन दाखव सर्व

माहीत असुन तुले

मस्त नाटक करत आला…

अन् मी जयभिम घेताच तुले मोठा राग आला…
Lokeish Umak

Lokeish Umak

Lokeish Umak writes about his favorite topics, such as essay, poems, health, fitness, nutrition, etc. He also invites guests on his podcast show, "Chronicle Conversations."
View all posts by Lokeish Umak

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