Dalith Tigers – long poem/song by Gaddar


Tigers are they, Dalit Tigers are they.

Fighters are they who fought

The feudal fiefs of Karamchedu

Standing their ground and withstanding.

The ferocity of lords-firm and straight

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

On the fingers of Karamchedu, there’s a hamlet

the hamlet is a paraiah quarter

the paraiah quarter is the Madiga hamlet

the Madiga hamlet mothers all the other (dalit) castes

the Malas, the muslims, the stone-cutting earth-filling

vadderas take refuge in the large heart of the narrow hamlet


The hamlet harms o enemy who he seeks refuge

Showers its affection, provides food in

The face of poverty,

The mere mention of Madiga’s hamlet

Makes the Kamma lords shiver in their parts.

When the heavy iron clubs flourish in the air

The Doras get jittery; piss in utter fear

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

Let there be ten million troubles

Come what may, they will ever swerve

This way or that from the promises made

Let them be paying interest on interest to the money-lenders.


Let them break their back with the burden of the complicated interest compounded

Come what may – they remain loyal

Become earth of the earth, soil of the soil

Will fill the fat grain –banks of the hefty landlords

With the paddy grown in their sweat and blood

Will fail to fill their stomach and go hungry

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

From aeons and ancient times

They lived keeping faith in the soil

Made fertile the land with blood

Watered the standing crop with sweat

Breathed life into the cotton plants

Provided fertilizer to the transplanted sapling.

But ow tured into daggers I bowels

Of sex-maniac caste Kamma lords.


Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

Bodies and souls that were born

and raised in the poor hutment

earthy creatures dirty creatures

animals that do not protest-do

what you like – bat them, curse them

bash their persons up, thrash their bodies.

Violate their sisters, round up their mothers, do

What you like-they daren ‘t open their mothers, do

In the name of fate, I the name of Christ

Remain mum, boiling hearts

fiery coals covered I ash

rise up as tongues of flame and

gut down the guts of the maniac masters.

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

Bull –lime young men-trained din

Stick –fighting and club wielding

Learnt the art of education

Can they bear if somebody were to call

“eh, you fellow!” will demand words

Just and straight.

Will wash their clothes, roughly

To keep them spick and span ad fragrant like jasmine.

Will watch over their hamlet.

Through-not possessing land or gardens

Will always possess self-respect as their property.

Sit in a chair and sip their own coffee

Can the lords bear to see this and suffer?

“we haven’t robbed anybody’s paternal property

But eat our own earning our own way”-they say

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

Thousand thousand acres under canal water

Held in the hand of Kamma landlords…

Despite ‘ceiling’ and land reforms- their hands

Lost no inch of land.

Tobacco leaves added to their ego

Cotton fields aggravated their pride

Cinema field brought interest on interest

“collections” and dizzy heights showed them the stars.

Dare to challenge the Kamma lordism? Wait

And see… Dead bodies will float on the canal waters

Tigers of the Madiga palle did challenge the lords,

Dalit tigers proved ‘thorn in their flesh’,…

The support and sustenance of the Madiga hamlet,

The spear like Yevasanna

Foot in foot, the six feet man

The strong muscled and brave-hearted

When the elections came he held the collar of the Kamma dora

When the crowbars were ploughed through the throats

Wriggled out jumping: bashed up the Dora-straight in the chest.


Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

Wives of the heroes, the heroic women, Dalit mothers

Born in the bloody soil showed NTR the door

When he came fruits held in his hands

Shot him with questions… doubted his sympathies

“Your people your own near and dear

Who eat fruits and fine things

Who gulp pots of ghee

Watch our young girls

For the pinch of salt in the rich brawn

We people sell our fistfuls of blood,

Do we need your fruits and fine things?

The mosambi fruits of NTR fellow flew into the air

The wives of heroes, the heroic women

Blew away the fruits of NTR

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

Brothers Oh, sisters

Mothers Oh, fathers

You are the heroes

Who couldn’t care less the congress black cash

You are the heros who pushed

The bloody flood brought by NTR into the dustbin

“Alms are not for us” declaring thus

You rewrote history

Brothers, Brothers

Suffering brothers, fighting brothers

Mayanna, porana Hi Ho! Lo Adilabad

See the toiling bodies of Karimnagar

For land for food the brothers there

Took up clubs, sickles

Liberation of dalit lives is in the fight over land

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

The heart of the Madiga palle, darling of

The dispossessed is Duddu vandanam

When he wields the bamboo stick

Daggers rain on the ground.

When he jumps and rotates the club

Thremors throw up all over the mother earth.

Give unto his hand the tiny hand stick

Thousands that my hurry to attack will touch the ground

Will always wage a just war-never

Transgress the rules of the game or wields stick wrongly.


The name of Duddu Vandanam when

Shot through the robbing lords

Make them tremulous and tense

When the wily lords pierce swords

The tight-closed fist of vandanam raises its head in blood

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

In the red of the blood, the colour of the ‘the lightning

Flashes forth…the hero of the hamlet Duddu Ramesh

Catching the sight of catching fire in the hamlet

Flourishes his weapon – and thunders “come

You filthy sons of the wealthy

You’ll see what will be shown to you”

The hero loses torrents of blood, but

Resists the dastardly attacks of the wily cowards.

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers

The 74 year old Tella Moses a ripe old fruit

The crown of the Madiga hamlet

The daring and reckless Tella Muthaiah

Grey in hairs, ripe in years-the ferocious

Farming son…Hadn’t shed tears, never

Touched the enemy’s feet…

When the robbers and thieves pierced knives

Into the life of their bodies… Though

Their blood irrigated the paddy fields

They turned into tongues of flames in the hearts of the lords.

Tigers are they

Dalit Tigers





Transalated by Mullapudi Sreenivasa Prasad


Mullapudi Srinivasa Prasad is now working as Principal of the Degree college, Tanuku and lives in Tanuku. He was born and brought up in Machilipatnam in 1959. Studied in Andhra Loyaola college, Vijayawada and then in CIEFL, Hyderabad. Published short stories and poetry in Telugu. Translated several other Telugu poets too.

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