I am not your data | ನಾನು ನಿಮ್ಮ ಅಂಕಿ ಅಂಶವಲ್ಲ | Abhay Xaxa/ಅಭಯ್ ಖಾಖಾ

Sociologist and activist Abhay Xaxa has written this poem that I found deeply illuminating for many privileged folks like myself who work with Adivasi communities. Since the poem in English is not accessible to many of my Kannada-speaking colleagues & collaborators, with help from Latha Chilgod, we produced a crude Kannada translation of the poem. A dream to set it to tune in Kannada one day, perhaps with help from some of the amazing Adivasi musicians here in Chamarajanagar…one day….meanwhile, below is our Kannada translation and further down is the original in English that I believe was first published in Roundtable India.

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Social embellish

Whose son you are

Whose you’re not

Daughter not by any

Coupling double Xs

The neighbourhood, The house

the hand that rocked the cradle

the hand that didn’t

love that wasn’t

The unfair social embellish

Over one’s random gene bounty

For one brings luck

For another just muck

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Pachelbel’s Canon in D

Thanks to GSK & ASM for sharing this with me.

More than a fantasy

Arrogance of benevolence

How often do you wonder

If your work is worthy at all?

If your work touches, cares and feels,

raises, improves…even transforms?

This thought torments, troubles & weighs

Pulls, weakens & preys

And rightly so…for what else

Can check the arrogance of benevolence

February 11, 2021
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