Namdeo Dhasal

15 Feb 1949
15 Jan 2014
Remembered By debasis-digital
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Namdeo Dhasal was born on February 15, 1949, in a village near Pune, India. A member of the former Mahar class, he grew up in dire poverty. He spent his childhood in Golpitha, a red light district in Mumbai, where his father worked for a butcher. Following the example of the American Black Panther movement, he founded the Dalit Panther with friends in 1972. This militant organization supported its radical political activism with provocative pamphlets. Dhasal was one of the famous and outspoken members of this group.

“Khel I have seen him I have rejected him often My corpse that wanders From town to town Wait in this evening’s glow and stand still A drunk is dialing God’s number Don’t show me such pity That degrades May be our relationship is all spent Shrug your shoulders and get rid of it So that you could Axe this water a couple of times – Namdeo Dhasal,(1983)

” In 1973, he published his first volume of poetry, Golpitha. More poetry collections followed: Moorkh Mhataryane (By a Foolish Old Man) –inspired by Maoist thoughts–; Tujhi Iyatta Kanchi? (How Educated Are You?); erotic Khel; and Priya Darshini (about the former Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi). Dhasal wrote two novels, and also published pamphlets such as Andhale Shatak (Century of Blindness) and Ambedkari Chalwal (Ambedkarite Movement), which was a reflection on the socialist and communist concepts of Dalit movement founder Babasaheb Ambedkar.

Later, he published two more collections of his poetry: Mi Marale Suryachya Rathache Sat Ghode (I Killed the Seven Horses of the Sun), and Tujhe Boat Dharoon Mi Chalalo Ahe (I’m Walking, Holding Your Finger). Recently, Dhasal has been writing columns for the Marathi daily Saamana. Earlier, he worked as an editor for the weekly Satyata. Dhasal was diagnosed with colon cancer and admitted for treatment in a Mumbai hospital in September, 2013.

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