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We’re all Bise Nagarchis [Nepal]:
Nepalis are raving about Shrawan Mukarung’s symbolic poem about Prithbi Narayan Shah’s tailor. [...]

Poet Shrawan Mukarung happened to be in Gorkha and watched the Nagarchis forced out of their homes. Something snapped in the poet’s psyche: centuries of exclusion of Nepal’s dalits and janajatis suddenly became focussed in one point of light. Mukarung could express his outrage the only way he knew how: by sitting down to write a poem about the incident.

What he didn’t expect was ‘Bise Nagarchi ko Bayan’ (translated excerpt in box) to be so popular so quickly. At a recital at Gurukul theatre this month, Mukarung read this and other poems to a packed hall. Something unheard of had happened–people paid to listen to poetry and Mukarung made nearly Rs 40,000. Not only is it rare for Nepalis to buy tickets for a poetry recital but the audience clamoured for Mukarung to recite ‘Bise Nagarchi ko Bayan’ over and over again. [...]
Bise Nagarchi’s Account
by Shrawan Mukarung

Master!
The lofty peaks of the Gorkha Kingdom
why have they suddenly shrivelled?
These decent and dignified people
why are they bleeding and bent?
Why has the Daraundi turned around to flow uphill?
Why do I see the Palace in fragments?
I’ve gone mad, I’ve gone mad.

Master!
Does your sword now chop heads, or petals?
I’ve been mistaken.
Does your rifle shoot down dreams, or people?
I’ve been mistaken.
Did your subjects make this kingdom, or you?
I’ve been mistaken.
Master, I’ve been with you now 250 years,
how can I be a terrorist?
I’ve gone mad, Master. Mad.

Excerpt from Bise Nagarchi’s Account translated by Kunda Dixit

And the original.
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