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Printed from https://www.writing.com/main/view_item/item_id/2133703-AHIMSA
Rated: 13+ · Poetry · Contest Entry · #2133703
Mahatma Gandhi preached non-violence. In first person, but not biographical (Winner Cramp)
They tease me because I'm a Harijan
And they're all Brahmin
I thought we'd put that behind us
I thought caste-ism was now a sin.

But they tease and they bully
I'm not allowed so many things
I can't touch the water-cooler
It's like I'm a slave and they're kings.

They make me crawl on the floor
When they are walking by
They hit me with big sticks
And mock me when I cry.

"Don't let your shadow fall on us,
For it is covered in grime ..."
The government allows me to study
Why is my presence here a crime?

The college has a quota system
For people of my origin
But you know, I secured good marks
A scholarship I did win.

I haven't taken any hand-outs
I'm here on my merit
And as for all the bullying
Well, I guess I have to bear it.

I won't stoop to their level
I won't retaliate
Instead, I'll surprise them
I'll give them love for their hate.

There is a competition
I'll represent my college
I'll win the handsome trophy
With my deep general knowledge.

It has happened -- I've won!
Our college's claim to fame
Look at the newspapers!
Wow -- there I see my name.

They've stopped teasing now
Everyone's so friendly
I'm glad I followed 'AHIMSA'
As preached by Mahatma Gandhi.

Explanation of some of the words used:

Harijans are the 'lowest' caste in the Hindu caste system, and are considered impure because they do the work of cleaning dirty places (like bathrooms). Gandhiji named them 'Hari - Jans' or 'God's Children' in an effort to take the stigma off their caste.

Brahmins are at the top of the caste system.

Ahimsa is the non-violent approach preached by Gandhiji.

WRITTEN FOR "The Writer's Cramp, in response to the quote:
“We explain when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you do not stoop to their level. Our motto is when they go low, you go high.” Former First Lady Michelle Obama

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