• In the Name of a Cow

    Maya Krishna Rao

    Maya Krishna Rao delivered a powerful performance during the "Not In My Name" protest at Jantar Mantar, Delhi on 28 June 2017. She wrote the script and brought it to light in less than two days, over 27 and 28 June.
    Image Courtesy: Chandan Gomes


    Not In My Name
    In the name of a cow, my cow, you strike a knife through me
    And In the name of Make in India you make me run, 
    snatch the food from my mouth, 
    chase me out of my home…..
    One day, in the name of Jaimata you’ll drive, 
    Drive, drive a tank hard over me
    Swachch bharat ke naam pe mera safaya kar loge?
    Chasme pe likh doge, tho Gandhiji ko Samajhjaoge?
    Paliya Swachchta, Swadeshi, Swaraj, Ram Rajya?
    Tum kya jano Ram ka naam?
    Tum kya jano Siyaram?
    Tum kya jano,
    No, you’ll never know
    What Jesus died on the cross for
    What the Prophet fled his home for
    What Budhha’s 8-fold path was
    That Ram’s other name
    That we greet each other
    Every morning….
    Jai Siyaram Jai Siyaram
    That simply writing on Gandhi’s spectacles
    Gives you not sight, no vision
    Blind Blind
    Turning a blind eye is a far, far cry from turning the other cheek
    Izzat bachane ke nam pe
    Bataoge mujhe kya pehnna hai?
    Saath kiske rehna hai, Dua kisse mangna hai?
    Gau raksha ke naam pe roti mere haath
    se chheen loge?
    Chuppi saadh ke muh modloge?
    Aur nahi, mere naam pe nahi
    Chchoona mat mere chasme, kehte hain Gandhi
    Yes don’t you dare
    Not in my name
    But don’t you dare
    In the name of Allah, Krishna, Buddha, Jehovah,
    Kalburgi, Pehlu Khan, Dhabolkar, Mohd Akhlaq, Pansare….

    One last kiss….
    You hear? Can you hear?
    How come not a sound escapes your, their lips
    In the name of making your India
    28 Sept.2015 – 3 days after Eid
    Mohammad Akhlaq, a farm worker, asleep in a room next to his 22-year-old son, Danish
    7 days after Gandhi’s birthday, Zahid Rasool Bhatt, petrol bombs thrown on his truck
    Jan. 14 On the very day of Makar Sankranti, Pongal, Bihu several passengers on a train attaked, Harda distt, MP
    Feb. 20 Muslim cops trashed, forced to carry a saffron flag, chant Jai Bhawani
    You’ll make me run, snatch the food from my mouth, chase me out of my home, kill my son on a train…
    For him one last kiss
    All he had in his bag were gifts
    Not in my name
    Mere nam pe nahi
    Lelo chashme wapas,
    you hear him?…. Gandhi
    In the name of making your India you’ll make me run, snatch the food from my mouth, chase me out of my home, kill my son on a train, slit my brother’s neck in a truck…..
    6 days before Holi, 2 cattle traders hanged
    Apr 5, 10 days before Ram NavamiMustain Abbas shot dead
    7 days before Ind. Day two brothers in Andhra tied to a tree, thrashed for skinning a dead cow
    Apr 1, 13 days before Ambedkar Jayanti, Pehlu Khan
    attacked, died, for illegally transporting buffalo
    Don’t you dare take my name
    Not in my name, never in my name
    When all he did was save his cattle from
    dying on the streets, make shoes,  sell her,
    feed his family, keep them from dying
    in the streets.
    When all he had in his bag were sweets,
    gifts for his sister, brother, mother.
    Will you wipe us all clean?
    Where are you, Bilkis?
    One last ….
    In the name of making your India you’ll make me run, snatch my cattle, my  food from my mouth, chase me out of my home, kill my son on a train, slit my brother’s neck in a truck,……you…you
    You can you hear?
    Does a sound….
    All in the name of a cow
    My cow
    Not your cow, my cow
    For her I gave hard earned money,
    Fed her, cared for her, milked her
    And when she’s ready to go
    You'll let her die on the street,
    Let her bleed, let me bleed?
    Not in my name
    No no no, not in her name
    Chashme pe likh lete ho to samjh lete ho
    Nazar pa liya?
    You turn a blind eye
    I’ve turned my other cheek
    Time after time
    So it's like this –
    If I’m a student, whose brother wears a uniform and fights for his country you throw fake video tapes in my face and tell me, we’ll teach you who a patriot is
    If I’m a woman you tell me wear what we tell you, walk when we tell you, marry who we tell you,
    you asked for it so raped you will be
    If I’m a farmer you tell me – jai kisan nahi, jai jawan
    If I’m a child you tell me it doesn’t matter, you don’t need to know who your first prime minister was,
    I’ll give you fresh spectacles, read what I tell you.
    If I’m a nobody you’ll still get after me
    Tell me what to eat, who to meet, when to play
    Hey, I say –
    You’ll never know my name
    Yes, you’ll never know my name!
    If I’m a cow you’ll let me die on the street,
    Let me bleed, my master bleed
    Feeeed, what do you feed on?
    breeed, do you only breed…… hate?
    Not in my name
    Don’t you dare
    Not in that child’s name
    You’ll never know that child’s name
    Mere naam mere naam pe nahi, kabhi nahi
    Lelo Chashme wapas, hear him? Gandhi
    You hear? Can you hear?
    How come not a sound escapes their  lips
    For him one last kiss
    Not in my name…bass
    All he had in his bag were gifts
    Sab ke saath, sab ka vikas
    So, so so I pray,
    Oh god, may I be born next a goat,
    not a cow, not  human,
    You won’t chase me, lynch me, teach me, bleed me
    Make me, make India,
    Apr. 21. 7 days after Ambedkar Jayanti, a family, a small girl elderly attacked, beaten in J&k
    And it goes on….
    June 22, 4 days before Eid, Junaid….
    June 27, yesterday, Usman Ansari, Deori, ranchi, thrashed
    For a dead cow found outside his housssssse
    Don’t you dare
    Not in her name, not in mine
    Not his, not hers
    Don’t you dare
    All he had in his bag were gifts
    His, hers, yours, theirs
    You kill in the name of country
    Stand up, Stand up India
    Look, there’s Saira
    There’s Bilkis, there’s Dhabolkar, Usman Ansari, 
    Pehlu Khan, Pansare
    Yes in his name, in hers, Bilkis
    In his and hers, and ours
    Get on a train, a truck, walk into the park,
    Fill the streets
    You hear….can you hear?
    There’s a roar….. a shor
    Today in my name
    A last kiss
    They shall not pass
    (give many flying kisses….at the last one -)
    Don’t you dare – you’ll never catch that kiss


    Maya Krishna Rao is a pioneer in theatre and currently Professor at Dept. of Education, Shiv Nadar University.

    Donate to the Indian Writers' Forum, a public trust that belongs to all of us.