• Let the Monk of Love Become the Country’s Prime Minister!

    Translated from Kannada by Suma Embar

    Ranganatha Kantanakunte

    May 30, 2019

    They say that the country's PM works for 18 hrs,
    Like a machine!
    No need–
    Let him work just 8 hours as our workers do.
    Let him rest when tired,
    Sleep when sleepy,
    Smile when he dreams, like a baby,
    Enjoy the beloved's hug.
    Let him not set fire on those who are in embrace.

    Let a human being become our PM instead of a machine!

    They say the PM has no family!
    That he doesn't make money or property.
    No, I wish our PM has a family.
    Let him work & earn some money and property to take care of his family,
    Let him stop spending people’s money on globetrotting.
    Let him have children, grandchildren… a huge family.
    Let him know what relationships mean,
    Let him not raise the cost of fuel that cooks the poor man's food,
    Let him be aware of the price of salt, millet, jowar, maize, vegetables.
    Let him know how our farmers sweat to earn a few paise,
    And let him handcuff those who steal the fruit of the sweat.
    Let him first realise that beef is part of the nation's food culture,
    And that a man's life is more sacred than a piece of beef.

    They say our PM's chest measures so many inches…
    But no, to become a human you don't need a 100 inch chest,
    Doesn't matter if he has a heart, the size of a tiny sparrow, parrot or crow.
    Let him consider all as his own.
    Let him love people,
    Let him not be a cruel beast who divides, kills and rules!

    They say our PM is a good speaker,
    That he can speak for hours.
    No, it’s OK even if our PM doesn't speak.
    Let him not attack his opponents in fury,
    Let his words not sow fear in anybody's heart,
    Let him have a heart to listen to the twitter of birds and lovers' whispers.
    Let him be aware that no crown sits on one's head forever,
    Let him be a people's leader having won their love,
    Let him not talk of atom bombs,
    So we don't see a self-glorifying monster on the country's throne.

    They say our PM is the upholder of our Dharma!
    No…
    No religion has uplifted people in this world till now.
    We don't need a religion for that.
    What people need is work and water to quench their thirst and fatigue.
    A peaceful town.
    Food, cloth, shelter and knowledge.
    Work is the religion of workers.

    Let the monk who walks barefoot on the path of the religion of love, be our PM.
    May the light of Buddha Purnima become the light of our people.

    Read the Kannada original here.


    Ranganatha Kantanakunte is currently an Assistant Professor in Kannada in Government First Grade College, Honnavara, Uttara Kannada district. Sore Doniya Geeta, Nadiya Teera Nadige, Godeya Chitra, Deva Negilu and Hoovina Bete are his five poetry collections. He has also published an analysis of the works of the prominent Kannada writer Rehmath Tarikere. He has edited two books – Sene Illada Kadana and Oodina Jaadu. He is also a regular contributor to prominent Kannada dailies such as Prajavani, Udayavani and Vijaya Karnataka.

    Suma Embar currently teaches at the Department of English in Government First Grade College, Kuvempu Nagar, Mysore. 

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