May we tell our children about our history,
our family histories
that our ancestors were treated worse than animals
were denied basic dignity
and that it still hasn’t changed much.
May we tell our children that the histories they read in school
are conveniently manipulated and distorted to extend the propaganda of those in power
tell them that Gandhi was not a Mahatma after all. And many others like him
and let them read Ambedkar and Phule and Periyar.
May we tell our children to not hide their identity but to take pride in it
may we tell them that reservation is their right and
no one has the right to make them think they don’t belong where they are.
May we tell our children that the world won’t be fair to them,
but they have the power to change it
May we tell them that we need revolution and that we do not need to take up arms
but books, that we need to learn and unlearn
and most importantly, question.
May we tell our children that the shame imposed on our last names that
keeps weighing us down is a ploy
because the moment we realize
that our last names carry nothing but
the strength and power to rise,
it becomes impossible to stop us.
May we tell our children that they can’t be stopped,
that we can’t be stopped as long as we are all together and united.
May we never stop. And we will never stop.
Pranjali Kureel is a student, currently pursuing MA in Social work (Dalit and Tribal studies and Action) at Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.