‘Buffalo Procession’ organised by the Black Shirt cadres on the Day of Pongal, the Dravidian Festival, as per the appeal made by Asiriyar Dr. K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam
That is my master. Yes, I hear him clearly. But I know he is not calling me. He is addressing his son. Don’t you sense the irritation in his voice? When he is somewhat upset with his son he always calls him Erumae.
He is not the only one he calls like that. He uses the word to address his wife also. But not always. Only when he feels romantic. He puts all his affection in that single word and says Erumae, softly. She is so pleased with him when he calls her that way.
Me? No. He never calls me that way. He doesn’t call me at all. Why should he? I am always there, tied to the pole. Once in a way, when he takes me to graze or when he comes to milk me he grunts something, which I take as a friendly gesture. As it is I have no complaint against him. He takes care of me and feeds me well. Of course it is only for the milk I give him. Even then I feel grateful for the way I am cared for.
But that is not what I wanted to say. I started saying Erumae in Tamil is always a derogatory word. It means a dullard both physically and intellectually. You call a person Erumae when he is lethargic and sluggish. Also when he is slow in hearing.
I don’t dispute that I am slow moving, sluggish, insensitive and dull headed. But how many of you know it is you, the human beings, who made me that way? How many of you know I am a man made creature? Not only me, but all the domestic animals like cows, horses, dogs, donkeys, cats, goats, sheep and the fowls were manmade.
Though ‘biotechnology’ as a branch of technology is of a recent origin the techniques have been known for centuries. It is common knowledge that many varieties of roses, fruits and crops were made through biotechnological methods. All the animals which are reared at home were also made that way. They were purposely made slow moving and slow in thinking so that they could be kept in captivity without much of botheration. There must be no desire in them to get liberated.
And I happened to be one of the slowest and dullest creatures. I cannot react to danger. I stand for hours amidst heavy traffic without being aware of the danger that surrounds me. It is you who are to blame for having made me like that.
And when someone is insensitive you call him ‘Erumae’. “He is like an Erumae standing in the rain“, you say. What can I do? I do not feel the rain that easily. Further, my colour being black I absorb all the sunshine. As a result I have to cool myself. Rains are welcome to me. They cool me down.
And for all the milk I give you. I give you more milk than a cow does. My milk is richer in fat and protein. People prefer cow’s milk to feed the children with because it is less dense. But my milk is better for coffee and tea. It makes better curds and butter of a richer quality.
Once cold rice mixed with my curds was considered to be healthy food suited to the tropical climate. Many people, even moneybags, consumed it with relish. It tasted divine with a peel of onion. Cold rice is no more available with the advent of fridge. And the combination of cold rice and buffalo curds has been relegated to history, making you losers on that account.
And not only my milk. Even my dung makes excellent fertilizer. There are a lot of my kinsmen in Punjab, well taken care of. People there not only use our milk, but our dung too as fertilizer. The plants which are reared on buffalo fertilizer give rich yield.
Besides, the number of buffaloes in India is much larger than that of the cows. We give a lot more milk to you than cows do. And our milk is of a better quality . But instead of thanking me, all of you worship the cow, you call her gomata. Am I not your mata? Do I not feed your children? Yet you have created an asura in my name – mahishasura.
I used to feel very bad about all these things until I learnt that many people in this country had a dislike for black colour. But black is beautiful, is n’t it? Don’t you know the god of love, Manmada was black in colour? His consort ‘Rathi’, considered a paragon of beauty, was black too.
All my worries were forgotten during this Pongal. Only recently I heard of ‘Asiriyar K.Veeramani, President, Dravidar Kazhagam. Veeramani, the champion of the downtrodden that he is, dedicated the farmer’s festival this year to us. He took us in procession all over Tamil Nadu. He proclaimed to the world how useful we have been to you.
Asiriyar Veeramani, I am told is proud of being a Dravidian. And asuras belonged to the Dravidian race. That means even we, buffaloes are Dravidians, so I can feel proud of being called an asura.
I am told Asiriyar Veeramani always wears black shirt. And all his cadres and comrades wear black attire. It was his mentor Periyar who started Black Shirt Movement. And more hearteningly, the black shirt cadres are rational thinkers. And we, buffaloes, neglected as dull heads, are admired by intellectuals. What more can we expect? You see, ingratitude hurts every being, human or otherwise. And they feel exhilarated when someone comes out in the open making a grand show of their gratitude.
We buffaloes will never stop serving you. We will continue to give you milk. And in Kerala people consume buffalo meat. Let them consume. After all, we should be happy that we continue to be of service even in death. These people, these cow worshippers, they have banned killing of cows. Do you know cows don’t like it? They tell us that it is hell to be left uncared for in the old age. It is natural when they stop giving milk. The so called cow shelters-go salas– do not feed them properly. They, the cows, say it is better to be killed and eaten than to be left uncared for struggling every moment of life in old age.
That way, we are happy. And whatever unhappiness we used to feel with the way in which humans treat us, has been forgotten now. On account of this mattu pongal (secular harvest festival) dedicated to us.
Long Live Periyar Movement!
Long Live Black Attire!