Plaidoirie for a 'Prince' of Jaffna - Part One
“We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.”
George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) Nobel Prize
Blue blood gushes when heroes die
From gory wounds on battlefields
Not in castle intrigues when for a lie
Crowns use commoners as shields.
A royal house does not construct itself
After centuries have broken tradition
Or on formal rules on how to name itself
Nor on who should follow in succession.
A true prince re-possesses the land first
Takes for his witnesses native-born citizens
Bids them follow his will out of dire thirst
Not as the self-crowned leader of denizens.
To be born a Kshastriya is not a privilege,
The birthright is even an act of sacrilege
If he who dons the crown scorns the people;
A spurned poem in the culled florilege.
In the blown sliver of land at Great Bharat’s feet
No one knows what Tamil line came to greet
Found refuge and took throne to announce a reign
Nor helas to make much of a glorious feat.
Kings are not born to hoist the castial banner,
Rather had they earlier scaled the social ladder
Through heroic deeds by protecting the masses;
Chieftains peer-elected to top the social order.
(...continued in Part Two)