Samboli! : Beware!

Paper Type: Book print paper | Size: 216 x 140mm
Black and white; 200 pages; Paperback
ISBN-10: 93-86906-35-9 | ISBN-13: 978-93-86906-35-9


Samboli! means echcharike in Kannada ‘Be careful!’.

 Samboli! This expression is not from yesterday or the day before; it is centuries old. Manu, the ancient lawgiver, decreed that people belonging to any of the untouchable castes of this country had to hold a pole with jingling bells tied to one end and pound it on the ground at every step to make a sound jal-jal. They had to call out, ‘Samboli! Samboli!’ This is the Samboli pole warning others of their presence. They were to walk only on conservancy lanes and not on the main streets and only around noon when their shadow was tucked under their feet and would not pollute people of the upper castes by falling on them. Samboli, by extension, could imply ‘Beware!’ in the present context of Dalit uprisings. It could also be a clarion call for Dalit's to fight for their humanity.


Lakshman (1957- 2017) was from Kathriguppe, a village in South Bengaluru Taluk. He was a social activist and a writer, known for his many collections of poems, short stories and two novel.

Susheela Punitha
Susheela Punitha

Susheela Punitha has translated from Kannada to English, excerpt on theatre in Karnataka for Regional Theatre Histories, Institute of Economic Growth, University of Delhi Enclave, Delhi and the following works of fiction for Oxford University Press. Susheela Punitha recieved the Sahitya Akademi Translation Award for English, 2015, for her translation of U R Ananthamurthy’s novel Bharathipura.