The poem ‘Ajamil and the Tigers’ is written by Arun Kolatkar. It is a political satire representing the plight of the subjects oppressed by corrupt politicians. The poem talks about a story where a shepherd made an agreement with a king of Tigers to restore peace between the two communities. If one reads between the lines, he can find out that the story is an allegory. The story represents the class difference between the haves and the have nots. It depicts the constant struggles of the oppressor and the oppressed. The shepherd sacrifices some of his sheep to please the king. He represents the corrupt politicians that do not think twice before killing common people who protest against their despotism.
The sheep in the poem represent the mass who suffer the most. They face discrimination; they are the victims of fascism. The sheepdog can be compared with the army men who sacrifice their lives for the nation. But they do not get the deserved respect or appreciation. The poet brings out the hypocrisy implicit in the characters of the men in power. He wants his readers to be aware of them. They are real-life criminals who are never imprisoned. Pretension and crocodile-tears are part and parcel of their lives. They become wealthy at the cost of the lives of penury-stricken people. The poem is filled with themes, symbols, motifs and imagery that make it an interesting text.
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