‘Adivasi’ – A tag too derogatory?

Posted by Anshuman Sahoo
November 10, 2017


You know the country seriously needs some awareness programs apart from the ‘Jaago re’ ads when majority of the educated people consider the remark ‘Adivaasi’ as derogatory.

Dear Indians who look down upon tribal people,

I know it’s not specific; it’s not only the tribal people that you look down upon. ‘Looking down upon’ is your habit, and it’s difficult for you to let go of this habit because of the inseparable thought culture that runs down your veins instead of red blood. You look down upon, because at some point of time, YOU HAVE BEEN LOOKED DOWN UPON.

Still, since we’re talking here about ‘how human tribal people are’, lets deal with the following points:

(I spent nearly a month field-studying the tribal people in the remote forests of Odisha; so, I guess we can assume that my arguments at least have a base, and backed by meticulous field observations.)

1. The tribal people have a habit of trusting easily. They trust strangers, they trust outsiders, they trust visitors.
Quite predictable, they’re betrayed often. More frequently than you think. And, they still trust. They still love back with equal amount of faith in their eyes.
From where the modern men see, it’s foolishness. From where I see, it’s courage!

2. My study included seven villages only. And from what I witnessed, equality has been a fundamental principle in almost every tribal community.
Not only gender equality, but social, political, and economic equality.
The modern men think it’s primitive because it’s anti-capitalist. I think it’s egalitarian!

3. Critically analysing the tribal social systems, you’ll find that most of the tribal societies are beautiful, though primitive, examples of commune-based societies.
Again, the modern men think it’s underdeveloped. I’d say it’s time-tested!

4. Oh, the tribal people have never been the boot-lickers. When the educated Indians were working hard to work as an honoured-servant (civil-servant, quite synonymously) under the Britishers, the tribal people were the ones who raised their voice against the British rule, long before 1857. (Just Google it – I know most of you never had the brains to understand the beautiful history of this beautiful land called India.)

5. I don’t want to get started on religion; but quite honestly, I found the pagan religions a lot more fulfilling and logical than most of the male-dominated pretentious religions.

Let’s pause this here, I guess this much would be sufficient.

P. S. – The next time you say that tribal people are inferior, remember that there are a number of them who are ideologically, economically, and politically far better than you. Oh, not socially, all thanks to your authoritarian primitive classism.

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