This Tamil Film On Operation Bawaria Made Me Question Our Perception Of Adivasis

Posted by Aravind Suresh
December 4, 2017

I watched a Tamil film – “Theeran Adigaaram Ondru” , featuring Karthi as its lead actor. The plot was interesting. It covered the well known ‘Operation Bawaria’. The villains of the tale were notorious highway robbers, belonging to the Bawaria tribes, and it was stated as a real life incident.

Well, you may be wondering why I am bringing up this. The answer to this, is to again, turn our gaze towards the way we interact with the Adivasi people.

Adivasis were the people who first lived on this holy land. The various theories of Aryan invasion, tell the all too familiar tales of how a certain group of people chase away another group of people, and how subjugation occurs. This  pattern of ruining lives for monetary gains is seen everywhere, for instance, when colonialists came and looted people.

In order to gain the land, the Adivasis, were chased out and repeatedly humiliated. They were forced to change their way of life in order to fit into the propagated narrative. They lost their entire identity, and were shunned out of the land which was rightfully theirs.

This leads to a cycle of violence, and counter violence. When we see repeated Marxist killings, we rejoice. But do we ever care for the fact that there were thousands of exploited tribal people, who were forced to take this path? No, in order to increase our capitalistic gains, we take advantage of everyone – irrespective of morals and values.

I think that killing terrorists is fine, but do we make sure that such incidents never happen? No

People are still exploited and there is no action. And yet, we often boast of successful operations that eliminate the ‘bad guys’. This exploitation needs to be stopped. Right from selling young tribal girls, to systematically giving away the land to a few companies without compensation – all of this needs to stop, and we should integrate the tribal people, or at least make sure that we do have the tolerance to let others live the way they want to.