When i typed in google to find out the meaning of an Adivasi, i get “A set of ethnic and tribal group of people whose lives don’t matter as much as their death”. Ok, I made up the definition, but the reality is not far from it.
Be it the naxal affected regions in Chattisgarh or the forest regions of Srikakulam or the far east regions of the north, or the border regions between Odisha and Andhra – their survival is an everyday struggle, their living is an eternal dream. Sometimes they became an act of revenge, sometimes a form of oppression, sometimes a form of exploitation, sometimes a form of denial and sometimes they just become nonexistent.
What happened today in Assam on Dec 22nd 2014 is nothing new. This happened now, this happened last year and the year before and the year before that. The women, children are dragged out of their homes and are killed as an act of revenge, as an open challenge to the state govt. The state govt. being the state govt. wont budge to these militant acts and further intensifies their attacks on them. They respond by increasing the number of ground troops, beefing up the security, becoming more aggressive than before. The militants being militants become more ruthless and resort to even more barbaric acts of violence and the vicious cycle continues. Take a look at the govt’s response when similar incidents happened in the past. More responses can be found @ Loksabha.nic.in. Every single incident of the militants act is followed by the same rhetoric i.e. compensation, curfew and condolences .
If the govt. is sincere about its efforts to address the issues of the Adivasis, then
- Why are they not part of the solutions or the dialogues to these solutions?
- Why do they matter only when they are killed and not when they are alive and are struggling for their everyday life?
- Why are there no provisions/policies to improve their socio economic conditions, not on paper, but in reality, implemented on the ground?
- Why do they only matter during elections or during the independence day speeches?
- Why do they matter only when big policy decisions are made and not when there small everyday problems are reported?
- Why do they matter only when their houses are burned down?
And as long as we as a society remain indifferent to their sufferings, the dirty politics of isolation, separation and segregation will continue to exist and the meaning of Adivasi will be changed to the group of people whose death matters more than their lives.