[WSMDiscuss] India in movement…, Indigenous Peoples in movement…, Dignity in movement… : Adivasi (Indigenous Peoples') Organisations Demand Equality, Gender & Environmental Justice at Sabarimala

Jai Sen jai.sen at cacim.net
Mon Dec 3 20:33:50 CET 2018

Monday, December 3, 2018

India in movement…, Indigenous Peoples in movement…, Dignity in movement…

[Renewed, important stirrings are taking shape in India, now / here by Adivasis (Indigenous Peoples – of which there are, as elsewhere, many nations in India) in the south of India; and ‘important’ not least because of their autonomous, organic, intersectional nature…

[For those on this list who are not aware of this – and within my limited knowledge -, ‘Sabarimala’ is the name of what is presently a very important Hindu shrine, but is well known – as are many other Hindu temples in India – for being located on what was earlier a deeply sacred place for the Adivasis of the region; and where, after simmering resentment and struggle for decades, and after, in particular, a struggle with the temple priests this year over the rights of women to enter the temple (yes, even today…), a coalition of local and regional Adivasi organisations have come out with a bold, open demand not just for ‘equal access to’ the site but its ownership, and for the Hindu priests to leave; in other words, asserting their sovereignty.  And, moreover, with an intersectional agenda, founded on dignity and respect.  Which - in the broader context of a history of social and structural repression in the country and of the recent meteoric rise of the right (and, sadly, the fading of the left…) and a resultant intensified marginalisation and repression all around, and especially of Adivasis and Dalits - is both wonderful and extremely significant…

[Check out the link for more background and foreground pages :    

Adivasi Organisations Demand Equality, Gender & Environmental Justice at Sabarimala <https://countercurrents.org/2018/12/02/adivasi-organisations-demand-equality-gender-environmental-justice-at-sabarimala/>
in Annihilate Caste <https://countercurrents.org/category/annihilate-caste/> — by Press Release <https://countercurrents.org/author/press-release/> —	December 2, 2018
https://countercurrents.org/2018/12/02/adivasi-organisations-demand-equality-gender-environmental-justice-at-sabarimala/ <https://countercurrents.org/2018/12/02/adivasi-organisations-demand-equality-gender-environmental-justice-at-sabarimala/>

We the following Adivasi organisations hereby express our deep concern on the recent developments and controversies about the Sabarimala temple in Kerala. The social, political and economic interests of the upper caste communities on Sabarimala Temple are well noticed by us.We hereby wish to express our need to retain our following rights that have been denied for generations:

Many Adivasi spiritual places have been colonized by the upper castes replacing Adivasi spiritual leaders by Brahminical priests all over India. Sabarimala is only one such case. We demand that the ownership of such spiritual places of worship be returned to the Adivasis.
As per the Forest Rights Act, Adivasis have the community rights for their places of worship. The control of the Brahminical priests on Sabarimala has violated these rights of the Adivasis. We demand that Sabarimala Temple be returned to the Adivasis..
Historically, Sabarimala has been an Adivasi place of worship. It was only in the year 1902 that the Brahmin Tantris took control of this place of worship. Before that, as per the historical records, Adivasi priests were conducting the spiritual affairs in Sabarimala. We would like to bring to your notice that if anybody talks about the tradition of Sabarimala, the real tradition of Adivasis should be addressed. The tradition cannot be addressed from the date of colonising Sabarimala by the Brahminical forces.
As per the Adivasi traditions, we do not say that no woman can enter our places of worship. Not just women, people from all faiths and religions have also been allowed to express their worship to our Gods. Our Gods are not owned by any secluded sections with their own selfish economic, social and political interests. As far as gender equality is concerned, we are far superior to the mainstream caste ridden, middle class societies. We hereby support the demands of women in Kerala to enter Sabarimala temple.
We appeal to all sections of the civil society to see to it that narrow and selfish political gains in the name of God by the Sang Parivar forces and the soft Sang Parivarforces be isolated. Our Gods have been colonised by the mainstream for centuries. Now, we do not wish  that the mainstream society create communal rifts and violence in the name of our Gods.
Spirituality is a right of every human being as per our tradition. Nobody should be restricted from his or her right to spirituality. We condemn all those interests who use our spirituality in its distorted form and then create communal tensions in the society.
We are the children of forests. Sabarimala Forests are already getting weakened. Forests create rivers. Pampa river created by the Western Ghats is already polluted. Forests and rivers should not be destroyed in the name of Gods. The Adivasis have not done such destructive actions. Today, the present controllers of Sabarimala temple must take this responsibility on their shoulders. Forests and rivers are sources of life for Adivasis. The sources of life provided by our Gods cannot be destroyed by the mainstream interests. We appeal to the Kerala State Government to undertake urgent measures to solve this burning problem.
We appeal to all those who believe in justice to support our call for the preservation of humanity, gender justice, protection of environment and equality of human beings without upper caste control.
National Adivasi Andolana(NAA)
Rajya Moola Adivasi Vedike
Budakattu Krishikara Sangha Kodagu
Budakattu Krishikara Sangha Mysore,
Budakkatu Krishikara Sangha Periyapatna Taluk Mysore
Budakattu Krishikara Sangha Chickmagalore
Rajya Soliga Abhivruddi Sangha
Hassan Jilla Adivasi Hasalara Sangha
Iruliga Kshemabhivruddi Sangha(IAKS)
Bettakurubara Paramparika Sangha.


Jai Sen

jai.sen at cacim.net <mailto:jai.sen at cacim.net>
www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/> / http://www.openword.net.in

Now based in New Delhi, India (+91-98189 11325) and in Ottawa, Canada, on unceded Anishinaabe territory (+1-613-282 2900) 

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Jai Sen, ed, 2018a – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance. New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/> and in Canada at www.leftwingbooks <http://www.leftwingbooks/>
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Jai Sen, ed, 2017 – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?.  New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press.  Ebook and hard copy available at PM Press <http://www.pmpress.org/> and in Canada at www.leftwingbooks <http://www.leftwingbooks/>
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Jai Sen, ed, 2016a  – The Movements of Movements, Part 1 : What Makes Us Move ?  and Jai Sen, ed, 2016b – The Movements of Movements, Part 2 : Rethinking Our Dance (both forthcoming in 2017 from New Delhi : OpenWord and Oakland, CA : PM Press), ADVANCE PREFINAL ONLINE MOVEMENT EDITIONS of all the material @ www.cacim.net <http://www.cacim.net/>
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