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The Adivasi Writes Back

Poetry

The Adivasi Writes Back

A poem that shames the destroyers of adivasi culture

The Sarna flag is not just a flag but the whole life of Adivasi society. The red is symbolic of revolution, struggle and blood transfusion while the white represents the simplicity of the lives of Adivasis Artwork by Dr Anju Kumari Sahu Photographed by Dev Naran Hembram

They brought to us their God and said,
‘He shall redeem you from your sins.’
‘What sins have we committed?’
We asked.
And they were bewildered:
How do they establish their God’s existence,
Without claims of sin and salvation?

‘Look how poor, deprived you are,’ they said,
‘This is a retribution for your sins.’
We showed them the expanse of our fields,
Our forests, rivers, mountains and streams,
And the heaps of grains in our granaries.
They then said,
‘A better world awaits you after death.’
We replied, ‘There is no world after that.
Right here, with our ancestors, we remain
And dwell amidst our generations to come.’

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