Of Tribes and Tribulations: Indian Literature in Diversity
Keywords:Sahitya Akademiâ€™s, Indian Literature, Tribal Languages, mechanised, Hanuman, .etc
Projects like the Sahitya Akademi’s ‘Indian Literature in Tribal Languages and Oral Cultures’ have begun forays into the wealth of untapped, unmapped narratives that proliferate in the subcontinent. The unique ethnicity of the tribals resists integration into a more mainstream existence and is in its turn distanced by it. The ‘otherness’ of these primitive people cannot be ‘translated’ into more contemporary culture. The rapacious penetrations of corruptive commercial interests into pristine natural habitats of an ancient people that cannot assimilate itself to mechanise pace become symbolic of the problematic engagement of indigenous aboriginal expression with a global reading public. Somri’s marginalisation is rendered complete by the machinations of the powers that work continuously to keep her people ignorant and oppressed. The upper-class mainstream males have not only exploited her body, but they have also cunningly exploited the superstitions of her uneducated marginalised community, just as they have rapaciously exploited the forests that they inhabit.The story ends on a positive note. Behind them is Hanuman Misra’s towering temple, the brazen symbol of their history of oppression and subjugation. But the tribals move ahead on steady feet.
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