The Raj Gonds in Adilabad seem to be serious about protecting their unique culture and environment protection tops their action plan they have come up with for sustenance of their inherent aesthetics.
“It is a well known fact that no culture can be saved without saving the environment, and the inherent aesthetics in which it was born,” quip the Raj Gond leaders, reiterating their resolve for the revival of their ancient culture.
Notwithstanding the comparative isolation of their existence, the Raj Gonds have been living in consonance with splendidly diverse eco system. This also has helped them drawing sustenance from forests around their habitations.
The survival of the Raj Gonds depends on agriculture inside forests which needs incorporation of ways and means of crop protection largely influenced by the culture of Gonds and Kolams. The tribal dances are also largely an imitation of the movements of wild animals. Among the 18 dances associated with the famous Ghussadi cult, one relates to protection from tigers.
Rapid deforestation and extinction of forest species in the recent years have made the tribal culture rather obsolete at an equal pace. A substantial deviation from their ethos can be seen among the Gonds and Kolams, especially the youth, as the demands of a changed environment is pulling them away towards towns and cities in search of livelihoods.
“Gond youths are increasingly preferring working in towns to toiling in agriculture fields in their native villages,” concurs Mesram Jangu, Chairman of the temple committee of the famous Nagoba shrine at Keslapur in Indervelli mandal, who is among the Gond leaders involved in the ‘save culture campaign’.
“We will certainly take up environment protection as an issue,” he says.