Booklet on Jangubai rubs Adivasis on the wrong side

The cover page of the controversial booklet on Jangubai.

The cover page of the controversial booklet on Jangubai.  

She is considered goddess shakti without an image and the artist’s illustration is nothing short of sacrilege, they say

The latest effort by a non-tribal person in bringing out a booklet highlighting Adivasi culture has ended up offending the aboriginal tribes who are alleging sacrilege on the part of the former.

There were many similar efforts in the past which have ended up only in irking the ethnic people in the four districts which hitherto constituted undivided Adilabad, owing to the inherent distortions.

The 56-page booklet in Telugu, Jangubai Puranam, edited by Dyavanapalli Satyanarayana, curator of tribal museums in Telangana, has angered the Adivasi people who allege that it contains distorted version of the legend associated with their most revered goddess.

The booklet which was released during the durbar on January 1 was instantly withdrawn as it only resulted in hurting the sentiments of the Raj Gonds and Pardhans who had assembled at the cave temple, located in the remote hilly Kota-Parandoli gram panchayat in Kerameri mandal of Kumram Bheem Asifabad district.

“The book contains distorted version though the editor claims to have drawn from anthropologist Christopher von Furer-Haimendorf’s seminal study, The Raj Gonds of Adilabad - A peasant culture of the Deccan,” pointed out Kanaka Ambaji Rao, a teacher with Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Utnoor.

“I urge all those who are writing books or making films on Adivasi people to consult our elders on our cultural aspects,” he said.

The Raj Gonds have taken umbrage at the imaginary figure of Jangubai printed partially on the cover and fully on the back page. “Jangubai is considered a goddess of shakti without an image and the artist’s illustration is nothing short of sacrilege,” Mr. Ambaji charged.

“I did consult Adivasi elders as mentioned in the foreword. All the mistakes were unintended,” said an apologetic Mr. Satyanarayana talking to The Hindu over phone.

Marapa Baji Rao, chairman of Jangubai Devasthan Committee, said a revised edition of the book sans the mistakes would be released soon.

“It will possibly be released on January 27 when the pilgrimage comes to an end,” said the editor of the booklet.

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Printable version | Feb 20, 2020 7:58:53 AM |

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