S. Harpal Singh
During summer some tribes in Adilabad district go on a pilgrimage
The tribals reportedly do not entertain politics when they are busy with religious rites
The marriages are a 10 to 15-day affair during which no other business is attended to
ADILABAD: Besides the heat and the dust, political parties have to contend with the problem of ‘absentee’ tribals whenever elections are held in summer in Adilabad district.
This is sabbatical for members belonging to the primitive tribe of Gond and its sub tribes like Kolam and Thotti. After finishing agriculture work, the Gonds, Kolams and members of other minor sub tribes indulge in ritualistic activities connected with their religion.
In the months of Pushya and Chait, roughly corresponding with January and April, the tribals offer collective prayers at temples of their gods and goddesses that are located quite some distance from their villages.
All the villages wear a deserted look. None of the tribals remain in the village when the caravan of bullock sets out on ‘pilgrimage’ that could extend up to three days in some cases.
Rathod Suresh, a Telugu Desam Party (TDP) campaign manager from Utnoor in Khanapur (ST) Assembly constituency, found to his consternation that all the Kolams of Salewada in Indervelli mandal have gone on the traditional outing on Sunday.
It was the turn of tribals of Salewada to offer prayers at the Inderbai temple located in Indervelli mandal headquarters, about 10 km away. Suresh also found out a little later that the customarily phlegmatic tribals do not entertain politics and politicos when they are observing the religious rites. The activity will end only on April 27, the Chait Amavasya day in the calendar of Gonds.
There are three Assembly constituencies reserved for the Scheduled Tribes in addition to the Adilabad Lok Sabha seat. It is in the villages of these constituencies that political parties are needed to continuously reschedule their campaign programmes based on the availability of the villagers.
Mercifully, the peak marriage season for tribals has ended with Ugadi festival. A marriage in the tribal ethos is a 10 to 15-day affair during which no other business is attended to by the concerned family.