Indigenous People Of Kerala Are Forcefully Sterilised
By The Moderator,
30 November, 2003
news channel 'India Vision' has reported the ethnic cleansing of the
indigenous people (adivasis) of Kerala in the Waynad district. The ethnic
cleansing is being done through seemingly perfect legal means by government
servants.The report speaks of mass sterilisation of Adivasis by the
Health Department official seeking awards .
The health department
officials who are under pressure to meet the sterilisation targets have
either coerced or allured Adivasis into undergoing sterilisation. What
is shocking is that the figures of sterilisation has shown that the
majority have been Adivasis and not those from the sections which would
need to adopt these methods.Adding insult to injury some Adivasis have
been paid petty amounts (less than Rs200) for undergoing the operation.The
reports are also that the operations have been conducted in less secure
1090 out of
1230 sterilised have been Adivasis!
Only Adivasis have been sterilised in 3 Taluqas
have been sterilised in 30 camps.
One PHC has sterilised 43 Adivasis.
(These are the figures till Oct 30th-Waynad district)
The follow-up reports say that many of the Adivasiswho were subjected
to the unethical sterilisationin PHCs have been suffering from post-operative
problems.However they have been rejected by the over-enthusiastic personnel
who sterilised them. It is said that some of the doctors are even refusing
to examine them.
One poor Adivasi
male who underwent the operation has been shown to be extremely weak.He
had lost a lot of blood and now he is unable to do any work or move
around. It is tragic that the intellectuals and the social activists
have not taken note of the issue despite the news being reported on
a TV news channel.We have ministers who would create and international
outrage even if a dangerous rabid dog is killed by some municipality.The
genocide of India's sons of the soil by the so called civilised world
is despicable and the silence by the intellectuals and social activists
Hindutva newspaper in Kerala is reported to have come up with a print
story of the news report of India vision,calling the sterilisation of
the 'vanavasis' as being part of some 'conspiracy'.
The Adivasis of Kerala are on the decline due to a variety of reasons.Their
fertility rates have fallen and the infant mortality rates are already
very high.The indigenous people of the state are being decimated due
to the negative and hostile influences by external forces.The Adivasis
live in abject poverty and they are a powerless lot at the receiving
end.Their rights are being trampled upon by the society and the government
which has deceived them again and again.
It is a crime against
humanity to decimate the most original of the indigenous people.They
must have the right to survive as a people group. It is despicable on
part of the civil society allow such kind of inhuman crimes against
the largely powerless and ignorant masses.Every step must be taken to
terminate such genocidal actions against the Adivasis.Immediate investigations
must be initiated and action taken against the guilty officials.Legislations
must be enacted to make it illegal to subject indigenous people to sterilisation
programmes.The Adivasis cannot be allowed to be treated as guinea pigs.
The national and state SC/ST commissions,NHRC etc should take 'suo motu'
BAN THE USE OF THE DEROGATORY WORD 'Vanavasi'
The term Adivasi
implies the original people or the indigenous people.The forces of Hindutva
have been responsible for the greatest threat to their
identity and culture.The Hindutva forces have been trying to spread
the myth that the Adivasis are part of the Hindu religion who are living
in the jungles and hence to be branded as 'forest dwellers ' or 'vanavasis'.The
fact is that the Adivasis are more than mere forest dwellers.
The Hindutva definition
of the Adivasi makes it possible to brand even the most vulnerable and
decimated group as being no different from the rest .As a corollary
they would be deprived of the protection that is necessary for their
survival as a people group.Those like the government officials who subjected
the Adivasis of Wayanad to sterilisation would find it easy to victimise
the Adivasis if they are treated as mere forest dwellers. Just as the
use of the despicable word 'harijan' has been made illegal,so should
the use of
the derogatory word 'vanavasi'.The civil society should not allow the
theo-fascists to rob the Adivasis of their history ,culture and identity.