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The Indigenous People Of Kerala Are Forcefully Sterilised

By The Moderator, India Thinkersnet
30 November, 2003

The 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 environment.


1090 out of 1230 sterilised have been Adivasis!

Only Adivasis have been sterilised in 3 Taluqas

Only Adivasis 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 is repugnant.

Incidently Janmabhoomi,a 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' cognisance.


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.