GN Devy: Why Do the Adivasis Want to Speak?

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There are numerous obvious reasons that a progressive Indian could cite to answer the question: Why do the Adivasis want to speak? The exploitation stories; the lack of education and resources; rights denied. Sure, these are all valid reasons for the Adivasis to start speaking for themselves today. And for their fellow citizens to stand by them, to help them empower themselves and take up their causes. But Ganesh Devy showed us the subtler, deeper reason which prompts the Adivasis to speak now, in these times. And this reason is not concerning their own welfare. It is aligned with the socio-environmental vision dear to the Adivasis: the well-being of every other being in the world is more worthy of their care than their own. People who sustain this worldview would be careful not to let even their shadows poison their medicinal plants. In other words, the concern of an Adivasi in the forest would not be what the plant might give her, but how the plant could be kept from any possible harm.