I am not your data

Latest posts by Abhay Flavian Xaxa (see all)

I am not your data, nor am I your vote bank,

I am not your project, or any exotic museum object,

I am not the soul waiting to be harvested,

Nor am I the lab where your theories are tested,

I am not your cannon fodder, or the invisible worker,

or your entertainment at India habitat center,

I am not your field, your crowd, your history,

your help, your guilt, medallions of your victory,

I refuse, reject, resist your labels,

your judgments, documents, definitions,

your models, leaders and patrons,

because they deny me my existence, my vision, my space,

your words, maps, figures, indicators,

they all create illusions and put you on pedestal,

from where you look down upon me,

So I draw my own picture, and invent my own grammar,

I make my own tools to fight my own battle,

For me, my people, my world, and my Adivasi self!

~Abhay Xaxa


The poem was earlier published on Round Table India.

Picture by: Chandresh Meravi

Abhay Flavian Xaxa

Abhay Xaxa was born and brought up in Jashpur District of Chhattisgarh. An Adivasi Rights Activist and Sociologist by training, Abhay has worked with grassroots organisations, campaigns, NGO’s, media, research institutions in different capacities on the issue of Adivasi land rights in central India. He is also the National Convenor at National Campaign on Adivasi Rights.

13 thoughts on “I am not your data

  • April 4, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Words that hit hard and so meaningful. Beautifully crafted verse, love the last asserting lines.

  • April 4, 2016 at 8:14 pm

    Dear Abhay, Thank you for such a ‘straight from the heart’ poetry. For me, personally it is a treasure, to be kept safe in my heart. All these years, I was wondering what’s wrong with my thought. When all those PhD aspiring scholars, professors, IBP/world bank stooges’ asked me to share my work experience or when they accompanied to field for a day or so to talk to the villagers/adivasis, I found it very disturbing. The total act was kind of perverted. When they came up with the report (just by going to a village for couple of days!) and became expert panelists in UN/WB/government of india commissions, I thought something is terribly wrong. They seem to be nice people, yet they are making mockery of the plight of the people. How can someone claim ‘fame’ and lead a celebrity life by just reporting the oppressed lives of the people? Every time these thoughts used to haunt me and always kept me in check. I could not remain friends with any of those people and I was cursing myself for it for acting so weirdly! Inspite of all these experiences, I am glad I came across your poetry. It’s kind of liberating.

  • April 5, 2016 at 4:58 pm

    Dear Abhay,
    So true words,
    For me, my world, my people, my Adivasi self..
    the innocent self, the simple yet disturbed by many, the educated,

  • April 5, 2016 at 10:31 pm

    soon you will be branded as Maoist/Antinational by mainland and your government…..

  • April 6, 2016 at 6:25 am

    So straight and so strong, its assuring to see such words…

  • April 7, 2016 at 3:15 am

    I sincerely appreciate the poetry of Abhay and the comment of Kavitha. Both of you have spoken a burning issue of the original people of the sub-continent, as well as of other countries. Since Industrial Revolution there life and culture has been ravaged. I request both of you, may I print the poetry and the comment in my essay/book? Thank you. My love and regards to you. –from Sydney, Australia.

    • April 18, 2016 at 7:26 am

      Thanks a lot Rupayan for your appreciation, of course you can quote my poetry and please share the essay once you finish it. Looking forward for more interaction.


    • April 18, 2016 at 10:58 am

      Abhaya i couldn’t stop my feelings of a token of appreciation. owing to your much concern and commitment for your own beloved people in the sub-continent especially with a reference to India. As the forced displacement really making abandon to the most marginalised communities like Tribal and also Dalits leading to homeless and hopelessness with no proper livelihood lead to extreme discontentment towards the corporate world and the duty bearers of this country. Adikanda Singh, Advocacy Officer,NCDHR,New Delhi, INDIA.

  • Pingback: Recalibrating rationality: Teaching research methods through Species of Spaces | Mutable Matter

  • August 5, 2017 at 4:05 pm

    Adiwasiyon ko puri tarah se khatm karne ke bad bhi apne ko shukun se jivan jine ke liye dhundhoge ADIWASIAT……. Dilip toppo D

  • October 19, 2018 at 10:41 am

    Thank you for sharing this very powerful poem here, which I have read, re-read, and shared with many friends. I write this note today because I am trying to get in touch with Abhay Flavian Xaxa. I would like his permission to quote this poem in a forthcoming book. Abhay, I hope you will read this email and suggest a way of getting in touch with you. If not, I would appreciate it if anyone else reading this note can help me get in touch with Abhay Flavian Xaxa. Thank you.

  • June 28, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    This ocean of Knowledge that you provided through this article is awesome and now I am eagerly waiting for the next article. Thanks for this amazing post I really loved it especially the last part that you described so well.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *