News By- Xavier Dias
On 25th February Adivasi people of Kolhan Jharkhand have planned to perform the ‘Mage Parob‘ celebrations in the Desavli (sacred groves) of their ancestors that TATA STEEL had encroached on over a hundred years ago.
The sacred groves of Adivasis is a space where all species of flora and fauna are preserved. No weapon not even an axe is allowed into this space. It is a century old tradition to preserve and celebrate and encourage bio diversity. They also believe that the good and bad spirits dwell in this space. On this Mage festival the village high priest together with all the village people and their relatives dance their way to the Desavali. There the high priest releases the bad spirits dwelling there and allows them to enter the village for three days and at the end the bad spirits are driven back to the Desavali. Not celebrating this festival means that the health and welfare of all the village people are endangered.
As the Adivasis of Noamundi are now more empowered and strengthened for the past five years they have been dancing their way into the Noamundi Iron Ore mines of TATA STEEL Colony where they take along with them the village priest to do the puja.
Last year they were stopped. The Management set up a heavy security force at the Colony gate and told them that only a ‘delegation’ of a few of them could enter on condition they wear crash helmets. It so happened that last year two young women from Delhi were in that vicinity to do some field research for an NGO. From the site they uploaded pictures and updates on FB and other social media. When they returned to Delhi both of them lost their jobs with the NGO. This is the power of TATA STEEL.
The management has told the organizers that this year too they will not allow the villagers in.
Image: ‘Mage parab’ at Kathabharia, Mayurbhanj, Odisha (YouTube).
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