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Communicating the tribal way – Actions speak louder than words

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The director of Tribal Research Center located in Ooty, C. Maheswaran has revealed some very intersesting facts about the tribal communities while addressing the audience at the Vanavarayar Foundation. The event, ‘Lifestyles of Kongunadu Tribes’ was organized by the foundation as a part of the monthly lecture series.

Mahaswaran talked about one of the tribes, where the people from the boys side approach the potential bride’s family by asking, “We have some seeds, will you give us some land to sow it in?’ and if all goes well, a stick representing the boy will be left behind on the girl’s house, denoting that a bond has been created.

In another instance, the Malayaalis go swirling round a stick over their heads to declare that they are seeking for a bride. The probable sequence that will follow be either that the woman’s family accepts the stick or else they will throw it out, without facing any protest from the boy’s side.

He also mentioned a extremely thoughtful custom practiced by the Todas, is which the husband of a pregnant woman will gift her a Toda shaped house constructed from grass blades and shrubs. This is the way of proclaiming to the world, that the husband is the child’s father and the infant will be heartily welcomed in his clan.

Apart from the ceremonies relating to selection of mates and marriage, there are also tribal traditions of respecting each other’s territory and dedicating one’s life to the community.

Mahaswaran explained about the Aalu Kurumbas, where once every year, seven members of the tribe travel to live in the forest secretly, for a whole week. This is done in hope that the Nature will grant protection to their villages. On their return, the seven of them cooks a meal of pongal in seven pots and feeds the villagers.

While, in a different case the Pazhiyar tasks themselves to dig into the hard ground searching for edible tubers. After a hard work of half a day, the person will tore off the half of the tuber for himself and keep the rest for the community. It is also known that if the similar person finds a honeycomb in the forest while going on the search for tubers, he will mark the tree. And if the same tree is noted by anyone else from the tribe, they will refuse to touch the honeycomb, showing respect for other’s territory.

Finally, C. Mahaswaran concluded that, “This is how tribals communicate. Without many words being spoken”.

To give a little more information, it is established that Kongunadu which is home to six vulnerable tribals like Todas and Kotas, also is the place of origin for the 14 out of 36 tribal communities in the whole of Tamil Nadu.

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Waves of black as Modi visits Chennai

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi (FILE PHOTO)

Black flags and balloons and activists in black shirts and trousers greeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he paid a whirlwind visit to Chennai with helicopter as the chosen mode of transport in the wake of statewide agitation demanding constitution of the Cauvery Management Board (CMB).

Protests were also held with black flags and placards throughout Tamil Nadu in cities like Tiruchi, Thanjavur, Coimbatore and Tuticorin against the Prime Minister’s brief visit to the state and the Centre’s failure to constitute the CMB despite a Supreme Court order. Black flags were hoisted on homes and business establishments across the state.

Prime Minister, Narendra Modi stressed on the importance of service to others in his last Mann Ki Baat edition for 2017.
Narendra Modi welcomed with black flags in chennai.

In a bid to avoid protesters, Modi, who arrived here by a special aircraft in the morning, chose a helicopter to reach Tiruvidanthai, in neighbouring Kanchipuram district where he opened the 10th DefExpo organised by the Defence Ministry. From there he took another chopper to come to IIT Madras, in the heart of the city. From there, he took a one-kilometre ride by car to the neighbouring Adyar Cancer Institute for an event.

The Prime Minister walked a few steps from the helicopter to the car that ferried him to the Cancer Institute. As he did so, he encountered some 30 students from IIT Madras who stood silently but held posters demanding a Cauvery Management Board as ordered by the Supreme Court — an issue which has whipped up emotions in Tamil Nadu. Modi then left by helicopter to the airport before returning to Delhi.

Also Read: Modi is anti-Dalit, will defeat BJP in 2019: Rahul Gandhi

#Go back Modi trended on top as netizens took to the cyberspace to register their protest against the Central government’s failure to set up the CMB as directed by the Supreme Court to ensure proper sharing of Cauvery waters between Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and other states.

DMK leader M.K. Stalin, who was on a padayatra of the Cauvery delta areas, wore black shirt and trousers as he protested along with state Congress President Thirunavukkarasar and CPI-M state unit chief Mutharasan. “The Prime Minister may be flying in the air today but he has to come down when the elections come,” he said taking a dig at Modi.

A black flag was hoisted at DMK chief M. Karunanidhi’s residence. The ailing leader wore a black shirt. DMK MP Tiruchi Siva and leaders of DMK allies wore black dress and marched on the road near the Chennai airport.

In the morning outside the Chennai airport, activists of the Federation for protection of Tamil Art and Culture, led by noted film director Bharatiraja and other film personalities like Amir, Gautaman and Vetrimaran protested against Modi’s visit. They were arrested.

will also hold a meeting there with the Indian community. Wikimedia Commons
Cauvery River Dispute is going on for a while now. Wikimedia Commons

While MDMK chief Vaiko held a black flag protest in Velachery, Naam Thamizhar Katch convenor Seeman, a film director, was arrested elsewhere. Vaiko called Modi a “coward” for choosing to fly. Political leaders Velmurugan and P. Nedumaran were arrested from Alandur metro station in Chennai for holding black flag protests.

Tamil Nadu has been in turmoil since the six-week period for setting up the Board expired, with opposition parties and a host of fringe Tamil groups attacking the Centre, saying the BJP was interested only in winning the Assembly elections in Karnataka. Even the hugely-popular IPL cricket matches have been shifted out of Chennai to Pune in view of the disturbances on Tuesday. IANS