- Hardcover: 200 pages
- Publisher: Speaking Tiger Publishing Private Limited; First edition (14 October 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9385288644
- ISBN-13: 978-9385288647
- Package Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
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The Adivasi Will Not Dance: Stories (Old Edition) Hardcover – 14 Oct 2015
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‘From the first page of the first story in The Adivasi Will Not Dance, it has become clear that we have entered a world new to Indian readers’.—Biblio ‘He is clearly a writer to follow, someone whose work promises a fresh look at Adivasi lives’.— Biblio ‘Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar is a writer to be sought out and discovered. May his tribe increase’- The Indian Express
‘Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar, the Jharkhand-based government doctor… has a powerful short story ""The Adivasi Will Not Dance"". It is about a visit to Jharkhand by the president of India to inaugurate a thermal power station that is coming up on land from which Santhals have been evicted’. - The Telegraph
‘Shekhar, one of the five writers shortlisted for The Hindu Prize 2017, produces a no-holds-barred work on the life of the marginalized that seems less fiction and more the stuff of life. He doesn’t veil these voices in literary flourishes or what he calls “classic literary tropes”. His characters are flesh and blood, the stories difficult to stomach, the language brutal’.—The HinduSee all Product description
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Hansda Shekhar has continued the fine tradition of doctors becoming authors e.g., AJ Cronin, Arthur Conan Doyle, Somerset Maugham, Robin Cook., Oliver Wendell Holmes, Michael Crichton, Anton Chekhov. He has a very simple yet evocative style of writing. The reader can almost taste the dust and scratch at the grime and smell the filth.
There are some very explicit scenes, but they have been rendered quite tastefully. There should have been a glossary of Santhal terms.
The 'happier' stories talk about those Santhals who have been fortunate enough to get an education and a job but struggle and oscillate between their traditional values and the new ideas, technology and cultural onslaughts that they are exposed to in Indian cities. It is a microcosmic reflection of the dichotomy of Indians trying to amalgamate the world view into Bhartiya sanskriti in the age of the internet.
In contrast, the author has shown us an idyllic way of life that has been brutally shattered by 'civilization' and 'progress'. He writes about the blatant exploitation of tribal Indians by corrupt policemen, greedy human traffickers, lecherous goondas, venal politicians, rapacious land-sharks, proselytizing Christian Missionaries and pointedly ignored by the government machinery.
Some excerpts: 'Sarjomdih, where most of the population is Santhal and the rest, Munda; all of them are followers of Sarna, the aboriginal faith of the Chota Nagpur area'. Sarjomdih, which bore the repercussions of development, the nationalization of the mine and the factory'. Sarjomdih, which is a standing testimony to the collapse of an agrarian Adivasi society and the dilution of Adivasi culture, the twin gifts of industrialization and progress. Sarjomdih, which, within sixty years, acquired all the sign of urbanity, just lie the Copper Town: concrete houses; cable television; two-wheelers; a hand-pump; a narrow, winding tarmac that everyone called the 'main road'; and a primary school'
The last story (which left me lachrymose) is an indictment of a real polo-playing, tricolour waving MP/industrialist/steel magnate and a very vocal and popular politician who wants to turn into a Hindu state.
Some more excerpts: 'If coal merchants have taken a part of our lands, the other part has been taken over by stone merchants, all Diku ' Marwari, Sindhi, Mandal, Bhagat, Muslim'' What do we Santhals get in return? Tatters to wear. Barely enough food. Such diseases that we can't breathe properly, we cough blood and forever remain bare bones.'
''..those Kiristan missionary schools where or children are constantly asked to stop worshipping our Bonga-Buru and start revering Jisu and Mariam'.. the sisters and the fathers tell our boys that their Santhal names ' Hopna, Som, Singrai ' are not good enough. They are renamed David and Mikail and Kiristofer and whatnot.'
'Village after village in our Santhal Parganas ' which should have been a home for us Santhals ' are turning into Muslim villages'.. We are losing our Sarna faith our identities, and our roots. We are becoming people from nowhere.'