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Pull down the page ‘I Am Niyamgiri’!
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Pull down the page ‘I Am Niyamgiri’!

i am niyamgiri

 

An appeal from the students of Niyamgiri to report and pull down the page ‘I Am Niyamgiri’ misrepresenting our community

This is to bring to everyone’s attention that a Facebook page is posturing as ‘I am Niyamgiri’ while as far as we know it has nothing to do with our community. Instead it makes undue criticism of valid representation of our community like Video Republic’s participation in the Indigenous Film Festivals of Indonesia.

i am niyamgiri

We would like to bring to everyone’s attention that our leader Dinja Jakasika participated in the 1st Bali Indigenous Film Festival and was meant to do so in subsequent festivals as well but due to other commitments she could not. We would like to point out here that Dinja Jakasika was the first Dongria Kondh woman to have a passport and travel to a foreign country, which is a matter of great pride for us. Moreover we are even more proud that the programme she participated in was organized by Dayak indigenous activists. For the first time in history the Dongria Kondh, the Dayak Maanyan and the Maori came together which is a historical moment for indigenous people. Why does a page claiming to be ‘Niyamgiri’ have a problem with the collaborationof indigenous people across seas?

This is to clarify that Video Republic’s representation of our community is valid and genuine. It seems someone has made a personal agenda to malign Video Republic and it must be to serve Vedanta’s interests. Video Republic group has tirelessly brought forth important and urgent news of Niyamgiri for the last 15 years. From the irregularities at Lanjigarh to the abduction and torture of our leaders, it has been on many occasions the only platform to bring forth our voices despite immense threat from the Brahmin Savarna Govt. and Mafia. The community has always been consulted by Video Republic and all its activities are in collaboration with our people. Many of our generation actually learn about the true history of the struggle against Vedanta from the documentaries of Video Republic. We also appreciate the efforts made by Video Republic to preserve the wisdom of our departed elders like Late Dambu Praska as it is through these videos that we know him and remember him.

Since Vedanta is trying again to get Niyamgiri such attempts by Vedanta have surfaced again to disable genuine representation. This was also done in the past by Vedanta on YouTube where they started a similar campaign against Video Republic and even hacked and deleted all the videos on the channel. While the page ‘I am Niyamgiri’ criticizes valid representation it promotes thoughts of non-Adivasi people on education of Dongria Kondh children that does not reflect our views at all.

The page has even made an offensive post about our community with photos of Dinja Jakasika and other Dongria Kondh community members without their consent and puts the picture completely out of context.

Screen Shot 2018-08-23 at 2.17.35 PM

We are amongst the first generation of students of the Dongria Kondh community from Niyamgiri who are pursuing higher studies in various streams and we know this page is certainly not by anyone amongst us. While our friends at Video Republic have hinted at the individuals from Bhubaneswar running this page (most likely a certain Brahmin Savarna duo posturing as radicals without any contribution to Adivasi movements of Odisha), we are not naming them as there is no concrete evidence. We want to give a clear message to them that the community finds their page and posts highly offensive and if they truly have any empathy for our struggle and resistance then they must pull down the page immediately and not interfere in our affairs.

It must be clarified here that the most offensive part of the page is it’s very title, ‘I am Niyamgiri’, that assumes it is our supreme deity, Niyamgiri. We find this a grave insult to our faith and religion. Who gave them the right to pose as our God? We have had enough of Brahmin Savarnas posing as our Gods for centuries. We will not tolerate it anymore.

There are many pages on Facebook but only few have genuine association with our community and they are Save Niyamgiri, Foil Vedanta and Video Republic. Please follow those pages for genuine information as these are run by our long true friends with the partnership of our community.

This page ‘I am Niyamgiri’ mixes up information from here and there, tries to put some credible indigenous people’s assertions from other platforms like Adivasi Resurgence along with dubious criticism of our friends to make themselves appear credible as well. In our indigenous culture we don’t allow the humiliation of our friends who have stood with us through thick and thin. Please consider our appeal and report this page to Facebook to pull it down:

https://www.facebook.com/I-am-Niyamgiri-233394094109786/

We would like to end with a quote from Babasaheb Ambedkar that best describes why such people resort to such dastardly acts –’It is your claim to equality which hurts them. They want to maintain the status quo. If you continue to accept your lowly status ungrudgingly, continue to remain dirty, filthy, backward, ignorant, poor and disunited, they will allow you to live in peace. The moment you start to raise your level, the conflict starts’.

Jai Bhim! Jai Niyamgiri!

From the students of Niyamgiri,

Madan Jakasika
Puniya Kadraka
Setru Jakasika
Dasuru Jakasika
Navin Kulesika
Rabindra Wadaka
Bali Sikaka
Dusmonth Sikaka
Narendra Sikaka
Ajit Jakesika
Radhakant Jaksika
Abhi Jaksika
Anjali Kadraka
Bama Sikaka
Mahendra Wadaka
Kamini Kadara
Sarnalata Jakesika
Rajani Wadaka
Phulaki Wadaka
Kumari Wadaka
Sita Wadaka
Banita Wadaka
Sajani Wadaka
Damayanti Wadaka
Twinkil Wadaka
Subarna Jakesika
Sukanti Wadaka
Saun Kadraka
Pankaj Takiri

Date: 21 August 2018

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