Beautiful Damaged People A poem by Adivasi Rights Activist, Abhay Xaxa

30, Nov 2017 | Abhay Xaxa

In the following poem, Adivasi rights activist Abhay Xaxa captures the essence of age old adivasi traditions and their struggle for their rights and dignity.

Among the doom and gloom they smile,

Mistaken for idiots by the mad rational world.

 The Adivasis, beautifully damaged people!

On the treasures of iron, gold and diamond they sit,

Poor and powerless, holding the curse of nature.

The curse of loving their land , water, forest,

where they prefer to die as mad lover

beautifully damaged people!

With stars in their eyes, n moon in their minds,

Thoughts flowing like an undammed river

with hearts unadulterated with twisted philosophies,

Religions, ideologies, lust and greed.

Their vision misunderstood as juvenility,

On the face of violence, loot and hopelessness they remain,

Dreamy, defiant and deviant,

Beautifully damaged people!

Totally unfit in the world of money and power,

Locked in the mental asylums of nature and culture,

They are teased, played, raped and killed

With the weapons of development and benevolence,

Time after time, history after history.

The beautiful damaged people!

They fail to understand the logic of intelligent world,

Why mines are important than forests,

Or water become a commodity to buy and sell,

Why love, dance and mahua should be restrained

Why its dangerous to be David against the Goliaths!

Beautifully damaged people!

The ugly normal people of the world,

Disciplined, insecure, greedy and lusty

Beneficiaries of loot, cheating and mayhem

Fearing to figure out a future of their generations,

Suddenly realising that they were reading their book upside down,

Confused between mindless and mindful, need and greed

Keep pondering why Adivasis stay happy!

For if there is any hope of future for this world,

It is by the beautifully damaged people.

Who among the doom and gloom, smile and survive

In togetherness with nature,

The Adivasis!


Abhay XaxaAbhay Xaxa is an Adivasi Rights Activist and Sociologist by training. He has worked with grassroots organisations, campaigns, NGO’s, media, research institutions in different capacities on the issue of Adivasi land rights in central India.


Adivasi Rights are an important focus area for CJP and we invite scholars and activists to send us their stories and observations. You can read our submission guidelines here


Feature Illustration: Amili Setalvad



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