‘Our history is being erased slowly’: Adivasis to restore Gond forts in Telangana

The restoration, which will begin from July 29, aims to unify the Adivasis and expose how the government has been neglecting them.
 ‘Our history is being erased slowly’: Adivasis to restore Gond forts in Telangana
‘Our history is being erased slowly’: Adivasis to restore Gond forts in Telangana
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After declaring self-rule in Adivasi dominated regions in Telangana, the Adivasi Hakkula Porata Samithi (AHPS) — the group leading the struggle to remove Lambadas from the Scheduled Tribes list — has taken on the task to restore the neglected Gond forts in Adilabad. The restoration will begin from July 29.

Speaking to TNM, AHPS state president Soyam Bapu Rao said, “The restoration work will begin on June 29 and continue for a few days. After restoration, all our political meetings and gatherings will be held at the forts. This will remind our people about who this land belongs to and the rights they are entitled to.”

Rao says that the restoration will prove that the government did not care about the welfare of the Adivasis and neglected their monuments. He says it will also help ascertain that the Lambadas were migrants.
The president lamented that the Gondwana forts in Adilabad remained neglected. “Our history is being erased slowly, which is want we want to prevent. It is a conspiracy,” Bapu Rao said.
“Though Telangana has fewer Gondwana forts as compared to Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, the government didn’t take much effort to restore them. As a result, most of them are in ruins,” he said.
As part of the plan, volunteers will go to all the dilapidated forts in Adilabad and erstwhile Adilabad districts (in present-day Asifabad) and clean up the forts. He also said that further said that they will celebrate the International Day of the World's Indigenous People's, observed on August 9, in a big manner.
“Usually only Gusadi or some other dance would be performed. But this time, we are planning to include many other performances to show inclusivity,” he said.
Alleging that their employment and education opportunities have been exploited by the Lambadas, Adivasis have demanded that the government delist them from the ST category. This resulted in violent clashes between the two communities last year in December. Later, as the government continued to ignore the demand put forth by the Adivasis, they declared self-rule on June 1 and have been boycotting the Lambadas from their hamlets/villages.
Last January, the tourism department announced that it was of repairing the dilapidated Utnoor Gond fort. However, it is yet to be restored, Bapu Rao said.

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