We the non-tribals who talk about the tribals are often easily discernible from the tribals. As a deer is dear to a hunter and cheers him, as a tamed tigress remains an object of affection for the owner’s fancy, as the guinea pigs are liked by the elite scientists engaged in the serious scientific investigation, in the same way, most of us like the tribals.
In the words of Veriar Elwin, we study the tribals, at the most, with a museum interest, and with the same interest, we love them too. While pursuing such interest we never wish to be one amongst them. We always consider it wise to maintain a safe distance from them, as we feel scared to be intimate. Howsoever deep our attraction for tribals and their culture could be, it only goes to the extent, which is very touchingly put by Sj Laxmi Narayan Sahoo in his poem ‘The Natural Man’ where it is said “ but you must be above, below, must be the other”.
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