Today we lost an incredible person. Abhay Flavian Xaxa, a brother, Adivasi rights activist and organic intellectual whose writings and activism paved a new lens to look at the question of Adivasi rights,land, territory, autonomy, cultural identity and resources.
His poem ” I am not your data, I am not your entertainment in Indian Habitat centre confronted the “mainstream” fetish of looking at Adivasis as field work, as exotic bodies, as mere datas, as tableaus in republic day parades, or as entertainers. His poem ” Republic of Memory” has reflections of Marang Gomke Jaypal singh Munda where he asks the outsider hegemonic forces to come and learn democracy from the Adivasis and on that note Abhay Dada talks of Republic having Adivasi roots.
He forged solidarity with other marginalized sections, recently stood alongside Thol Thiruma and Bala Saheb Prakash Ambedkar against CAA & NRC in New Delhi. His achievements of doing phenomenal research work from abroad in social anthropology from Sussex university and also grass root engagements with Adivasi youths makes him apart from many others .
His academia and activism kept reflecting in each other through out while being connected with the roots where he came from. Personally he has been a friend and brother to so many of us around.
Comfort and solace to his family members at this hour of grieving and may we carry on his writings, his activism and his poems ahead.
Johar to Abhay Flavian Xaxa, one among the most critical and fierce Adivasi voice to have lived in the current times !!! Sumeet Samos
Rest in Power Dear Compatriot. A huge loss to the movement of bahujans. . Deeply saddening , deeply sorrowful, your leaving us so early.
~ dr manisha bangar
Rather than being selfish in continuing his academics in London, Abhay Flavian Xaxa kept aside his foreign degree and returned to India to work for the rights of Adivasi’s and Dalit’s. His poem ‘I am not your Data’ is a poetic justice to the marginalized masses. It is also a warning to the arrogant academics who collect data and improve their CV without doing any justice to the marginalized community. His writings and speeches (in JNU and Delhi) always helped academics and activists across. Last saw him and heard him at the Chalo Delhi against CAA, NRC and NPR at Janatar Mantar. His absence is irreparable loss to the Adivasi, Dalit and the entire marginalized community. ~ Thalepalli Praveen ( research Scholar JNU) Hul Johar Abhay Xaxa.
I am not your data
~ Abhay Flavian Xaxa
I am not your data, nor am I your vote bank,
I am not your project, or any exotic museum object,
I am not the soul waiting to be harvested,
Nor am I the lab where your theories are tested,
I am not your cannon fodder, or the invisible worker,
or your entertainment at India habitat center,
I am not your field, your crowd, your history, your help, your guilt, medallions of your victory,
I refuse, reject, resist your labels,
your judgments, documents, definitions,
your models, leaders and patrons,
because they deny me my existence, my vision, my space,
your words, maps, figures, indicators,
they all create illusions and put you on pedestal,
from where you look down upon me,
So I draw my own picture, and invent my own grammar,
I make my own tools to fight my own battle,
For me, my people, my world, and my Adivasi self!
This incredible poem is wrote by Adivasi Rights Activist Abhay Flavian Xaxa.