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THE SELECTED WORKS OF MAHATMA GANDHI > Vol. V - THE VOICE OF TRUTH > Part II- Section XII : Unto This Last > Adivasis

 

80. Adivasis

The Adivasis are the original inhabitants whose material position is perhaps no better than that of Harijans and who have long been victims of neglect on the part of the so-called high classes. And Adivasis should have found a special place in the constructive programme. Non-mention was an oversight…. The Christian missionary has been more or less in sole occupation of the field. Great as his labour has been it has not proposed as it might have because of his ultimate aim being the Adivasis conversion to his fold and their becoming de-Indianized. Anyway no one who hopes to construct Swaraj on the foundation on non-violence can afford to neglect even the least of India’s sons. Adivasis are too numerous to be counted among the least.

Harijan, 18-1-42, p. 5


Adivasis have become the fourteenth item in the constructive programme. But they are not the least in point of importance. Our country is so vast and the races so varied that the best of us in spite of every effort cannot know all there is to know of men and their condition. As one comes upon layer after layer of things one ought to know as a national servant, one realize how difficult it is to make good our claim to be one nation whose every unit has a living consciousness of being one with every other.

Harijan, 15-2-42, p. 38