Education, Gallery, National, Politics, Telangana

Where voting is a sacred activity for Adilabad tribals

S Harpal Singh

ADILABAD, MAY 18, 2024: Adilabad: None of the hundreds of tribal hamlets in erstwhile united Adilabad district in Telangana bears any signs of the hectic electioneering that it witnessed until last week. The Adivasi voters have gotten busy with their daily grind.

The aboriginal tribes in this part of the world take every task that comes their way quite seriously. Elections and polling is no exception and all polling station located in the tribal belt invariably record a higher percentage of polling compared with those situated in non tribal areas or urban centres.

On the day of polling, the atmosphere in the agency areas is one of a festival. Tribal men and women voters walk long distances through hills and forests to reach the polling stations making it visually quite aesthetic.

“We consider voting to be our sacred duty,” observed Athram Tukaram, a Pardhan tribe voter from Jhari in Kerameri mandal of Asifabad (ST) Assembly segment in Adilabad (ST) Parliamentary constituency, as he reveals the secret behind the high voter turnout in Adivasi areas. “We overcome every kind of hardship to reach polling stations to exercise our franchise,” he added.

Thanks to the diligence shown by tribal voters, the polling percentage in Adilabad Lok Sabha seat stood at over 74 percentage. Though this is slightly lower than the percentage of voting recorded in the 2019 elections, it was among the highest in Telangana.

The polling percentage of two of the three ST reserved Assembly segments in Adilabad Lok Sabha constituency was higher than the cumulative percentage. Asifabad recorded 75.49 per cent and Boath segment recorded the highest of 78.16 per cent of polling in this instant.

The average voting percentage in tribal polling stations comes to about 85 per cent. Chittyalbori polling station in Adilabad Assembly segment recorded over 94 per cent of polling which is a record in itself.

Another remarkable aspect of tribal voting is the near unanimity in choosing a candidate or party to vote. Usually, the voters in a given village vote for a candidate suggested by the village headman or patel.

Photo Captions

  1. Tribal voters form a queue for voting in Pamulwada village even before the commencing time.
  2. Pic shows tribal voters head to their polling station in a happy frame of mind.
  3. Women tribal voters returning after casting their vote.

S Harpal Singh

Independent Journalist

Former Sr. Asst. Editor, The Hindu


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