Tribal tales
Jaspal Bhatti 

ITt is difficult to believe that a tribe in Karnataka still lives on trees. There are around 40 persons belonging to Kuruba tribe in Banavara village, who have been living in wooden homes on trees. I pity the Census department staff, who must be finding it hard to climb up the trees, to count heads. I pity the politicians, who may come there every five years, to beg for votes. Just imagine a netaji climbing up a tree and promising tribesmen a comfortable living if he is voted to power. An NGO revealed that these tribesmen do have votes and have been falling prey to the lure of liquor offered by politicians.


Imagine the kind of speeches politicians must be delivering in these areas. Picture a politician, perching on the branch of a tree, jabbering through a megaphone, “Dear friends, we are planning to grow bigger trees so that you can make bigger houses on these trees. We are also planning to provide you with water supply, electricity connections, wooden ladders and internet connection on the trees.” A chamcha is sure to add, “Sir, you may not provide anything, but don’t go back on the promise of ladders. It is very difficult to get up to their doors for door-to-door canvassing.”