Category Archives: Commentary

“Unless we affirm our culture and right and language, we won’t live. Our colour is good, our language is good, our art is good, our way of living is good. If we can respect your religion and your practices, why can’t you respect ours?” – G. Thenadikulam, Wayanad District on Survival International
https://www.notprimitive.in
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22274

“There are many indices one can use to measure the shocking failures of education, even as it is conventionally understood, in India today. The stories of state-run schools that are in absolute shambles are legion, and have been documented by thousands of researchers, journalists, and social workers. More than seventy years after independence, the effective countrywide literacy rate is less than 50%; in some districts of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh, female literacy rates still hover at 10%. The best public universities have been gutted; all that is left is a shambolic display of awards of “excellence”, a word as shorn of content as any. In one instance the award has been to an institute of higher education that does not even exist. Yet all this is far from what Gandhi had in mind when he pondered over the ruins of education and I wonder how he would have struggled to even comprehend the “hardheartedness” of the educated in India today. Let there be no mistake: what really ails Indian education is the fact that at its center is the “undeveloped heart.” – “The Undeveloped Heart: Gandhi on Education” by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), 15 October 2019
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/the-undeveloped-heart-gandhi-on-education/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=29790

We met adivasis who had been persecuted by the Naxalites, and other adivasis who had been tormented by the Salwa Judum vigilantes [i.e. “a strange, not to say bizarre, example of bipartisan co-operation“]. The situation of the community was poignantly captured by one tribal, who said […] “placed between the Maoists and the vigilantes, we adivasis are being squeezed from both sides”. – Historian Ramachandra Guha in “The continuing tragedy of the adivasis”, The Hindu (28 May 2013)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/the-continuing-tragedy-of-the-adivasis/article4756954.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11336

“Indigenous people are at the forefront of the struggle to save the planet”: Defending the guardians of nature

On a very small scale compared to the widely promoted homogenising mega-schools, [alternative schools] respect diversity and are sensitive to the socio-cultural and political context of the children. […] The National Education Policy of 2020 is silent on the crucial … Continue reading

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Adivasis’ world view: A truly sustainable lifestyle – Comment

Adivasi people: proud not primitive | Read the full article >> […] Defining what’s special about India’s adivasi or indigenous people is complicated. People, mostly anthropologists and human rights defenders, who know adivasis and have worked closely with them, also tend … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Assimilation, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Organizations, Poetry, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Topics and issues, Tourism, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Adivasis’ world view: A truly sustainable lifestyle – Comment

Trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time to time – Kerala, Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu

In an atmosphere where every morning, our newspapers greet us with stories of girls being tormented, raped, killed or treated like a doormat in one way or another, trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time … Continue reading

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A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India

Ambedkar had been the champion of freedom, free thinking and liberty whose words are important to be remembered. […] ‘The caste system has recognised slavery in inverse order of status and maintained inequality in every sphere of human activity social, … Continue reading

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eJournal | Writing and teaching Santali in different alphabets: A success story calling for a stronger sense of self-confidence – West Bengal

Santali is one of India’s many Adivasi languages. Today, seven different alphabets are used to write in it. Some argue that this great variety does not help the community’s development. | Read the full article (3,3 MB) >> Among South … Continue reading

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