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

Chenchu music: “Kinnera” stringed music instrument – Telangana

It was quite a homecoming for ‘Kinnera’ (aka ‘Kinneri’), a stringed music instrument, when it arrived into the Chenchu tribal heartland amid the forests of Mahabubnagar district of Telangana, after decades of wandering. | To read the full article, click here … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Commentary, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Homes and utensils, Maps, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Southern region, Tribal elders, Video resources - external | Tagged , | Comments Off on Chenchu music: “Kinnera” stringed music instrument – Telangana

Tip | Call for rural schools in tune with local needs: Achieving Unesco’s goal of “integrated education”

Enrolment rates have improved in India, but especially in rural areas, the quality of primary education remains too poor. Our assessment was written by a member of the Santal community, one of India’s many Adivasi tribes. […] Experience tells us that … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi, Childhood and children, Commentary, Democracy, Eastern region, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, ePub, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rural poverty | Tagged | Comments Off on Tip | Call for rural schools in tune with local needs: Achieving Unesco’s goal of “integrated education”

Exploring human evolution in the Narmada Valley: Rich in fossils and archaeological sites, facing submergence – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra & Gujarat

VADODARA: Much is known about how the Harappan Civilization flourished on the banks of the Indus almost 5,000 years back. But now is the time to move ‘ahead’ of the Indus Valley Civilization. Through the largest exploration exercise ever undertaken, … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Archaeology, Central region, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Government of India, History, Maps, Modernity, Narmada, Nature and wildlife, Press snippets, Trees, Western region | Comments Off on Exploring human evolution in the Narmada Valley: Rich in fossils and archaeological sites, facing submergence – Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra & Gujarat

Wildlife and changing lifestyles in the “biodiversity hotspots” of the Nilgiri hills (Western Ghats) – Tamil Nadu and Kerala

Tarsh Thekaekara,  New Delhi, Sun Jul 15 2012 I grew up in a small town on the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala, cradled in the Nilgiri hills. I now work as a conservationist in the same area. Gudalur sits … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Commentary, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Elephant, Figures, census and other statistics, Maps, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Tiger, Tourism, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology | Comments Off on Wildlife and changing lifestyles in the “biodiversity hotspots” of the Nilgiri hills (Western Ghats) – Tamil Nadu and Kerala

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

A village that plants 111 trees for every girl born in Rajasthan Mahim Pratap Singh, The Hindu, Jaipur, April 11, 2013 In an atmosphere where every morning, our newspapers greet us with stories of girls being tormented, raped, killed or … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi, Childhood and children, Commentary, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Gandhian social movement, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Seasons and festivals, Southern region, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Western region, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time to time – Kerala, Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu