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

“I cling to the belief that for any culture as old and ancient as ours to have survived over time and in time, there could only be one basic common and acceptable core thought: humaneness. To accept each other’s right to be human with dignity. This then is my fight. My dream. In my life and in my literature.” – Mahasweta Devi during her inaugural speech for the Frankfurt Book Fair (Tehelka, 21 October 2006)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7298

“Our moment calls for a bolder reimagination, based not on the constrained, degraded conditions around us but on a more expansive view of history and reality, considering as possible baselines both realities of the past and audacious visions of the future.” – Alexandra Kleeman in “Bolder Reimagining” (55 Voices for Democracy: “Bolder Reimagining” by Alexandra Kleeman, 31 December 2021)
https://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/55-voices/55-voices-democracy-bolder-reimagining-alexandra-kleeman/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23900

“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.” – “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

“When discussing the materialistic well-being of tribes, many anthropologists and other thinkers have also sometimes perpetuated a ‘saviour complex,’ portraying tribes as bereft of the agency to express their own aspirations, and seeing it necessary to salvage tribal people from the clutches of their insubstantial living conditions without a deep consideration of how their ways of life have thrived in the past.” – Richard Kamei in “Uncivilising the Mind: How anthropology shaped the discourse on tribes in India” (Caravan Magazine, 1 March 2021)
https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26231

Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Director: Sunanda Bhat | Producer: Songline FilmsGenre: Documentary | Produced In: 2012 | Story Teller’s Country: India Synopsis: The film interweaves contemporary narratives with an ancient tribal creation myth to explore the effects of a rapidly changing landscape on lives and … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Childhood and children, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Film, Health and nutrition, History, Homes and utensils, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Tourism, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women | Comments Off on Video | Synopsis: “Have you seen the arana?” Documentary by Sunanda Bhat – Kerala

Video | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious”

Excerpt from “Rage Of A Silent, Invisible Killer Called Malnutrition – Why Shining India Is In Grip Of An Epic Calamity” by Damayanti Datta | Read the full article >>Despite designing the world’s earliest and largest schemes on hunger and … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Biodiversity, Commentary, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Tips, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Video | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious”

“Many tribal peoples have an encyclopaedic knowledge of native animals, plants and herbs”: Ingenious skills of tribal peoples

Click on the image to view the slideshow and read more Many tribal peoples have an encyclopaedic knowledge of native animals, plants and herbs; the Yanomami, for example, use around 500 species of plants on a daily basis. The Yali … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Commentary, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Ecology and environment, Games and leisure time, Health and nutrition, Media portrayal, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on “Many tribal peoples have an encyclopaedic knowledge of native animals, plants and herbs”: Ingenious skills of tribal peoples

“Sweet memories of Mizos”: On misconceptions about the North-East in many parts of India – Mizoram

I found the Mizos practise honesty and trust effortlessly. Why don’t we give it a try? […] It was 10 years ago that I was posted to Lunglei for a two-year tenure. There is a lot of misconception about the North-East … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Commentary, Customs, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council | Tagged | Comments Off on “Sweet memories of Mizos”: On misconceptions about the North-East in many parts of India – Mizoram

Indigenous peoples in the modern world: A call to end colonial misconceptions and racial stereotyping – National Museum of the American Indian

In the Washington Post [22 November 2017], Kevin Gover, director of the museum, deals with five popular misconceptions about Native America | Read the full story here >> Thanksgiving recalls for many people a meal between European colonists and indigenous Americans … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Biodiversity, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Commentary, Constitution and Supreme Court, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Museum collections - general, Names and communities, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Topics and issues, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Indigenous peoples in the modern world: A call to end colonial misconceptions and racial stereotyping – National Museum of the American Indian