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

A historical plea to ‘secure the advancement of the tribals without disturbing the essential harmony of their life and secure their integration without imposition’: Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission – Government of India

Indians are truly rooted in an ethos of living in harmony with their land. There was a time when the Indian subcontinent was carpeted in green… watered by glacial rivers, blessed by rolling hills and productive grasslands, lush rainforests and … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Constitution and Supreme Court, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tribal identity | Comments Off on A historical plea to ‘secure the advancement of the tribals without disturbing the essential harmony of their life and secure their integration without imposition’: Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission – Government of India

Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

“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 … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Childhood and children, Commentary, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Regions of India, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Southern region, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity, Wayanad, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

ePub | The Problem of Tribal Education

The vulnerability of tribal populations to exploitation by minor government officials, as well as moneylenders, landlords, and other agents of vested interests, can largely be traced to their illiteracy and general ignorance of the world outside the narrow confines of … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Customs, Economy and development, Education and literacy, ePub & eJournal, Government of India, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal identity | Tagged | Comments Off on ePub | The Problem of Tribal Education

Reflecting the interrelated ideas of cultures, civilizations and heritage: “Indian Cultures As Heritage— Contemporary Pasts”

In her new collection of essays, historian Romila Thapar casts a clear eye on India’s contentious past and political present Indian Cultures As Heritage— Contemporary Pasts: By Romila Thapar, Aleph Book Company, 224 pages, Rs599. | Read the full review … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Press snippets, Resources, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Reflecting the interrelated ideas of cultures, civilizations and heritage: “Indian Cultures As Heritage— Contemporary Pasts”

“In Bastar, I learned that my books were used to teach English to the tribal children”: Chetan Bhagat on his sense of belonging and literature as entertainment

[…] I know most writers want to be published in the US and UK after becoming famous in India, but for me, it’s very important that even the smallest part of my own country experiences my writings and feels like a … Continue reading

Posted in Bastar, Childhood and children, Commentary, Education and literacy, Globalization, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Press snippets, Storytelling | Comments Off on “In Bastar, I learned that my books were used to teach English to the tribal children”: Chetan Bhagat on his sense of belonging and literature as entertainment