Category Archives: Democracy

“Our languages have survived tenaciously. We are truly a linguistic democracy. To keep our democracy alive, we have to keep our languages alive.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy (co-founder, People’s Linguistic Survey of India) quoted by Soutik Biswas in “The man who ‘discovered’ 780 Indian languages” (BBC News 27 (October 2017)
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-41718082
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24320

“Sure — democracy, first articulated, is Greek in origin. Europe provided the lexicon for it and its components. But just because it did, does not mean the desire for democracy, the desire for human rights, does not exist in every single one of us.” – Melissa Chan in “How ‘Stolen Words’ Harm Democracy” (55 Voices for Democracy, 23 July 2021)
https://blog.lareviewofbooks.org/55-voices/55-voices-democracy-stolen-words-harm-democracy-melissa-chan/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23343

“Development means nothing if it does not lead to human development in its broadest sense.” – Parvathy Menon in “At 90, C.T. Kurien – Scholar of Social Conscience – Is More Relevant Than Ever” (The Wire, 5 July 2021)
https://thewire.in/economy/ct-kurien-scholar-indian-economy
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=5208

“He who does not lead his life under the direction of others, who sets his own goal of life according to his own reasoning and decides for himself as to how and in what way life should be lead, is a free man.” – Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (who was more than the “drafter of the Constitution”), quoted in “Contested Freedom” (Journal of People’s Studies Volume 1, Issue 4 June 2016, Page iii)
https://www.academia.edu/28587897
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“The highest court of judgement regarding social customs was the general hunt council to which the Santal tribes of a particular region gather together. [A]nybody could lodge a complaint against a decision of a village council or Pargana council, either disagreeing with or thinking that the decision made there was malafide. […] It was an exemplary institution of a direct democracy where for one night the final authority was the people themselves.” – Timotheas Hembrom in The Santal and the Biblical Creation Traditions: Anthropological & Theological Reflections (Ch. “Introduction to the Santals”, pp. 26-27)
https://adivaani.org/tag/santal/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=13041

“The first report on minority rights, made public in late August 1947, provided for reservation for Untouchables only. [O]ne member of the Assembly regretted that ‘the most needy, the most deserving group of adibasis [tribals] has been completely left out of the picture.’ The member was Jaipal Singh, himself an adivasi. […] To the tribals of Chotanagpur, he was their marang gomke, or ‘great leader’. In the Constituent Assembly he came to represent the tribals not just of his native plateau, but of all India. […] His first speech was made on 19 December 1946 when, in welcoming the Objectives Resolution, he provided a masterly summary of the adivasi case.” – India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy by Ramachandra Guha (p. 115)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=15375

“There was a time when, in terms of freedom of press, India was in an enviable position among the developing nations. But that was 40 years ago.” – N. Ram (Director, The Hindu Publishing Group) in a webinar organised by Live Law on “Criminalising Journalism and Cinema” (The Hindu, 6 February 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/todays-times-cant-be-exaggerated-as-emergency-n-ram/article33768798.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11721

“As a democracy, India has languished. […] On the Democracy Index’s global ranking, India dropped 10 places to 51: that it maintains even something of a place as a ‘flawed democracy’ has to do with the relatively smooth functioning of the election machinery, though the data shows the severe erosion of ‘civil liberties’”. – Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), in “Emergency in India, Faux and Real” (26 June 2020)
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/emergency-in-india-faux-and-real/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25720

“In May [2020], the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah saying it was alarmed by the ‘intimidation and harassment of human rights defenders’ by the authorities.” – Analysis by Soutik Biswas in “Outrage as jailed Indian poet contracts Covid” (BBC News, 17 July 2020)
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-53441846
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25922

“You can’t keep quiet on everything. At some point, if you disagree – it’s better to say it then rather than piling it up.” – Former IAS Officer Kannan Gopinathan (who resigned from service over ‘lack of freedom of expression’) in a special lecture on “Democracy: Institutions and Individuals” (Asian College of Journalism – ACJ, 2 September 2020)
http://acjnewsline.org/special-lecture-by-kannan-gopinathan-ex-ias-officer-and-activist-on-democracy-institutions-and-individuals/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11721

“Populist leaders often polarise society and delegitimise the political opposition, often presenting them as enemies of the state or people. […] Electoral autocracies, according to V-Dem, are now present in 87 states that are home to 68% of the global population. Liberal democracies, the group says, are diminishing, and are home to only 14% of the people.” –  Report on democracy by Sweden-based V-Dem Institute noting India’s diminishing of freedom of expression, the media, and civil society; quoted by Soutik Biswas in “‘Electoral autocracy’: The downgrading of India’s democracy” (BBC News, 16 March 2021)
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-56393944
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11721

“Unless people become citizens and not subjects under a patrimonial rule, the calamitous clouds of the pandemic portend a bleak future for Indian democracy as well.” – Nissim Mannathukkaren (Chair, International Development Studies, Dalhousie University, Canada) in “Social murder and the missing state” (The Hindu, 7 May 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/lead/social-murder-and-the-missing-state/article34502018.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

Documentary on the matrilineal Khasi Tribe: A social order where women are dignified and not discriminated against – Meghalaya

By Kamayani Bali Mahabal | To read the full article with images, click here >> Filmmaker Aditya Seth demystifies the traditions and culture of the matrilineal Khasi tribe of Meghalaya, as they discover their place in a fast-changing world. […] In his latest 60-minute … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Film, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Social conventions, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal elders, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Documentary on the matrilineal Khasi Tribe: A social order where women are dignified and not discriminated against – Meghalaya

Down To Earth – science and environment fortnightly published by India’s Society for Environmental Communications

Down To Earth is a product of our commitment to make changes in the way we manage our environment, protect health and secure livelihoods and economic security for all. We believe strongly that we can and must do things differently. … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Commentary, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Education and literacy, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on Down To Earth – science and environment fortnightly published by India’s Society for Environmental Communications

Audio | Birsa Munda (1875-1900), the young, charismatic healer: “The only Adivasi whose portrait hangs in the Indian Parliament”

Prof. Sunil Khilnani profiles Birsa Munda, the young, charismatic healer who led his tribal community in revolt against the British and whose life, more than a century after his death, poses the question: ‘Who owns India?’ | Listen to the … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Audio resources - external, Colonial policies, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Names and communities, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling | Tagged | Comments Off on Audio | Birsa Munda (1875-1900), the young, charismatic healer: “The only Adivasi whose portrait hangs in the Indian Parliament”

Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages

Literacy level among women in India being alarmingly low, it will be necessary to expand our school education system so as to introduce and include as many languages as possible, so that the girl children are educated in their own … Continue reading

Posted in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Names and communities, Organizations, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Women | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Cultural invisibility – India’s 600 potentially endangered languages

Residential schools: Government plans for preserving art and culture in regions with tribals majority

The name of legendary tribal archer Ekalavya will soon become synonymous with residential schools in each block of the country where tribals constitute a majority of the population. This was announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his – Budget … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Colonial policies, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Literature - fiction, Modernity, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Video resources - external, Western region –  Western Zonal Council | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Residential schools: Government plans for preserving art and culture in regions with tribals majority