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 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

“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/JOURNAL_OF_PEOPLE_S_STUDIES_-_Volume_1_Issue_4
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

The relevance of Gandhi’s legacy for solving modern India’s socio-economic problems: Addressing the needs of peasants, labourers, students and tribals

In a year GDP contracted 7.7 per cent, and as we brace for another round of ‘reverse’ migrations, and as the farmers wait unheeded at the gates of Delhi, Indian billionaires reached record levels of wealth. […] The ranks of … Continue reading

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“Nobody progresses without opposition” – Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti

“Nobody progresses without opposition. New Delhi : 1-9–1946″ – Mahatma Gandhi Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) was formed in September 1984 by the merger of Gandhi Darshan at Rajghat and Gandhi Smriti, at 5, Tees January Marg as an … Continue reading

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Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains – Tamil Nadu

A visit to the Toda hamlet known as Taranadmund near Ooty makes it clear that for the Toda community, cultural heritage is part of everyday life and worship. The local economy continues to involve buffalo rearing. As the Tamil Nadu … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Education and literacy, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Homes and utensils, Modernity, Names and communities, Nilgiri, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Tourism, Tribal elders, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Toda cultural heritage and education: Nilgiri mountains – Tamil Nadu

Jaipal Singh and the adivasi (adibasi) movement of modern India: A gifted speaker from Chotanagpur – Jharkhand

Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi: The History of the World’s Largest Democracy (p. 115) | More information and book review >> The first report on minority rights, made public in late August 1947, provided for reservation for Untouchables only. Muslims were denied … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Economy and development, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Video resources - external | Tagged | Comments Off on Jaipal Singh and the adivasi (adibasi) movement of modern India: A gifted speaker from Chotanagpur – Jharkhand

Video | Ekalavya discussed in an interview with noted Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Writers Talk Politics | Ngugi wa Thiong’o in conversation with Sudhanva Deshpande Commenting on Ekalavya “who ends up being disabled despite that Dhrona never really taught him – he taught himself – but even with that he is disabled so … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Globalization, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Modernity, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Topics and issues, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Video | Ekalavya discussed in an interview with noted Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o