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

“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
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20159

“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

“All subjects will thus be equal in the eyes of the law. But every single individual will be free to pursue his own religion without hindrance, so long as it does not transgress the common law. The question of the ‘protection of minorities’ is not good for me; it rests upon the recognition of religious groupings between citizens of the same state. What I wish India to do is to assure liberty of religious profession to every single individual. Then only India can be great, for it was perhaps the one nation in the ancient world which had recognized cultural democracy, whereby it is held that the roads to God are many, but the goal is one, because God is one and the same. In fact the roads are as many as there are individuals in the world.” – Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA) in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” (2 October 2020)
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2020/10/02/gandhi-secularism-and-cultural-democracy/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“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

“As a democracy, India has languished. Human rights advocates and political activists, even those whose adherence to nonviolence has been exemplary, have been hauled into jail on fraudulent charges. Various stratagems, including colonial-era pieces of legislation, have been deployed with intensity to harass, silence, and liquidate journalists and intellectuals who speak in the language of dissent. […] 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’”. – “Emergency in India, Faux and Real” by Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), 26 June 2020
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2020/06/26/emergency-in-india-faux-and-real/

“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

Resources for the classroom: Learning from and about India’s tribal communities, their culture and knowledge systems

“[I]t is some of the basic values and ideology imbibed in the traditional tribal socio-cultural milieus that should have been emulated and promoted amongst the non-tribal mainstream, not, as has been going on, the other way round.” Source: ’Who Is … Continue reading

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ePub | Solutions that preserve the diversity of cultures and ecosystems: “The only two factors that ensure life on the planet”

About the Author […] Dr. Rÿser has contributed to policies and laws affecting American Indians and indigenous peoples internationally, contributing for more than 25 years to the development of the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN … Continue reading

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Constructive action is our only future – Prof. Ganesh Devy on the “adivasiness of the tribals” in Gujarat

WHEN Gujarat was burning between 27 February and 4 March [2002], the tribal belt on the eastern border of Gujarat was quiet. The only exception was the two districts of Panchmahals for which Godhra is the main town. Elsewhere in … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Assimilation, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Education and literacy, History, Misconceptions, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty | Comments Off on Constructive action is our only future – Prof. Ganesh Devy on the “adivasiness of the tribals” in Gujarat

Audio | World renowned Indian journalist Palagummi Sainath: “The greatest stories are now coming from non-journalists”

To listen to this programme online, click here >> World renowned Indian Journalist Palagummi Sainath says the greatest stories of journalism are now coming from non-journalists “You will never find a great establishment journalist. My argument to you, is that … Continue reading

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Learn more about tribal communities in Telangana

Banjara Embroidery and Needle works are made extensively by the nomads of Telangana. […] [T]he popular tribe of Banjaras moved towards the Deccan Plateau in South India in 17th century during the reign of Aurangzeb, a Mughal Emperor. They are … Continue reading

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