Category Archives: Misconceptions

“We are so much more than that. We follow a tradition rich in music, dance and love.” – Swarnalatha, who now runs an NGO that works for the upliftment for people of her tribal Irula community (known for their snake-catching skills), quoted in “Irulas much more than a community of snake catchers” timesofindia.indiatimes.com, 23 February 2018
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/chennai/irulas-much-more-than-a-community-of-snake-catchers/articleshow/63035204.cms
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1753

“It is wrong and does not help the tribal cause either to reduce the image of the Indian tribal society to that of destitute remnants, on the verge of dying out.” – Georg Pfeffer in Voices from the Periphery: Subalternity and Empowerment in India ( Routledge India 2012)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11961

“[T]he research suggested that the Harappan civilisation was not some mysterious forgotten society. It was part of a larger cultural milieu that survived its demise.” – Nayanjot Lahiri quoted in “The Dig” by Sowmiya Ashok (Fiftytwo.in, 2 April 2021)
https://fiftytwo.in/story/the-dig/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23774

“There are myths indicating that Asuras were made slaves by Aryans. These slave races are still struggling for annihilation of caste system. They live in abject poverty. Their latest names are ‘Scheduled Castes’, ‘Scheduled Tribes, and ‘Other Backward Castes’. They are yet to know about ‘human rights’. The fact is that aboriginals were enslaved and subjected to inhuman treatment through centuries. […] Students of history and anthropology have found numerous instances recorded in all prehistoric and established history of India, of a glowing past of this ancient tribe [known as Kolis, Koris and Kols] and more is being uncovered as research continues.” – “Koli, Kori, Kol – Aboriginal tribes of India” by Bhushan on MEGHnet (1 January 2011), based on three publications written in Gujarati
https://www.meghnet.in/2011/01/kolikori-of-india-we-call-them.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2918

“The nation-state’s changing definition of the ‘tribal’ is informed by certain stereotypes or prejudices, by preserving the tribal identity, in an implicit manner, as being ‘barbaric’ and ‘uncivilised’. The tribal worldview has never been taken cognizance of, while working out the definition of ‘tribe’ and, instead, there is imposition of certain state-sanctioned identity whereby the tribal’s identity-crisis is magnified.” – Shreya Jessica Dhan in “Defining the ‘Tribe’ in State Discourse: From Adivasi and Scheduled Tribe to Indigenous Peoples” (conference paper summary)
Report for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, 27-28 February 2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23073

“[S]ince national histories have become suspect to enlightened liberals, more particularly as they generally degenerate into becoming nationalist histories, scholars have had to search for new ways to write national histories without succumbing to the nationalist malady.” – Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA), book review for India: A Story Through 100 Objects by Vidya Dehejia
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2021/07/17/objects-and-their-objective-the-story-of-india/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=6335

“If Adivasis were to start writing their own Discovery Of India, it would be something like this: There are those who talk of India’s ‘5000 year-old culture,’ there are those who talk of its ‘timeless traditions.’ If India has a timeless tradition, it is ours.” – Gail Omvedt in “Call us adivasis, please” (ADIVASI Special issue, The Hindu, July 16, 2000)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26645

“Aparna Vaidik’s [book] My Son’s Inheritance goes deeper into Indian history and culture, and shows that instead of being a recent phenomenon, violence, physical and psychic, has been endemic to the Indian socio-polity since ages. […] Vaidik locates this violence in communal enmities between the Hindus and the minorities, particularly Muslims, which often validates itself as retributive justice. Deep psychic violence also operated, the author reminds us, among Hindus themselves. Many Indian Muslims and Christians, we are asked to remember, were Hindus of the lower castes, or ‘non-Aryan’ tribals, who converted out of Hinduism because of the torture of untouchability and ostracisation.” – Book review by Suparna Banerjee (The Hindu, 1 August 2020)
https://www.thehindu.com/books/books-reviews/my-sons-inheritance-review-a-culture-of-violence/article32237271.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=7592

“[T]he writing of South Asian as well as colonial scholars caricatured tribal communities by misrepresenting or fetishising their existence, and sometimes overcompensating for earlier misunderstandings—all of which further pushed tribes into obscurity. [They] are made to believe that they must give up their value systems, culture, religion, customs and aspirations, and that they must embrace the new order of the nation state to repay the favours done to them until they become self-sufficient through economic upliftment.” – 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=24902

Traditional social structures of Adivasis and the constitutional right to food

Legally entitled to a full stomach Fifty percent of the world’s hungry live in India. But India is a democracy, which gives her citizens a lot of rights – for instance, the constitutional right to food. Based on this right, … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Nilgiri, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty | Comments Off on Traditional social structures of Adivasis and the constitutional right to food

The term ‘Adivasi’: Neither an equivalent to ‘Tribe’ nor used in the Indian Constitution – Mainstream Weekly

By J.J. Roy Burman, Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 32, July 25, 2009 In India the term ‘Adivasi’ has gained immense popularity in the last few decades to identify the tribes. This term is more commonly brought to use by the NGO … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council | Comments Off on The term ‘Adivasi’: Neither an equivalent to ‘Tribe’ nor used in the Indian Constitution – Mainstream Weekly

Video | Tribes in Transition-III: “Indigenous Cultures in the Digital Era”

Courtesy Dr. Ivy Hansdak, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia University New Delhi (email 30 September 2021)

Posted in Andaman and Nicobar Islands, eBook eJournal PDF, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Internet, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Musicology, Networking, Organizations, Revival of traditions, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Video | Tribes in Transition-III: “Indigenous Cultures in the Digital Era”

Selected writings by anthropologist Verrier Elwin (1902-64)

The Oxford India Elwinby G.N. Devy (ed.) 440 Pages | 80 line illus. & photographsISBN: 9780195697919, Rs. 795From presenting Elwin’s work among the tribal peoples of central India, to affording glimpses of his seminal work on the unique institution of the ghotul among … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Bastar, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Social conventions | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Selected writings by anthropologist Verrier Elwin (1902-64)

The main criteria adopted for identification of ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) – Government of India

The Dhebar commission (1960) and the Shilu Ao (1969) team recommended the Government of India that primitive tribal communities should be taken as a special category for which special programmes would have to be initiated as quickly as possible for … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Colonial policies, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty | Comments Off on The main criteria adopted for identification of ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) – Government of India