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

“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 (doctoral candidate at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai) 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

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

Posted in Accountability, Commentary, Community facilities, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Narmada, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Press snippets, Rural poverty, Women | Comments Off on The relevance of Gandhi’s legacy for solving modern India’s socio-economic problems: Addressing the needs of peasants, labourers, students and tribals

“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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eJournal | Impact of public presentations of Adivasi (Santal) music – West Bengal

Adivasi music and the public stageBy Jayasri Banerjee These days, no festival or utsav is considered complete without some sort of folk music or dance. The idea of presenting the music and dance traditions of the Adivasis in a public forum is generally … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Commentary, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, eBook & eJournal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Performing arts, Quotes, Seasons and festivals, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on eJournal | Impact of public presentations of Adivasi (Santal) music – West Bengal

Adivasi art “A Disappearing World” – Gandhi Foundation (London)

The exhibition, “A Disappearing World: Ancient Traditions Under Threat in Tribal India”, opened at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS on April 13 and will run until June 25. Seminars are also being held to discuss the suffering of the tribals. … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Social conventions, Tribal culture worldwide, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Adivasi art “A Disappearing World” – Gandhi Foundation (London)

Preserving and protecting cultural heritage – Zonal Cultural Centers

The idea for Zonal Cultural Centers germinated in the mind of our late Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi. At his instance, several centers were set up. They represent the effort on the part of the Government and the people to preserve … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Networking, Organizations, Performing arts, Quotes, Revival of traditions | Comments Off on Preserving and protecting cultural heritage – Zonal Cultural Centers