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 2020)
https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24902

Tribal Knowledge Systems, Values and Traditions: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Parallel session 6: Tribal Knowledge Systems, Values and TraditionsChaired by: Mridula Rashmi Kindo, Dept of English, IGNOU, New DelhiPaper Presenters: Arun Kumar Oraon (JNU, New Delhi), Sandesha Rayapa-Garbiyal (JNU, New Delhi), Teresa Tudu (BHU, Varanasi), Shimi Moni Doley (JMI, New Delhi). … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Endangered language, Globalization, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Networking, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Tribal Knowledge Systems, Values and Traditions: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

eJournal | “Children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to multilingual education”: Understanding India’s “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education” – Unesco

Many children speak a home language that differs from the language of instruction in education programs. Research confirms that children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to and complement of bilingual and multilingual education. Whether children successfully … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Childhood and children, eBook & eJournal, Education and literacy, Government of India, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Multi-lingual education, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on eJournal | “Children learn best in their mother tongue as a prelude to multilingual education”: Understanding India’s “Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education” – Unesco

Trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time to time – Kerala, Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu

In an atmosphere where every morning, our newspapers greet us with stories of girls being tormented, raped, killed or treated like a doormat in one way or another, trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Childhood and children, Commentary, Community facilities, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Eco tourism, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Gandhian social movement, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Networking, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Seasons and festivals, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Western region –  Western Zonal Council, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Trust India’s “village republics” to bring in some good news from time to time – Kerala, Rajasthan & Tamil Nadu

A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India

Ambedkar had been the champion of freedom, free thinking and liberty whose words are important to be remembered. […] ‘The caste system has recognised slavery in inverse order of status and maintained inequality in every sphere of human activity social, … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Commentary, Constitution and Supreme Court, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Success story, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on A constitution which guarantees: “The State shall not discriminate against any citizen” – The Sovereign Republic of India

The Kurumbars’ role in South India’s Paleolithic culture: Epigraphical records on Chennai’s ancient history – Tamil Nadu

A study of the region by Colonel Colin Mackenzie says Tondaimandalam was 1st inhabited by Kurumbas, a fierce tribe The move of the state government to create a Greater Chennai Corporation, bringing into its fold several areas of Kancheepuram and … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Archaeology, Bastar, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, History, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The Kurumbars’ role in South India’s Paleolithic culture: Epigraphical records on Chennai’s ancient history – Tamil Nadu