Category Archives: History

“Since the days of remote past, the diversified art and cultural forms generated by the tribal and rural people of India, have continued to evince their creative magnificence. Apart from their outstanding brilliance from the perspective of aesthetics, the tribal/folk art and culture forms have played an instrumental role in reinforcing national integrity, crystallizing social solidarity, fortifying communal harmony, intensifying value-system and promoting the elements of humanism among the people of the country.” – Final Report “Evaluation Study of Tribal/Folk Arts and Culture in West Bengal, Orissa, Jharkhand, Chhatisgrah and Bihar” submitted to SER Division Planning Commission Govt. of India New Delhi by Gramin Vikas Seva Sanshtha West Bengal
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=29938

“Imagine a 25-year-old who took on an empire, left an indelible mark on tribal rights across the country and was seen as a mystic and folk hero for hundreds of thousands. Few would have achieved so much in so short a time and it’s not surprising then that Birsa Munda’s portrait hangs proudly in India’s parliament.” – Aditi Shah in “Birsa Munda – The Tribal Hero” (livehistoryindia.com, 26 July 2018)
https://www.livehistoryindia.com/history-daily/2018/07/26/birsa-munda
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23975

“[I]t was by reading and speaking to Tagore that these founders of modern India, Gandhi and Nehru, developed a theory of nationalism that was inclusive rather than exclusive. Tagore’s [collected lectures on the subject of] Nationalism should be mandatory reading in today’s climate of xenophobia, sectarianism, violence and intolerance.” – Ramachandra Guha, Introduction to the 2017 Penguin ed. of Nationalism by Rabindranath Tagore
https://www.worldcat.org/title/nationalism/oclc/1099200491
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=18808

“Every society had narratives about its past and some regarded them as history as time went on […] So your fantasy runs wild, you can concoct a utopia exactly as you want.” – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) in response to a participant’s question: “Is there also the risk of creating fake history through the invention of tradition?” [1h41m55s]
https://youtu.be/QZU0G0P3Elw?t=1h41m55s
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=22452

“The injustice done to the tribal people of India is a shameful chapter in our country’s history. The tribals were called ‘rakshas’ (demons), ‘asuras’, and what not. They were slaughtered in large numbers, and the survivors and their descendants were degraded, humiliated, and all kinds of atrocities inflicted on them for centuries. They were deprived of their lands, and pushed into forests and hills where they eke out a miserable existence of poverty, illiteracy, disease, etc. And now efforts are being made by some people to deprive them even of their forest and hill land where they are living, and the forest produce on which they survive.” – Supreme Court judgment quoted in “India, largely a country of immigrants” (The Hindu, 12 January 2011)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article1081343.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4315

“How could peace be brought, with justice? Is there even a movement for peace? How does this war compare with other wars in India, and worldwide? Few have targeted civilian villagers as remorselessly, though Ashoka’s Kalinga war, over 2,000 years ago, that killed 100000 people directly, and many indirectly according to Ashoka’s own inscriptions, presents a model of genocidal invasion and takeover all too comparable to the present situation. This paper walks through this context of Bastar.” – Abstract by Felix Padel (Journal of People’s Studies, 2017)
https://www.academia.edu/34104980
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21733

“As far as I can tell, there is no real strategy for thinking about the future of the country. We will have to look to people’s movements on the ground. I think the people of India do not merely have resilience, but also the wisdom that is part of our civilisational inheritance.” – Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA) interviewed by Somak Ghoshal (Livemint.com, 10 December 2020)
https://lifestyle.livemint.com/news/big-story/-the-government-will-use-the-pandemic-as-a-pretext-for-economic-collapse-111607528985657.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23322

Learn more about tribal communities in Gujarat

Posted in Anthropology, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Multi-lingual education, Music and dance, Narmada, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Resources, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Success story, Tips, Tourism, Tribal identity, Western region, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Learn more about tribal communities in Gujarat

Audio | Historical recordings of Santali songs (1931): Arnold Bake’s recordings at Kairabani – Jharkhand

In Kairabani [Arnold Bake] photographed Santali pupils playing their instruments at the mission, but he seems to have been dissatisfied with the sober ambience of the premises. To also have a picture of a Santali musician in a natural environment, … Continue reading

Posted in Eastern region, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Organizations, Santali language and literature, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Audio | Historical recordings of Santali songs (1931): Arnold Bake’s recordings at Kairabani – Jharkhand

The Asurs’ remembrance of their ancestors: A ‘particularly vulnerable’ tribal group – Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh & West Bengal

Chamru is an Asur, a ‘particularly vulnerable tribal group’ that dominates Sakhuapani’s population of about 2,000 and lives in villages spread over a radius of 10 to 20 km. Besides Jharkhand, members of the tribe live in pockets of Bihar, West … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Cultural heritage, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Dress and ornaments, Eastern region, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Northern region, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Performing arts, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on The Asurs’ remembrance of their ancestors: A ‘particularly vulnerable’ tribal group – Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh & West Bengal

Tribal migration and economic growth – Ramachandra Guha on access to education and wholesome food

As the economist T. N. Srinivasan observes, these wide disparities meant that “if one is poor in India … one is more likely to live in rural areas, more likely to be a member of the Scheduled Caste or Tribe … Continue reading

Posted in Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Quotes, Rural poverty | Comments Off on Tribal migration and economic growth – Ramachandra Guha on access to education and wholesome food

Tip | Find press reports on India’s tribal heritage and democracy: Journalism without Fear or Favour, The Committee to Protect Journalists & United Nations

How to stop misinformation in times of coronavirus?Learn how to identify unverified content you receive on your cell phone and avoid spreading information on social media that has not been checked by credible sources. Caring for reliable information is everyone’s … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Fashion and design, Figures, census and other statistics, Games and leisure time, Health and nutrition, History, Homes and utensils, Museum collections - India, Music and dance, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Performing arts, Press snippets, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tips, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Tip | Find press reports on India’s tribal heritage and democracy: Journalism without Fear or Favour, The Committee to Protect Journalists & United Nations