Category Archives: Assimilation

“The world depends on farming. […] The school leaves them half ignorant. They’re forgetting our values, farming, song and dances. Our vital traditions are being lost. They are bing ‘modernized’”. – A tribal mother’s concerns (interviewed for Survival International) in “Factory Schools: Destroying Indigenous People in the Name of Education” (accessed 28 March 2021)
https://www.survivalinternational.org/about/factoryschools
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34514

“[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.” – Arup Maharatna (Professor, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune) in “Who Is Civilised?: In Praise of Tribal Traditions, Society, and Culture in India” (Mainstream, Vol XLVIII, No 40, September 25, 2010)
http://www.mainstreamweekly.net/article2337.html
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34387

“In contemporary practice, the tribal memory is greatly undermined. There is general insistence that tribal children attend schools where non-tribal children attend schools, that they use medicines manufactured for others and that they adopt common agricultural practices. All because the world has very little time to listen patiently to the tribals, with their immense knowledge and creativity.” – Ganesh [G.N.] Devy in Painted Words: An Anthology of Tribal Literature, quoted by Ivy Imogene Hansdak in “Is tribal identity relevant in today’s world?”, Inaugural Speech for the National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (New Delhi, 27 February 2017)
https://www.indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23032

“Literacy has prime value today. The question is: how to impart it without erasing Adivasi knowledge and value systems? […] Although Thakkar [Thakkar Bapa, who set up the influential ashramshala model] was a follower of Gandhi, there is little that is Gandhian about the ashramshala pedagogy. The most recent government committee on tribal affairs, headed by Virginius Xaxa, refers to an ‘ashramisation’ of tribal education. Many ashram schools covertly became Hindu nationalist, yet followed patterns set by Christian mission schools, with uniforms, strict (often brutal) discipline, a deeply hierarchical structure, alien ‘knowledge’ learnt by rote, short haircuts, and Adivasi names replaced with Hindu ones. A 1941 lecture by Thakkar in Pune highlighted negative stereotypes about tribal ‘laziness’, ‘promiscuity’, ‘illiteracy’, and ‘addiction to shifting cultivation’. The cultural racism in such stereotypes forms the backdrop to the continuing discrimination and humiliation of Adivasis. […]
Thakkar’s 1941 lecture advocated using tribal tongues as a ‘bridge’, but in practice, even this did not happen.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/children-from-tribal-communities-are-being-corralled-into-mass-schools-that-are-wiping-out-cultures/article33818793.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21733

“[T]he process of homogenisation and assimilation has neglected the differences in the identity of various tribes [and] the structures thus imposed to understand tribal identities marginalise a large section of the populace that do not fit in the identity matrix.” – Pradyumna Bag in “Denial of Differences: Examining the Marginalisation of Tribal Cultures and Languages” (“Tribes In Transition” conference 2017)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23073

“At the bottom of all this bottomless/ enterprise to keep simple the heart’s given beat,/ the only risk is heartlessness.” – The final lines of an early poem by AK Ramanujan titled “The Hindoo: The Only Risk”, quoted by Nakul Krishna in “RK Narayan’s second opinions” (The Caravan, 1 October 2018)
https://caravanmagazine.in/literature/rk-narayan-second-opinions
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23039

Jawaharlal Nehru formulated the following five principles for the policy to be pursued vis-a-vis the tribals:
(1) People should develop along the lines of their own genius, and the imposition of alien values should be avoided.
(2) Tribal rights in land and forest should be respected
(3) Teams of tribals should be trained in the work of administration and development.
(4) Tribal areas should not be over administered or overwhelmed with a multiplicity of schemes.
(5) results should be judged not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the human character that is evolved.
Jawaharlal Nehru [1889–1964, first Prime Minister of India] quoted by Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf in “India and Ceylon: Unity and Diversity. A Symposium”, Institute of Race Relations (Oxford University Press, 1967).
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17554

“AV Thakkar, a Gandhian nationalist and the one-time head of of the Harijan Sevak Sangh […] advocated for bringing tribes into the Hindu fold.” – 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=3203

“Contingent and regionally nuanced concepts emerged [for regions inhabited predominantly by Adivasis], such as ‘racial’ minorities, Adivasi rights, and social solidarity that refocused public and administrative attention on Adivasi history and heritage. These concepts are easily forgotten in polarized debates on the workings of assimilationist vs. protectionist ideologies in respect of Adivasi peoples and lands. Yet such shifts prompted a revision of wider temporal and cultural relations between majority (mainstream) and minority (tribal) communities.” – Abstract for “Anthropological Archives and ‘Chiasmic’ Time in Modern India” by Daniel Rycroft (Irish Journal of Anthropology 2016: Volume 19(2) Special issue: Emerging Adivasi and Indigenous Studies II)
https://anthropologyireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IJA_19_2_2016.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=31269

“A section of intelligentsia trained in typical colonial mould takes ‘ethnicity’ and isolation of vanvasis to paint a negative picture about the Indian State and mainstream society.” – M Nageswara Rao (IPS officer) in “Scheduled Tribes: Who are they? How to mainstream them?” (Times of India, 16 May 2020)
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/voices/scheduled-tribes-who-are-they-how-to-mainstream-them/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11544

Tribal Memory, Folklore and Hindu Epic Narratives: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

PLENARY SESSION Chaired by: Prof. M. Asaduddin, Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Languages, Jamia Millia Islamia, New DelhiPaper Presenters: Dr. Athikho Kaisii (JMI, Delhi), Dr. Pravin Kumar (IGNTU, Amarkantak), Dr Ananya Barua (Hindu College, Delhi). Dr. Saroj Kumar Mahananda (JMI, Delhi) and Norkey Wangmu … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Assimilation, Cultural heritage, Customs, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Games and leisure time, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Music and dance, Names and communities, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Seasons and festivals, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Tribal Memory, Folklore and Hindu Epic Narratives: Papers presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi

Building tribal students’ self-confidence: Karate training for self-protection

The State police have awarded V. Krishnankutty, Sub-inspector of Police, Agali, Attappady, a “commendation certificate for excellent service rendered” for giving karate training to hundreds of tribal students. […] He has been giving regular karate training for more than a … Continue reading

Posted in Activities, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Games and leisure time, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Organizations, Press snippets | Comments Off on Building tribal students’ self-confidence: Karate training for self-protection

Adivasis’ world view: A truly sustainable lifestyle – Comment

Adivasi people: proud not primitive | Read the full article >> […] Defining what’s special about India’s adivasi or indigenous people is complicated. People, mostly anthropologists and human rights defenders, who know adivasis and have worked closely with them, also tend … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Assimilation, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Organizations, Poetry, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Topics and issues, Tourism, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Adivasis’ world view: A truly sustainable lifestyle – Comment

Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) & The Fourth World Journal (FWJ)

We are a global community of activist scholars advancing the rights of indigenous peoples through the application of traditional knowledge. Our mission: Activist scholars advancing the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. The Fourth World Journal (FWJ) is the world’s leading … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) & The Fourth World Journal (FWJ)

“Development is invariably a form of change, but not all forms of change can be termed development”: A context for India’s tribal heritage, past and present

A useful analytical framework to study the deprivation and development of Adivasis in the larger Indian context. THE selection of papers in this volume, presented at the International Seminar on “Adivasi/Scheduled Tribe Communities in India: Development and Change” in August … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tips, Topics and issues, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on “Development is invariably a form of change, but not all forms of change can be termed development”: A context for India’s tribal heritage, past and present