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 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 (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=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

Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

The Pulayar, also Pulaya, or Pulayas or Holeya or Cheramar, are one of the main social groups found in Kerala, Karnataka and in historical Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam Traditions Their marriage rituals were described by Edgar Thurston. Nowadays many of … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Names and communities, Performing arts, Quotes, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Pulayar community – Kerala, Karnataka & Tamil Nadu

Adivasi profound influence on modern Indian art – The Triumph of Modernism by Partha Mitter

Primitivism in modern Indian art] drew on adibasis. […] At Santiniketan, art was to be an integral part of an all-rounded education; Tagore had long considered Abanindranath’s pupil Nandalal [Bose] the best person to give this shape. The triumph of modernism: India’s artists … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Assimilation, Crafts and visual arts, Dress and ornaments, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Tagore and rural culture, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Adivasi profound influence on modern Indian art – The Triumph of Modernism by Partha Mitter

Tip | Find new and old publications on Indian tribal culture on worldcat.org

  Search for an item in libraries near you: Enter title, subject or author WorldCat.org >> Search categories (examples) Adivasi customs Adivasi ethnobotany Endangered languages in India Indian publications illustrated by tribal artists India particularly vulnerable tribal group India Scheduled … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Libraries, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Music and dance, Organizations, Performing arts, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Social conventions, Tips, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Tip | Find new and old publications on Indian tribal culture on worldcat.org

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

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