Category Archives: Assimilation

“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 Santali poet, scholar and translator Ivy Imogene Hansdak in “Is tribal identity relevant in today’s world?”, Inaugural Speech, National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (2017)
https://www.indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23032

“[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

“The pressure to mainstream the [Andamanese] tribes continued – in November 2014, environment minister Prakash Javadekar had again asked how long India can leave the Jarawas as museum pieces?” – M. Rajshekhar in “Remembering Samir Acharya, Who Fought to Preserve the Cultures of Andaman and Nicobar” (The Wire, 18 October 2020)
https://thewire.in/rights/samir-acharya-andaman-nicobar-activist-culture-preservation-tribute
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7364

“The school leaves them half ignorant. They’re forgetting our values, farming, song and dances.” – 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

“The reasons for the endangerment of languages vary across different communities and locations, but all indigenous peoples face tremendous challenges such as assimilation, enforced relocation, educational disadvantage, illiteracy, migration and other manifestations of discrimination that may eventually lead to the weakening of a culture or language almost to the point of disappearance.” – “Summary report on the International Year of Indigenous Languages, 2019” (United Nations, 14 February 2020)
https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N20/040/59/PDF/N2004059.pdf?OpenElement
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=46777

“Two key aspects of assimilation are residential schools that are removed from community life, and the imposition of dominant regional languages. Each Adivasi language encompasses a world of knowledge, cosmology, and values.” – 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

“[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

“Gandharva-Sangīta was also associated with pūjā, a form of worship with non-Aryan or indigenous roots that eventually replaced the yajña [fire sacrifice] as the cornerstone of Hindu religious life. Instead of oblations into a fire, pūjā involves offerings of flowers, incense, food, water, lamps, and conches directly to deities or symbols on an altar. In pūjā, singing and playing instruments are conceived as offerings that are integrated with the other elements.” – Historian of religions and musicologist Guy L. Beck in “Hinduism and Music” (2014, Oxford Handbooks Online)
https://www.academia.edu/37849233
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=3488

“Folk music is an indelible part of India’s storied oral tradition. Songs emanating from the tribal folk tradition are critical fragments of this country’s vast cultural diversity.” – Abhinav Agrawal, founder of the Anahad Foundation (a New Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation that works towards recording, preserving, documenting and consolidating the available knowledge of the evolution of Indian tribal folk music), quoted by Rinchen Norbu Wangchuk in “How This Organisation Is Giving India’s Tribal Musicians a New Lease of Life” (TheBetterIndia.com, 17 November 2017)
https://www.thebetterindia.com/121371/anahad-tribal-music/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=27044

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

“[Millennial investors] are among India’s growing tribe of uber luxury home owners who have been nudged further by the pandemic. Scenic locales, lavish homes built using traditional materials, state-of-the-art technology are just a few of the features luring them, and the tribe [distinct from any ‘Scheduled Tribe’ defined as ‘backward’] is only increasing.” – Nidhi Adlakha in “A home in the sky” on investors and second home owners who “yearn for the connection to Nature” (The Hindu, 8 July 2022)
https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/luxury-homes-in-india-go-green-sustainable-real-estate/article65585349.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=21398

“KISS [Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a boarding or ‘factory school’ for about 30,000 Adivasi children from Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Assam and other states] is a means to detribalize the Adivasi people and fill them with ideas and concepts that suits the current format of mainstream societal norms and ruling class.” – Virginius Xaxa quoted by Goldy M. George in “Adivasis Protest Awarding of World Congress of Anthropology 2023 to KISS” (Forward Press, 23 July 2020), p. 2
https://www.academia.edu/43929808/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20406

“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

“After Independence, that project of conquest continued. Every so often, there would be chatter about the imperative to ‘mainstream’ these tribes as though they have no say.” – M. Rajshekhar in “Remembering Samir Acharya, Who Fought to Preserve the Cultures of Andaman and Nicobar” (The Wire, 18 October 2020)
https://thewire.in/rights/samir-acharya-andaman-nicobar-activist-culture-preservation-tribute
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7364

“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

Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

IN BRIEF India originally possessed some 110,000 landraces of rice with diverse and valuable properties. These include enrichment in vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations. The Green Revolution covered fields with a few … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany and ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Success story, Women | Tagged | Comments Off on Sharing valuable rice varieties with farmers: Biodiversity for the sake of “vital nutrients and the ability to withstand flood, drought, salinity or pest infestations” – Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha Maharashtra & West Bengal

“It’s time for our nations to have a voice”: A place for young leaders to share their stories and to show that they are contemporary citizens – United States of America

by Rae Paoletta 8/25/2015 There are 5.1 million Native Americans living in the United States right now, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Despite this, when you Google “Native Americans,” here’s what comes up: There are barely any photos of … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Figures, census and other statistics, History, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Video resources - external, Websites by tribal communities | Comments Off on “It’s time for our nations to have a voice”: A place for young leaders to share their stories and to show that they are contemporary citizens – United States of America

eBook | Solutions that preserve the diversity of cultures and ecosystems: “The only two factors that ensure life on the planet”

About the Author […] Dr. Rÿser has contributed to policies and laws affecting American Indians and indigenous peoples internationally, contributing for more than 25 years to the development of the UN declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, the UN … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Biodiversity, Colonial policies, Democracy, eBook eJournal ePaper, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Trees, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on eBook | Solutions that preserve the diversity of cultures and ecosystems: “The only two factors that ensure life on the planet”

Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

“Unless we affirm our culture and right and language, we won’t live. Our colour is good, our language is good, our art is good, our way of living is good. If we can respect your religion and your practices, why … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Childhood, Commentary, Community facilities, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Organizations, Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal identity, Wayanad, Western Ghats – Tribal heritage and ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged , | Comments Off on Tribal voices worth listening to: On culture, land rights, employment, education and indigenous languages – Andaman, Kerala & Odisha

Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Assimilation, Constitution and Supreme Court, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India – Tribal heritage & indigenous knowledge, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tips, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes