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

“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

“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 for the National Conference “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (New Delhi, 27 February 2017)
https://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

“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

“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

“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

Adivasi focused films as educational tool (Open Space Ranchi) – Jharkhand

On 20th February, two documentaries were shown amongst the students of Class IX, in Sarna Adivasi Madhya Vidyalaya in Pisca, a suburb area of Ranchi. It was a tribal area, with almost ninety percent Oraon students. When they saw ‘Kora … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Film, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Rural poverty, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Tribal identity | Tagged | Comments Off on Adivasi focused films as educational tool (Open Space Ranchi) – Jharkhand

The Bhils, a proud and ancient ethnic group: On the descendants of some of the original inhabitants of India – Madhya Pradesh

The Bhil tribe is a proud and ancient ethnic group inhabiting the Western part of Central India with the highest concentration in Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh State. | Read more >> The western region is home to a wide … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Archaeology, Assimilation, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Dress and ornaments, Economy and development, Fashion and design, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, History, Literature and bibliographies, Names and communities, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Western region –  Western Zonal Council | Tagged | Comments Off on The Bhils, a proud and ancient ethnic group: On the descendants of some of the original inhabitants of India – Madhya Pradesh

The social significance of an individual’s name : The Oram community – Jharkhand

Name of the Individual […] The selection of individual’s name bears relevant social significance in the Oram community. Generally the main purpose of name selection for an individual is to point out the particular person who is being granted specific … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Education and literacy, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Quotes, Tribal identity | Tagged , , | Comments Off on The social significance of an individual’s name : The Oram community – Jharkhand

“A book that fills a gaping hole in the literature on Adivasis”: A Rogue and Peasant Slave by Shashank Kela

The Nine Per CentBy Stan Thekaekara An incisive account of adivasi survival, from colonial risings to contemporary insurgencies IS IT an anthropological study by an academic, a textbook by a historian, a political polemic by an activist or a novel? … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Colonial policies, Cultural heritage, Economy and development, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Globalization, Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Names and communities, Organizations, Press snippets, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Tips, Tribal identity, Wayanad | Tagged | Comments Off on “A book that fills a gaping hole in the literature on Adivasis”: A Rogue and Peasant Slave by Shashank Kela

“Rethinking tribals”: Articles on Adivasi culture in Folio Special issue

Ever since the Portuguese travel writers and missionaries decided to describe the vast variety of ethnic and occupational groups and sects of the Indian subcontinent in terms of “caste” and “tribe”, the terms have stuck to society as long-worn masks … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Archaeology, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Commentary, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Dress and ornaments, eBook eJournal ePaper, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Government of India, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Music and dance, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Networking, Nilgiri, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Social conventions, Tips, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Women, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on “Rethinking tribals”: Articles on Adivasi culture in Folio Special issue