Category Archives: Modernity

“[N]ow we live in a world of rapid development in the media. We cannot let our culture and society stop. Folklore was what we had, but we have also evolved. We live in a world where we all use mobile phones and Facebook. We are spread across much of India like Assam, Bengal, Jharkhand and Odisha as well as Bangladesh and Nepal. Everyone has different influences from where they live and change in different directions.” – Santali poet, scholar and translator Ivy Imogene Hansdak interviewed by Norwegian writer and filmmaker Audun Nedrelid (The Johar Journal, Vol. II, January-June 2021)
https://joharjournal.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/05/Volume-II-January-June-2021.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=35277

“Since the advent of the digital era, tribals are asserting themselves not only through oral narratives but in written and visual mediums as well. Here I would like to give three examples to show how tribals are judiciously using digital platforms to reach out.” – Santal writer Sunder Manoj Hembrom in “Preserving Tribal Memory through New Forms of Orality in the Digital Era” (conference paper delivered during Tribes in Transition-III: “Preserving Tribal Memory through New Forms of Orality in the Digital Era”, New Delhi 22 September 2021)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=45026

“The tribal peoples access to forests has almost gone. Their life-style is changing rapidly. They have already mingled with the non-tribals and imbibed their culture and life-styles. The fact of the matter is they can no longer live like their ancestors, no longer depend on the vanishing forests for their sustenance. It will be to their advantage if they are equipped to meet these changes with a balanced approach; otherwise they will just be swept over. We hope they will retain the tribal values that have relevance even today and accept the good brought in by modernization. It is a question of survival.” – Rama Sastry & B. Ramdas in “Work and Wisdom of Vernacular” (Supported by UNESCO)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=1929

“A group of women recall their bygone days: In our big village we girls and boys were together in pairs. But the pairs of our friendships are no more. Some of us have shut ourselves up indoors.” – Synopsis by Boro Baski for “Rasi Nato (Big Village)”, a song composed and performed by staff and students of the Rolf Schoembs Vidyashram (Non-formal Santal school, Ghosaldanga village, Dist.-Birbhum, West Bengal), included in the Santali video album “Ale Ato” (Our Village)
https://youtu.be/3UbSfSI2jN4
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=25317

“The awakening of India was two-fold: she looked to the west and, at the same time, she looked at herself and her own past.” – Jawaharlal Nehru in The Discovery Of India (1946, OUP Centenary ed. 1989, p. 329)
https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.98835
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=17554

“[T]hey face the challenge of facing the modern world on a daily basis and feeling the need to belong to.” – Mari Marcel Thekaekara, writer and Co-founder of ACCORD-Nilgiris quoted in The Hindu (27 January 2017)
https://www.thehindu.com/society/A-messenger-from-the-mountains/article17102329.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=22373

“India lives in its villages, but it has been forced to go to its cities to work. We have created a nation where nearly half of the wealth is generated by the labour of these unseen and unheard men, women and children. We call them migrant labour. For all the wealth generated by the cities, the migrants live in poverty, working in jobs that profit others but bring them very little.” – Chitvan Gill in “The lives of the unseen, unheard men and women who build the cities we inhabit” (Scroll.in, 31 May 2020)
https://scroll.in/article/962825/photo-essay-the-lives-of-the-unseen-unheard-men-and-women-who-build-the-cities-we-inhabit
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=33992

“The Madhus of the world suffer violent deaths not because we failed to modernise them, but because of the intrinsic connections between their terrible fate and well-being — in 70 years after Independence, post-colonial governments have virtually replicated colonial government policies towards the Adivasi.” – Nissim Mannathukkaren in “The Adivasi in the mirror: The lynching of Madhu in Kerala must shock our conscience into recognising the dispossession of India’s tribals” (The Hindu Opinion, 3 March 2018)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-adivasi-in-the-mirror/article22911351.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24460

“There is no other way but to redefine ‘modernity’ and the goals of development, not to narrow it to ‘environment’ but to widen it to a sustainable equitable just society based on harmonious non exploitative relationship between human being to human being, and human being to nature. We cannot be either politically naive or apathetic or playing the unseen hand of free economy.” – Acceptance speech by Medha Patkar and Baba Amte (Narmada Bachao Andolan), Laureates of the 1991 Right Livelihood Award (“a courage-powered community for social change committed to peace, justice and sustainability for all)
https://rightlivelihood.org/speech/acceptance-speech-medha-patkar-and-baba-amte-narmada-bachao-andolan/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10420

“Only a few [tribals] are genuinely proud of their own culture, understand its roots and want to bring about some rapprochement between its traditions and the requirements of modernity.” – Guest Column titled “Hands off tribal culture” (India Today, 9 January 2014)
https://www.indiatoday.in/magazine/guest-column/story/19800915-hands-off-tribal-culture-821415-2014-01-09
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=2299

“Scheduling was the act of committing certain areas to a written list or inventory of ‘special administrative regimes’; here, normal laws and regulations prevalent in the rest of British India would not be applicable. […] The underlying belief behind this categorization was that modern representative democracy with electoral politics and law courts was highly unsuited to tribal communities.” – Saagar Tewari, quoted by 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=11544

“The recent trend is to use exotic species for manicured lawns and gardens. This means indigenous species are losing even more space, and our local species decline with them. New lifestyle patterns are also changing things. For example, India’s urban sparrow population has dipped. Even growing up, sparrows were as common as a crow or a pigeon. But now they’ve almost disappeared. Why?” – Rashneh Pardiwala in “Why It’s Hard to ‘Change Mindsets’ on Environmental Protection Among India’s Elites”; interview on environmental education at her Centre for Environmental Research and Education (CERE) in Mumbai (Asia Blog, 27 July 2015)
https://asiasociety.org/blog/asia/interview-why-its-hard-change-mindsets-environmental-protection-among-indias-elites
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14402

“Rabindranath Tagore and Mahatma Gandhi had distinguished the modern university from its medieval forerunners by envisaging for it an autonomous sphere in relation to the emerging nation-state.” – Suranjan Das, Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University Kolkata (The Telegraph, 30 September 2020)
https://www.telegraphindia.com/west-bengal/calcutta/the-relevance-of-vidyasagar/cid/1793177
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=35639

“[T]he primary identity of every citizen of India, over and above all other identities of religion, caste, language, race and suchlike, is that of an Indian.” – Romila Thapar (Emeritus Professor of History, Jawaharlal Nehru University) quoted in “Nationalism does not allow the Hindu in India to claim primacy” by Ziya Us Salam (The Hindu, 2 March 2016)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/historian-romila-thapar-says-nationalism-does-not-allow-the-hindu-in-india-to-claim-primacy/article8300752.ece
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“In Nehru’s view, the process of modernization must not be taken as forcing a sudden break with the tribals past but help them build upon it and grow by a natural process of evolution.” – Chittaranjan Mishra in “Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru” (Odisha Review, November 2017)
https://magazines.odisha.gov.in/Orissareview/2017/November/engpdf/100-110.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=16310

“Despite the modern obsession with factories, mines and airlines in a newly independent India, [Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay] pointed out that for millions of villagers […] handicrafts were a source of income and pride.” – Feminist writer Gloria Steinem reviewing “A Passionate Life: Writings by and on Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay” by Ellen Carol Dubois and Vinay Lal Openmagazine (7 April 2017)
https://www.openthemagazine.com/article/books/kamaladevi-chattopadhyay-the-last-teacher
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20948

“[N]o good purpose can be served by turning a blind eye to corrupt practices and the resulting failures of policies, thereby distorting the picture of the true conditions of tribal populations. […] The tribals were dislodged from their traditional sources of livelihood and places of habitation.” – Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf in Tribes of India: The Struggle for Survival (University of California Press, 1982), pp. 320-1
https://himalaya.socanth.cam.ac.uk/collections/rarebooks/downloads/Haimendorf_Tribes_of_India.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=12724

Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak – Madhya Pradesh

The tribal people are rich in cultural heritage and skill of art and craft but they are still marginalized in respect to higher education as well as in other walks of life. Now in the present age of globalization the … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Central region – Central Zonal Council, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, Democracy, eBook eJournal ePaper, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Ethnobotany & ethnomedicine, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Modernity, Narmada, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rural poverty, Tribal identity, Women | Comments Off on Indira Gandhi National Tribal University Amarkantak – Madhya Pradesh

ePaper | Harness the potential of Denotified Tribes, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes for national development: India’s labour force must be liberated from an abhorrent colonial doctrine (“criminality by birth”) – Report and Recommendations of the Technical Advisory Group

What is the “Criminal Tribes Act” all about?And what can be done to help the countless victims of stigmatization and deprivation? To learn more, read or download the full TAG report on Bhasharesearch.org >>(PDF, 361 pages including the entire text … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Assimilation, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, eBook eJournal ePaper, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Modernity, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Performing arts, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Women | Comments Off on ePaper | Harness the potential of Denotified Tribes, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes for national development: India’s labour force must be liberated from an abhorrent colonial doctrine (“criminality by birth”) – Report and Recommendations of the Technical Advisory Group

Search tip | Follow a guided tour of this website

HISTORICAL AND SOCIAL CONTEXT India’s indigenous communities are commonly known as Adivasi (“original inhabitants”), a term introduced in the early 20th century and subject to debate ever since: official reports and documents refer to them as “Scheduled tribes” (ST), for instance the Indian … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Education and literacy, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Tagore and rural culture, Tips, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Search tip | Follow a guided tour of this website

Video | Chenchu hunter-gatherers: An Ethnographic film by Sathya Mohan – Andhra Pradesh

This award-winning ethnographic documentary film made by Sathya Mohan PV, deals with the socio-economic and religious life of the Chenchus, the only Telugu speaking prehistoric hunting-gathering tribe living in the Nallamalai forests of Andhra Pradesh, India. They are a conservative … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Government of India, Health and nutrition, Homes and utensils, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Seasons and festivals, Tiger, Tribal elders, Video resources - external, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Video | Chenchu hunter-gatherers: An Ethnographic film by Sathya Mohan – Andhra Pradesh

Demonstrating the brain’s astonishing capacity to decode information – Ancient “whistled languages” used by indigenous communities in India, China, Turkey & Spain

For generations, the residents of Meghalaya’s Kongthong village have communicated with each other using a unique form of whistled identity instead of names! | Read the full story and view more images >> In The Whistling Village of Meghalaya, Every Child Has … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Childhood and children, Community facilities, Customs, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Languages and linguistic heritage, Media portrayal, Modernity, Music and dance, Musicology, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Demonstrating the brain’s astonishing capacity to decode information – Ancient “whistled languages” used by indigenous communities in India, China, Turkey & Spain