Category Archives: Colonial policies

“In many formerly or currently colonised regions like South Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the American South and Native America, there has always existed a rich, vibrant tradition of oral storytelling, one that was marginalised, often violently, through an imposition of an allegedly modern, white Western language and culture.” – Janice Pariat in “Decolonising creative writing: It’s about not conforming to techniques of the western canon” (Scroll.in, 4 July 2021)
https://scroll.in/article/999215/decolonising-creative-writing-its-about-not-conforming-to-techniques-of-the-western-canon
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=9325

“[The ideology of] primitivism] has justified the subjugation of populations and places described wild, savage or, simply, primitive’.” – Political scientist Uday Chandra, quoted by 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 2021)
https://caravanmagazine.in/books/anthropologists-tribes-india
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=7686

“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 that start becoming one’s real personality. The result is that today no Indian describes society without taking recourse to the categories ‘caste’ and ‘tribe’.” – Ganesh Devy in “Rethinking tribals” (ADIVASI Special issue, The Hindu, 16 July 2000)
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11460

“The ancient tribal communities that lived here in the Andaman Islands […] have lived and flourished here for at least 40,000 years., but the end could well be round the corner. […] It definitely began with the British and their policies, which have been kept up with clinical efficiency by modern, independent India [which] was already on course to becoming a colonizer itself. […] In the late 1960s, an official plan of the Government of India to ‘colonize’ (and this was the term used) the Andaman and Nicobar Islands was firmly in place. The forests were ‘wastelands’ that needed to be tamed, settled and developed.” – Pankaj Sekhsaria in Islands in Flux: The Andaman and Nicobar Story (Harper Litmus, 2017), p. 4
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=26863

“If contemporary India is finding it so difficult and even offensive to swallow the idea of secularism, supposing it to be a foreign import from the West that colonized the country and still colonizes our imagination, might it find some succour in the idea of ‘cultural democracy’? It is perhaps time that we started thinking about how the language of “cultural democracy” [envisaged by Gandhi] could be harnessed to furnish all Indians, and especially aggrieved Hindus, with the assurance there is another way of forging a nation without shedding the past.” – Vinay Lal (Professor of History & Asian American Studies, University of California, Los Angeles UCLA) in “Gandhi, Secularism, and Cultural Democracy” (2 October 2020)
https://vinaylal.wordpress.com/2020/10/02/gandhi-secularism-and-cultural-democracy/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=34387

“Coloniality is a dynamic we need to be alert for as much in the present even within so-called independent, decolonized countries.”– Priyamvada Gopal on the rights of indigenous peoples including Adivasis (“Ideas” on CBC radio, 10 October 2019)
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/ideas/if-you-support-human-rights-you-re-obliged-to-be-an-anti-colonialist-argues-scholar-1.5315358
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=24574

“In 1871, the British passed the ‘Criminal Tribes Act.’ It notified about 150 tribes around India as criminal, giving the police wide powers to arrest them and monitor their movements. The effect of this law was simple: just being born into one of those 150 tribes made you a criminal.” – Dilip D’Souza (Bombay based freelance journalist) in “Vicious cycle” in Folio “Adivasi” (Special issue with the Sunday Magazine of The Hindu, 16 July 2000)
Read or download the full issue here:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/10OzfyoSUfEkZSNIsBRFpOmWba3jAVmK5/view
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=11460

“The Government of India Act [1935] introduced a new framework for the governance of ‘Scheduled Areas,’ i.e. those regions inhabited predominantly by ‘tribal’ peoples” – Daniel Rycroft in Abstract: ANTHROPOLOGICAL ARCHIVES AND ‘CHIASMIC’ TIME IN MODERN INDIA
https://anthropologyireland.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/IJA_19_2_2016.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=31269

“At the time of independence in 1947, twenty-three lakh [2.3 million] people were reportedly suffering as Criminal Tribes. Pertinently, while the targeted communities were Hindu castes, the British maliciously labelled many of them as ‘tribes’ […] thereby gaming them for ‘civilising’ missions.” – Indian Police Service (IPS) officer M Nageswara Rao 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=7686

“The colonial category of “criminal tribes” may have been “denotified” but many communities remain unclassified. History has a way of leaving unfortunate legacies. “If the Local Government has reason to believe that any tribe, gang or class of persons is addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences, it may report the case to the Governor General in Council, and may request his permission to declare such tribe, gang or class to be a criminal tribe.” Hence, a register for Criminal Tribes, not to forget eunuchs.” – The “Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871” quoted by Bibek Debroy in “An unfortunate legacy” (Indian Express, 5 January 2017)
https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/crime-criminal-act-racial-discrimination-non-bailable-offence-criminal-tribes-act-an-unfortunate-legacy-4459258/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=12284

“[O]wing to old colonial practices of ‘plantation’, the indigenous Mannan people lost their land and were rendered dependents on the activities pertaining to cultivation of cardamom. The ‘development’ of their land as cardamom plantation continued even after Independence; the colonial model of plantation development was in totality adopted by the nation-state, and it marked a cultural onslaught on the tribal people. The development model alienated tribals from their land, their culture and diluted their worldview.” – Anu Krishnan in “Plantation Development and Tribes: Experiences of Expropriation of Land, History and Identity-A Case of Mannans” (National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative, New Delhi, 27-28 February 2017)
https://www.indiantribalheritage.org/?p=23073

Video | “Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human”: Ganesh Devy – People’s Linguistic Survey of India

The census of India says the country is losing languages at an alarming rate. But the People’s Linguistic Survey of India seems to say there’s more to it than meets the eye. Wherever the colonial power was played the local … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Cultural heritage, Democracy, Education and literacy, Endangered language, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, Government of India, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Modernity, Multi-lingual education, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India, Resources, Revival of traditions, Southern region – Southern Zonal Council, Success story, Tribal identity, Video resources - external, Western region –  Western Zonal Council | Comments Off on Video | “Nations don’t make us human – languages make us human”: Ganesh Devy – People’s Linguistic Survey of India

Mahatma Gandhi on industrialism and his appeal to capitalists of India to become “trustees to the welfare of the masses” – Young India 1928

Capitalists Of IndiaWardha Before 20 December 1928 GOD FORBID that India should ever take to industrialism after the manner of the West. The economic imperialism of a single tiny island kingdom (England) is today keeping the world in chains. If … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Colonial policies, Customs, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Gandhian social movement, Globalization, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Organizations, Quotes, Rural poverty | Comments Off on Mahatma Gandhi on industrialism and his appeal to capitalists of India to become “trustees to the welfare of the masses” – Young India 1928

Video | Ekalavya discussed in an interview with noted Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Writers Talk Politics | Ngugi wa Thiong’o in conversation with Sudhanva Deshpande Commenting on Ekalavya “who ends up being disabled despite that Dhrona never really taught him – he taught himself – but even with that he is disabled so … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Cultural heritage, Customs, Democracy, Economy and development, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, Endangered language, Globalization, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature - fiction, Modernity, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Storytelling, Topics and issues, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Video | Ekalavya discussed in an interview with noted Kenyan writer Ngugi wa Thiong’o

Adivasi art “A Disappearing World” – Gandhi Foundation (London)

The exhibition, “A Disappearing World: Ancient Traditions Under Threat in Tribal India”, opened at the Brunei Gallery at SOAS on April 13 and will run until June 25. Seminars are also being held to discuss the suffering of the tribals. … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Social conventions, Tribal culture worldwide, Women, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Adivasi art “A Disappearing World” – Gandhi Foundation (London)

eBook | The No-Nonsense Guide to Indigenous Peoples

This guide looks beyond the exotic images tracing the story of different indigenous people from their first contact with explorers and colonizers to the present day. Much of this story is told by the indigenous people themselves and they present … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Democracy, eBook & eJournal, Economy and development, Figures, census and other statistics, Globalization, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on eBook | The No-Nonsense Guide to Indigenous Peoples