Category Archives: Colonial policies

“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

“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

Map | A virtual journey across time and space

Whatever our own cultural background, there are amazing discoveries to be made, for India’s youth just as for scholars and visitors from all over the world! Learn more about – and from – some of India’s tribal communities by clicking on the button … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Archaeology, Central region, Colonial policies, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Eastern region, Fashion and design, Gandhian social movement, History, Homes and utensils, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Nilgiri, Northern region, Press snippets, Quotes, Regions of India, Sacred grove, Seven Sister States, Southern region, Storytelling, Tips, Tourism, Trees, Western region, Worship and rituals | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Map | A virtual journey across time and space

A historical plea to ‘secure the advancement of the tribals without disturbing the essential harmony of their life and secure their integration without imposition’: Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission – Government of India

Indians are truly rooted in an ethos of living in harmony with their land. There was a time when the Indian subcontinent was carpeted in green… watered by glacial rivers, blessed by rolling hills and productive grasslands, lush rainforests and … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Constitution and Supreme Court, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tribal identity | Comments Off on A historical plea to ‘secure the advancement of the tribals without disturbing the essential harmony of their life and secure their integration without imposition’: Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission – Government of India

ePub | What is the Forest Rights Act about? Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights?

The passage of the Scheduled Tribes and other Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act (2006), recognizing both the individual and community rights over forest and forest resources is an attempt to redress the “historical injustice” meted out to [200 … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Democracy, ePub & eJournal, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Literature - fiction, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Tips | Comments Off on ePub | What is the Forest Rights Act about? Who is a forest dweller under this law, and who gets rights?

ePub | Reviving native ecology as to restore the wealth of the people: Cultural continuity for the twenty-first century – Kerala

Places like Kerala where there were numerous sacred groves and related culture, are ecologically disturbed now due to ill conceived developments chartered out by those who did not have any knowledge or concern about nature/ecology. Modernists could not understand the … Continue reading

Posted in Colonial policies, Community facilities, Customs, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, ePub & eJournal, Ethnobotany, Globalization, Health and nutrition, History, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Sacred grove, Southern region, Storytelling, Tagore and rural culture, Trees, Tribal culture worldwide, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology | Comments Off on ePub | Reviving native ecology as to restore the wealth of the people: Cultural continuity for the twenty-first century – Kerala

ePub | The Problem of Tribal Education

The vulnerability of tribal populations to exploitation by minor government officials, as well as moneylenders, landlords, and other agents of vested interests, can largely be traced to their illiteracy and general ignorance of the world outside the narrow confines of … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, Customs, Economy and development, Education and literacy, ePub & eJournal, Government of India, Literature and bibliographies, Modernity, Names and communities, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal identity | Tagged | Comments Off on ePub | The Problem of Tribal Education