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 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 [G.N.] 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

The term ‘Adivasi’: Neither an equivalent to ‘Tribe’ nor used in the Indian Constitution – Mainstream Weekly

By J.J. Roy Burman, Mainstream, Vol XLVII, No 32, July 25, 2009 In India the term ‘Adivasi’ has gained immense popularity in the last few decades to identify the tribes. This term is more commonly brought to use by the NGO … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Constitution and Supreme Court, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Seven Sister States & Sikkim – North Eastern Council | Comments Off on The term ‘Adivasi’: Neither an equivalent to ‘Tribe’ nor used in the Indian Constitution – Mainstream Weekly

Audio | “We raise the grandkids”: The Braveheart Women’s Society – South Dakota (USA)

[24:50] We are a colonized people. But there’s always the extended family. […] In our world either the aunty takes them or it’s the grandmother. We raise the grandkids. | Download and listen as podcast (27:25) >> Subscribe to the … Continue reading

Posted in Audio resources - external, Childhood and children, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Customs, Education and literacy, Modernity, Organizations, Photos and slideshows, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Tribal culture worldwide, Women | Comments Off on Audio | “We raise the grandkids”: The Braveheart Women’s Society – South Dakota (USA)

The main criteria adopted for identification of ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) – Government of India

The Dhebar commission (1960) and the Shilu Ao (1969) team recommended the Government of India that primitive tribal communities should be taken as a special category for which special programmes would have to be initiated as quickly as possible for … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Colonial policies, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Particularly vulnerable tribal group (PVTG), Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty | Comments Off on The main criteria adopted for identification of ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PVTG) – Government of India

Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) & The Fourth World Journal (FWJ)

We are a global community of activist scholars advancing the rights of indigenous peoples through the application of traditional knowledge. Our mission: Activist scholars advancing the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide. The Fourth World Journal (FWJ) is the world’s leading … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Commentary, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Ethnobotany, Globalization, Health and nutrition, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Misconceptions, Networking, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Center for World Indigenous Studies (CWIS) & The Fourth World Journal (FWJ)

Research and Indigenous Peoples: A counter-story to Western ideas about the benefits of the pursuit of knowledge

Decolonizing MethodologiesResearch and Indigenous PeoplesLinda Tuhiwai Smith To the colonized, the term ‘research’ is conflated with European colonialism; the ways in which academic research has been implicated in the throes of imperialism remains a painful memory. This essential volume explores … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Bees and honey, Colonial policies, Ecology and environment, Economy and development, History, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Modernity, Quotes, Revival of traditions, Tribal culture worldwide | Comments Off on Research and Indigenous Peoples: A counter-story to Western ideas about the benefits of the pursuit of knowledge