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

“The British established mode of forest governance imposed restrictions on local forest-dwelling communities. In 1860, the Company withdrew all access rights for using the forests (food, fuel, medicine and selling forest products) since the forests and forest-dwelling communities provided refuge to the rebels during the Sepoy Mutiny.” – Research team (Sayantani Satpathi, Shambhavi Singh & Subhodeep Basu) in “Revisiting the Forest Rights Act: Status of Implementation with respect to Land Tenures and Collection of Minor Forest Produce), Bharat Rural Livelihoods Foundation (New Delhi, 12 July 2019), p. 4
https://www.academia.edu/41756309
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=14402

“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

Revival of interest in aboriginal history: The “Khoe”, descendants of herders who introduced pottery 2000 years ago – Southern Africa

Read the full article by Prof. Andrew B. Smith >> The name ‘Hottentot’, or its Afrikaans shortening ‘Hotnot’, became a disparaging term for people of colour at the Cape. Today we refer to the aboriginal herders of the Cape by the … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Anthropology, Archaeology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Crafts and visual arts, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, Gandhian social movement, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Literature and bibliographies, Misconceptions, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Quotes, Success story, Tribal culture worldwide, Tribal identity | Comments Off on Revival of interest in aboriginal history: The “Khoe”, descendants of herders who introduced pottery 2000 years ago – Southern Africa

“Who is Indian, and what makes a person an Indian?”: Questions debated among members of 565 recognized American Indian tribes

by Dennis Zotigh January 26, 2011 | Read the full post in Beyond FAQ: Let’s talk >> My answer? There are many definitions of who is an Indian. As a starting point, “Indian” is a misguided label that spread through Europe … Continue reading

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“His significant legacy lives on”: Remembering Birsa Munda, the charismatic tribal leader who shook the British Empire – Jharkhand

Now fondly known as Mr Jharkhand, Munda died at the age of 25 more than a century ago, but his significant legacy lives on. […] A century after his death, Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on his birth anniversary … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Colonial policies, Democracy, Eastern region, Film, History, Literature and bibliographies, Media portrayal, Modernity, Names and communities, Photos and slideshows, Press snippets, Revival of traditions, Rural poverty, Seasons and festivals, Storytelling, Success story, Tribal elders, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on “His significant legacy lives on”: Remembering Birsa Munda, the charismatic tribal leader who shook the British Empire – Jharkhand

Toda cultural history – Tamil Nadu

THE TODA AND CULTURE HISTORY: SOME REFLECTIONS FROM A DRAVIDIAN TRIBE OF NILGIRI HILLS Jakka ParthasarathyKey Words: Cultural relativism, Tamil Language, Acculturation, Culture Core Culture history is a perspective developed by anthropologists whose common concern is the inference of historical … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Colonial policies, Customs, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Maps, Names and communities, Quotes, Tribal identity, Western Ghats - tribal heritage & ecology, Worship and rituals | Tagged | Comments Off on Toda cultural history – Tamil Nadu

Lessons in sustainable development, Unity in Diversity: “We shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward” – Vice President of India’s Foundation Day lecture

Vice president delivers “first foundation day lecture of NCST” | To download the official transcript, click here >> While delivering the Foundation Day lecture, the Vice President asked that we shall first have to give up this hubris of considering … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Colonial policies, Commentary, Constitution and Supreme Court, Ecology and environment, Gandhian social movement, Government of India, History, Misconceptions, Nature and wildlife, Organizations, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Seasons and festivals, Success story | Comments Off on Lessons in sustainable development, Unity in Diversity: “We shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward” – Vice President of India’s Foundation Day lecture