Category Archives: Constitution and Supreme Court

“[A]ny laws intended to safeguard the fundamental rights of Adivasis must acknowledge the fact that their diverse and complex identities are not homogenous, and that uniform laws have failed to address their systemic marginalisation since the colonial era.” – Summary for Adivasi rights and exclusion in India by V. Srinivasa Rao (Routledge, 2019)
http://www.worldcat.org/oclc/1053859141
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=10409

“India, also known as Bharat, is a Union of States. It is a Sovereign Socialist Secular Democratic Republic with a parliamentary system of government. […] The State shall not discriminate against any citizen on grounds only of religion, race, caste, sex, place of birth or any of them. […] All citizens shall have the right to freedom of speech and expression, to assemble peaceably […]” – Constitution of India (Visited: 15 April 2021)
https://www.india.gov.in/my-government/constitution-india
https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/COI_1.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?page_id=18809

“While delivering the Foundation Day lecture, the Vice President asked that we shall first have to give up this hubris of considering tribes backward. Every tribe has a rich and living cultural tradition and we must respect them. He said it not only social courtesy to respect their cultural traditions but it is also our Constitutional obligation. He said as we are looking for ways of sustainable development, these groups can teach us lessons in sustainable development. [T]heir belief in the Nature remains one and firm. There can’t be a better example of Unity in Diversity.” – M. Venkaiah Naidu (Vice President of India) in the First Foundation Day Lecture of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) titled “Constitution and Tribes” (Press Information Bureau, 19 February 2019)
https://ncst.nic.in/sites/default/files/2019/Media/2.pdf
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=36256

“He who has not surrendered his free will and abdicated his intelligence and independent thinking, who does not blindly act on the teachings of others, who does not blindly accept anything without critically analysing and examining its veracity and usefulness, who is always prepared to protect his rights, who is not afraid of ridicule and unjust public criticism, who has a sound conscience and self-respect so as not become a tool in the hands of others, I call him a free man.” – Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar (who was more than the “drafter of the Constitution”), quoted by Goldy M George in Journal of People’s Studies (Volume 1, Issue 4 June 2016, Page v)
https://www.academia.edu/28587897
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=20996

“The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness arising out of age-old practice of untouchability and certain others on account of this primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation, and who need special consideration for safeguarding their interests and for their accelerated socio-economic development. These communities were notified as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes as per provisions contained in Clause 1 of Articles 341 and 342 of the Constitution respectively. – National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (accessed 31 May 2020)
https://www.ncst.gov.in/index.php
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=33998

“At present, India has 1,350 prisons with a rated full capacity of 4,03,739 prisoners. All jails are bursting with overcrowding and degrading inhuman conditions, so much for standards of human rights of prisoners in terms of the Constitution of India. The Constitution envisioned prisons as centres of reforms, which is not happening.” – MY Siddiqui in “Time to tame torturers” (tehelka.com, 29 October 2020)
http://tehelka.com/time-to-tame-torturers/
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=25720

“[T]he Constitution gives equal respect to all communities, sects, lingual and ethnic groups, etc. The Constitution guarantees to all citizens freedom of speech (Article 19), freedom of religion (Article 25), equality (Articles 14 to 17), liberty (Article 21), etc. […] The injustice done to the tribal people of India is a shameful chapter in our country’s history. The tribals were called ‘rakshas’ (demons), ‘asuras’, and what not. They were slaughtered in large numbers, and the survivors and their descendants were degraded, humiliated, and all kinds of atrocities inflicted on them for centuries. They were deprived of their lands [and] now efforts are being made by some people to deprive them even of their forest and hill land where they are living, and the forest produce on which they survive […] Despite this horrible oppression on them, the tribals of India have generally (though not invariably) retained a higher level of ethics than the non-tribals. They normally do not cheat or tell lies, or commit other misdeeds, which many non-tribals do.” – Supreme Court judgment quoted in “India, largely a country of immigrants” (The Hindu, January 12, 2011)
https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/article1081343.ece 
https://indiantribalheritage.org/?p=4315

Traditional social structures of Adivasis and the constitutional right to food

Legally entitled to a full stomach Fifty percent of the world’s hungry live in India. But India is a democracy, which gives her citizens a lot of rights – for instance, the constitutional right to food. Based on this right, … Continue reading

Posted in Accountability, Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Economy and development, Education and literacy, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, Health and nutrition, Misconceptions, Modernity, Nilgiri, Organizations, Press snippets, Quotes, Resources, Rural poverty | Comments Off on Traditional social structures of Adivasis and the constitutional right to food

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

A master of traditional Kurumba painting techniques: Krishnan of Velaricombai village (Nilgiris) – Tamil Nadu

Making do without blue in the Blue Mountains Olivia Waring,  April 4, 2017 | To view these and more photos in larger size and read the full article, click here >> Krishnan of Velaricombai village in the Nilgiris attempts to breathe life into … Continue reading

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“Who are Scheduled Tribes?”: Clarifications by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes – Government of India

The framers of the Constitution took note of the fact that certain communities in the country were suffering from extreme social, educational and economic backwardness on account of the primitive agricultural practices, lack of infrastructure facilities and geographical isolation. The … Continue reading

Posted in Anthropology, Assimilation, Colonial policies, Community facilities, Constitution and Supreme Court, Customs, De- and re-tribalisation, Democracy, FAQ, Government of India, Quotes, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tips, Tribal identity | Comments Off on “Who are Scheduled Tribes?”: Clarifications by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes – Government of India

Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes

There are over 700 tribes (with overlapping communities in more than one State) which have been notified under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, spread over different States and Union Territories of the country. The largest number of main … Continue reading

Posted in Assimilation, Constitution and Supreme Court, Democracy, Economy and development, FAQ, Figures, census and other statistics, Government of India, History, Organizations, Quotes, Regions of India, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST), Tips | Comments Off on Tip | How many ‘Scheduled Tribes’ are there in India? And what distinguishes them from other communities? (‘tribal’ or otherwise) – Information provided by the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes