Category Archives: Adverse inclusion

“Adivasi struggles and perspectives come from experiences of discrimination, marginalisation and powerlessness and ours has been one of a long, ongoing call for justice for our rights of restitution and repatriation. Is anyone listening?” – Ruby Hembrom (founder-director of Adivaani—a publisher of Adivasi writing) in “A phrase that eclipses key histories” (The New Indian Express, 18 May 2016)

“The new normal is the many millions marching back in search of those livelihoods that we destroyed these past three decades.” – P. Sainath (founder of PARI “People’s Archive of Rural India”) in “We Didn’t Bleed Him Enough”: When Normal is the Problem ( , 12 August 2020, first published in Frontline magazine)

“Highly urbanised societies such as Hong Kong and Singapore that have no agricultural base are food secure because of their considerable purchasing power, while India, although self-sufficient in agriculture, has much of its population that is food insecure primarily due to social inequity and poverty.” – Terry C.H. Sunderland in “Forests and food security” (International Institute for Asian Studies, The Newsletter No. 58, 2011)

“[I]implicit to theories such as Sankritisation is an evolutionary approach towards tribes, implying that there is a ladder towards attaining higher status under the fold of caste Hindus.” – Subhadra Mitra Channa in Anthropological Perspectives on Indian Tribes, 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)

“The sculpture of Madhu points to the fundamental but hidden truth of Indian modernity and development: that it is built on an unprecedented dispossession of, and violence against, the nation’s Adivasi communities. […] Behind the (justifiably) much-lauded secular model of development in Kerala lies the hideous reality of racism/casteism in which an Adivasi or a Dalit becomes the other. […] The Madhus of the world suffer violent deaths not because we failed to modernise them, but because of the intrinsic connections between their terrible fate and well-being — in 70 years after Independence, post-colonial governments have virtually replicated colonial government policies towards the Adivasi.” – Nissim Mannathukkaren in “The Adivasi in the mirror: The lynching of Madhu in Kerala must shock our conscience into recognising the dispossession of India’s tribals” (The Hindu Opinion, 3 March 2018)

“After Independence, the erstwhile aborigines were classified as scheduled tribes, the untouchables were classified as scheduled castes and others included in the backward classes. Although, many of the denotified, nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes are spread among SC/ST/OBC, many are still not classified anywhere and have no access to socio-economic benefits, whether education, health, housing or otherwise. […] There are many anomalies in terms of identification of these communities, from state to state. Many people also do not know what is denotified tribe and which authority is looking after their grievances.” – Bibek Debroy in “An unfortunate legacy” (Indian Express, 5 January 2017)

“KISS [Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences, a boarding or ‘factory school’ for about 30,000 Adivasi children from Odisha, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Mizoram, Assam and other states] is a means to detribalize the Adivasi people and fill them with ideas and concepts that suits the current format of mainstream societal norms and ruling class.” – Virginius Xaxa quoted by Goldy M. George in “Adivasis Protest Awarding of World Congress of Anthropology 2023 to KISS” (Forward Press, 23 July 2020), p. 2

“When the Aryans came into India as invaders with radical differences in complexion, religion, customs, and manners between them and the non-Aryan inhabitants, there came about the first broad grouping in the emergent Indian society. Politically, the Aryans were the conquerors and the non-Aryans the conquered, and racially the former were of a fair complexion whereas the latter were dark. The Aryan society had three classes which were occupational in their nature: the soldier-administrator, the priest, and the agriculturist-artisan.” – B.G. Gokhale in Ancient India (Bombay, 1959 ed.), p. 118

“KISS seems to share key features of U.S. residential schools, and its stated goal of ‘converting tax consumers into taxpayers’ implies a view of tribal cultures as ‘primitive’. This insensitivity to the complexity of Adivasi society and economy, the sheer scale of KISS, and its distance from villages, alienate children from their roots […] The notion of ‘mainstreaming’ needs to be challenged not just because Adivasi culture is being crushed, but also because Adivasi values and ways of life offer insights that the ‘mainstream’ needs.” – Felix Padel & Malvika Gupta in “Are mega residential schools wiping out India’s Adivasi culture?” (The Hindu, 13 February 2021)

“Tribal groups (adivasis) in India have often been excluded, marginalized and oppressed by ‘mainstream’ society. In many ways this exclusion, marginalization and oppression is fostered by the way in which ‘mainstream’ society looks at the adivasis – as exotic, dangerous, or ‘primitive’ others.” – Ganesh Devy in “A Nomad Called Thief: Reflections on Adivasi Silence and Voice” ( 2006)

“[T]here exists a major gap in India between these encouraging judicial pronouncements and how the right plays out in reality […] According to the latest 2010 data from the Indian government […] a disproportionate percentage of scheduled castes, scheduled tribes, and other backward classes (OBCs) made-up the undertrial-population, with nearly two-thirds of the total number of undertrials coming from one of these three communities. These three groups, whose classifications are officially denoted and recognized in India, have long been formally identified by the government as deserving constitutional and statutory protection as well as affirmative public benefits, due to the historic, socio-economic, political, and religious discrimination they have faced.” – Jayanth K. Krishnan & C. Raj Kumar in “Delay in Process, Denial of Justice: The Jurisprudence and Empirics of Speedy Trials in Comparative Perspective” (Maurer Faculty Paper, 2011)

“Who, if anyone, is excluded—or adversely included—from equitable access to public goods, why and by what processes is such exclusion or adverse inclusion accomplished, and what can be done to change this to a more just and equitable set of outcomes? […] resulting in intense dispossession, sexual and economic exploitation, alarming health and nutrition declines as well as precarious survival. […] The picture that emerges from the report is in many ways grim and troubling, one that affirms that there continue to be significant populations that are consistently and often extremely deprived of access to public goods that are essential for a human life with dignity.” – “The India Exclusion Report 2015: A comprehensive, annually updated analysis on the exclusion of disadvantaged groups in India” (First Edition, New Delhi 2016,, supported by UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women)

“Since independence, multiple government policies and programmes sought to develop tribal communities by focusing on their livelihood, education and health. […] Debts are one of the main coping strategies, resulting in a hand-to-mouth existence for those affected.” – Programme report on Tribal nutrition: “UNICEF’s efforts to support the tribal population, especially children who suffer from malnourishment.”

“A historic opportunity of integrating conservation and livelihood rights of the people”: The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act – Reports & Articles

The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 is a result of the protracted struggle by the marginal and tribal communities of our country to assert their rights over the forestland over which they … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Ecology and environment, Figures, census and other statistics, Forest Rights Act (FRA), Government of India, History, Organizations, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Quotes, Resources, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Rural poverty, Scheduled Tribe (ST) | Comments Off on “A historic opportunity of integrating conservation and livelihood rights of the people”: The Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers Act – Reports & Articles

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

Slideshow | The story of Ekalavya judged by India’s Supreme Court

Watch this story on Youtube including the self-mutilation scene [11:32]: Eklavya (Mahabharat) Kahaniyaa video channel: Moral Stories For ChildrenURL: visited: 11 July 2021 Dronacharya, Guru of Pandavas and Kauravas in the epic Mahabharata, came in for some harsh contemporary … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Childhood and children, Constitution and Supreme Court, Education and literacy, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, History, Photos and slideshows, Storytelling, Tips, Topics and issues, Video resources - external | Comments Off on Slideshow | The story of Ekalavya judged by India’s Supreme Court

In search of a development that preserves the best parts of Adivasi culture and collectivity: Imagining an alternative “Discovery Of India”

Call us adivasis, please If Adivasis were to start writing their own Discovery Of India, it would be something like this: There are those who talk of India’s “5000 year-old culture,” there are those who talk of its “timeless traditions.” … Continue reading

Posted in Adivasi / Adibasi, Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Colonial policies, Commentary, Customs, Democracy, Eastern region – Eastern Zonal Council, Ecology and environment, Ekalavya (Eklavya, Eklabya), EMR & Factory schools, History, Misconceptions, Modernity, Names and communities, Nature and wildlife, Northern region – Northern Zonal Council, Press snippets, Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Storytelling, Success story, Western region –  Western Zonal Council | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on In search of a development that preserves the best parts of Adivasi culture and collectivity: Imagining an alternative “Discovery Of India”

Tip | Anthropology and more

Learn more about India’s tribal communities – their cultural heritage, current conditions and aspirations – with the help of the links seen below Despite their vast differences, anthropologists, including [Verrier] Elwin and [G.S.] Ghurye, as well as Srinivas and other … Continue reading

Posted in Adverse inclusion, Anthropology, Crafts and visual arts, Cultural heritage, Customs, Endangered language, Ethnobotany, Health and nutrition, History, Languages and linguistic heritage, Misconceptions, Museum collections - India, Musicology, Names and communities, Particularly vulnerable tribal group, Regions of India, Rural poverty, Tips, Tribal identity, Worship and rituals | Comments Off on Tip | Anthropology and more