The Adivasi Script Movement in Orissa and Jharkhand: Identity, Education and Cultural Revitalization – “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference)

Abstract 11: Adivasi Script Movement: Identity, Education and Cultural Revitalization

Paper presented for “Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative” (National Conference) – New Delhi


Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi


Writing came to India much earlier than other civilizations – from the days of the Indus Valley Civilization, by over four thousand years ago and the space has also witnessed emergence of some of the great writing systems.  On the other hand, Adivasi languages of India represent valuable relics of the country’s past cultural heritage in the form of oral traditions and folklore. These are indigenous societies without any writing system, hence also considered as pre-literate societies.  Even without a writing system they have survived and also have a rich culture and traditions regarding every aspects of life. But in the past few decades there has been a significant change in the lives of tribal communities. One of it is related to tribal languages, that is creation of a script by the Adivasis themselves. This script movement among Adivasis has been considered as a mark of social and cultural mobility. As most of these tribal communities, since the colonial period, came under direct contact with the majoritarian dominant groups which led to constant subjugation and exploitation of the former.  

This paper intends to do a sociological analysis of the script movement among the Adivasis in the state of Orissa and Jharkhand. It will also examine how THE script movement is also related to the institution of education, identity question and cultural revitalization. This paper is based on secondary data, case studies and personal observation.

BIONOTE: Dr. Gomati Bodra Hembrom is currently employed as Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi. She may be contacted at the email ID:  [email protected]

Source: Book of Abstracts for the ICSSR-sponsored Two-Day National Conference Tribes In Transition-II: Reaffirming Indigenous Identity Through Narrative organised by The Department of English & Outreach Programme Jamia Millia Islamia (New Delhi, 27-28 February 2017)

Courtesy Dr. Ivy Hansdak, Assistant Professor, Department of English, Jamia Millia Islamia University New Delhi (email 4 October 2017)

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