Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
Young Baiga Tribe women.

The British first encountered tribal communities in the hilly regions of the Malabar situated between the Western Ghats and the Arabian Sea. Like with other social orders within the Indian Territory, the relationship between the British and the tribals quickly transformed into a hierarchical superior-inferior one.

The social organization of these tribal communities was distinct from the general mass on many counts, but for colonizers they were just another people subject to the diktats of the British monarchy. They made no effort to understand the complexities of the tribal society until the 20th century.


But these efforts did little to alleviate the tribals from their utter destitution; rather it inflicted upon them only more misery. JP Hutton, the commissioner of the census of 1931 summed up the impact of British policies on the tribals as follows: “far from being of immediate benefit to the tribes, the establishment of colonial rule in India did most of them much more harm than good.”

In 1936, the British government passed the ‘Excluded and Partially Excluded Area’ Act identifying certain sections in India as tribal and therefore needing special protection. But underlying this law, that sought to prevent exploitation and infringement into the tribal communities by outsiders, was a political motive of the colonizers of ruling by dividing the society into distinct and disparate silos.

The policy, however, failed in its objective to bring a complete segregation between the tribals and the general mass, which was the intended purpose of the Act. The infiltrations into these self-sufficient and economically autonomous social organisations by outsiders continued even after the law came into effect.

The missionaries that spread itself throughout the expanse of India did do welfare work that reached deep into the social fabric of the tribal communities. However, their work was not only to provide relief to the downtrodden and the marginalised but was also motivated by a religious agenda.

The rich tribal heritage of this country has therefore only seen deterioration since its first engagement with the outsiders. The economic oppression, political subjugation and the vulnerabilities borne out of the vagaries of nature have only compounded over the years.

Even after India’s paradigmatic shift in its political identity from colonised to independent in the mid-20th century, the conditions of the tribals has improved insufficiently. Their dependence on the endowments of nature is continuously threatened with the growing demands for natural resources from rapidly industrialising India.

This is best exemplified by the decade-long opposition by the tribal communities of Niyamgiri hills, in the state of Odisha, to the mining company Vedanta Resources. They believe that their mountain god, Niyam Raja, is the only source of food, water and their way of life. “We get almost everything from the mountain,” says Kutia Majhi, president of the resistance group Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (the Save Niyamgiri Foundation). “All we need from the government is salt, kerosene. The government should spare our culture,” he adds.

This is indicative of the friction in modern day India between the tribals and the general masses; which bears uncanny similarities with the relationship, two centuries ago, between the colonizers and the tribals.

India’s burgeoning economic needs cannot be attained at the pyre of its rich tribal heritage for it will be a perversion of its democratic ideals. The much vaunted ‘inclusive growth’ will be mere dry sloganeering if it fails to take under its fold the vulnerable tribal communities.

(Inputs by Rajesh Ghosh)


Popular

Photo by JC Gellidon on Unsplash

Apart from damaging the lungs, the virus can also cause acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system.

By TS Kler

COVID-19 has led to complications and health risks manifold for patients with non-communicable diseases. Almost 75-80 percent of the COVID patients don't require hospitalisation and can recover at home with teleconsultation, but COVID-19 infections can leave the patient with long-term side effects. There are many instances where symptoms of COVID-19 have persisted for several months. Apart from damaging the lungs, the virus can also cause acute myocardial injury and chronic damage to the cardiovascular system.

According to research published in the European Heart Journal, Covid-19 patients who suffer cardiac arrest have a higher possibility of dying as compared to those who are not infected with it, and especially women are at an increased risk of death for the same reason. The virus may directly breach the ACE2 receptor cells, within the myocardium tissue and cause direct viral harm. COVID can result in inflammation of the heart muscles which is known as myocarditis and it can lead to heart failure over time, if not taken care of.

People with a pre-existing heart problem need to be extra cautious. A significant number of patients have suffered cardiac arrest during the recovery period, often resulting in death. Expert suggests that even though the COVID virus wanes, the immune response continues to be hyper-active and that often ends up attacking other organs. It has been observed that almost 80 per cent of these patients have had cardiac arrests 2-3 weeks after testing COVID positive.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Hassan Vakil on Unsplash

When we are experiencing loneliness, it can be easy to slip into the habit of saying no to social activities.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

The festive season is a time of joy. Some people truly love it, but for many, it can trigger feelings of loneliness and anxiety. Feeling lonely is common and completely normal -- whether or not we're living through this pandemic. The social pressure to "be happy" can be relentless, but it is important to take a proactive approach to meet not only our emotional needs but also to maintain our mental stability and well-being. With the pandemic, holidays are likely to be challenging, instead, meet them head-on with a renewed dedication and a proactive mindset to avoid 'holiday blues'.

Kanchan Rai, Mental and Emotional Well-being Coach, Founder, Let Us Talk, mentions ways to turn your loneliness into action this season:

Say yes to socializing: When we are experiencing loneliness, it can be easy to slip into the habit of saying no to social activities. Seclusion can make it challenging to feel driven and the mere thought of physically seeing people can lead to stress. Hence it is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence. Something as simple as going for a walk with a friend or chatting with your loved ones over the phone can make a huge difference.

three women walking on brown wooden dock near high rise building during daytime It is recommended to saying yes to mingling to help build your confidence | Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Keep Reading Show less
Ctrl.blog

Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge

Ahead of the Windows 11 launch, Microsoft is rolling out some updates to Edge that include the addition of tab groups. Users will be able to assemble collections of tabs to make their browser a little less chaotic.

To create a group, hold the control button and choose the tabs you want to include, then select "Add tabs to new group" from the right-click menu, Engadget reported on Friday. Users can customise the label with a different colour for each group. When users hover over a tab, they will be able to see a preview of the web page as well.

Microsoft Edge is also getting some handy shopping features, the report said. The browser can give swift access to reviews and ratings for more than 5 million products. When users are on a product page, they can click the blue tag on the address bar and see expert reviews from reliable sources, as well as the average consumer star rating from various retailers.

When they do figure out what to buy, Microsoft aims to help them complete the transaction a bit faster. The new personalised news feed called Microsoft Start is integrated into the browser. Users will see headlines and articles relevant to their interests from a range of publishers when they open a new tab. (IANS/ MBI)


Keep reading... Show less