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IUAES 2013: Evolving Humanity, Emerging Worlds. 5-10 August 2013.

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Evolving humanity, emerging worlds

Manchester, UK; 5th-10th August 2013

(SE17)

Indigenous people: struggle for survival (IUAES Commission on Human Rights)

Location University Place 3.213
Date and Start Time 07 Aug, 2013 at 14:30

Convenor

Buddhadeb Chaudhuri (IUAES) email
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Short Abstract

The indigenous people live in areas very rich in natural resources. With increasing globalization, there are attempts by outside forces to control and exploit these resources affecting the life and culture and economy of indigenous people. This has also created identity crisis.

Long Abstract

The indigenous people or tribals who form a sizeable population in many countries are treated in a number of ways by the different governments. The approaches vary at two extremes, the policy of segregation or isolation to total assimilation. Various development programmes have also been initiated for them and it has been pointed out that to make the programmes successful, one must be aware about their cultural traditions, eco-system and economy, history and ethnic composition of the region and felt needs of the population. It is important to examine their transformation and capture the changing scenario and a whole diversity of attendant issues related to economy, agronomy, politics, ethnicity, ecology, education, technology transfer, social/ ethno-political movements, religious faiths and rituals and their rich traditional wisdom and knowledge. It is to be critically examined how development processes have affected their pristine environment or how the deepening crisis of identity have not only produced new social formations, but have led to turmoil, unrest and movement.

One unfortunate contradiction is noted in many places. The areas where indigenous people live are very rich so far the natural resources are concerned. But the poorest of the poor also live here. Again, a number of development programmes have been initiated which have varied effects on population. In many places, the development programmes have benefited some while created disruption and displacement for others, particularly the indigenous people affecting their survival and security. In this session, these issues will be examined with cross-cultural data.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

The Dhimals of North Bengal, India: Struggle for Identity and Survival

Author: Subir Biswas (West Bengal State University)  email
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Short Abstract

The paper intends to identify Scheduled Tribe status of Dhimal (an indigenous community of northern part of West Bengal, India), which may consider as a ladder for socio-cultural, educational and economic upliftment. The study also narrates the struggle of said community because of non-recognition after independence (of India).

Long Abstract

The Dhimal of North Bengal (northern part of West Bengal, India) had categorized as non-Aryan tribe by scholars of pre-Independent India. However, after Independence, they simply wiped out from government censuses. Recently they have been classified as Other Backward Classes (OBC) of West Bengal. Even in terms of education, occupation or Social-Cultural context they are very similar to tribal communities of West Bengal. Therefore, they (Dhimals) demand for Scheduled tribe status instead of OBCs. Because of the uneven competitions with dominant next door neighbours and others in respect of nation, push them much behind whether in the field of education, occupation or socio-cultural context as a whole

The present paper is an attempt to identify almost all the documents on Dhimals having historical importance in the field of Anthropological research, and also to comments on the status or identity of Dhimals as per previous writings. The sources have identified the Dhimals as a non-Aryan Tribe, with distinguishable characteristics; though with some recent changes in cultural aspects, which is not so deviated that can exclude Dhimals from previous status. The study also narrates the struggle of said community because of non-recognition as a Scheduled Tribe, specially after the independence of India.

Sustainability of Indigenous Knowledge holders: A Needful Approach

Author: Ashok Das Gupta (University of North Bengal )  email
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Short Abstract

The indigenous people live in areas very rich in natural resources. In this era of Globalization, marginalization of these communities followed by destroying their natural resources, structure, culture and identity are to be mitigated by sense of sustainability.

Long Abstract

The indigenous people live in areas very rich in natural resources. In this era of Globalization, there are attempts to control over these resources. Marginalization of these communities followed by destroying their natural resources, structure, culture and identity are to be mitigated by sustainable way of development; otherwise the system will be used and reused by outside vested interests. We should not forget that these people can contribute a lot on behalf of their Indigenous Knowledge systems to humanity. Unless we incorporate these people, sustainability in favour of our future generations can not be achieved. Rather crisis to the nation may arise. Believe or not, indigenous communities so far neglected and even being in a pre-State condition are highly patriotic and very much attached to their pre-agricultural and agrarian production systems.

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Development, Displacement and Indigenous People's Movements in India: a study of Odisha

Authors: Iswar Chandra Naik (KIIT University )  email
Dwiti Vikramaditya (Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper is to study about the Development, Displacement led to Indigenous People's Movements in Odisha revolving around livelihood; water land and forests.It also looks to which people are losing their basic rights on traditional livelihood due to the process of industrializati.

Long Abstract

Specifically in Odisha, severe environmental destruction is being caused by industries and big dams in the name of development. People of rural Odisha could only depend on the tradition form of livelihood as a sustained means of survival. Development projects in the present era for e.g. Industries, Dams and Mining have been physically displaced million of forest dwellers, tribal, dalits and peasants in Odisha, India, since independence, have thrown out from their habitat reducing them not only houses but without food and occupation as well. The development and displacement led to people's movements which are carried out primarily by those directly affected by the establishment of industries, dams & mines in that localities including the rural peasant, the forest tribal, dalits, their women folk and so on. It also include the allied hearing space where voluntary organization, the media, social activists, professional, civil and human rights groups and academician who have created a public space that supports the displaced people.

Clean biofuels and the Guarani Indians of Mato Grosso do Sul: human costs and violation of rights

Authors: Marcos Lima (Ministério Público Federal)  email
Verônica Guimarães (UFGD)  email
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Short Abstract

This paper addresses the impact of the growth of the ethanol industry in Mato Grosso do Sul/ Central Brazil on the Guarani Indians. Stress is laid on how sugarcane cultivation has affected those communities, their environment, their land rights, placing them under situations of great vulnerability.

Long Abstract

In the wake of the discussions over the oil crisis and over the production of environmentally clean fuels capable of reducing greenhouse carbon emissions, Brazil stood tall as a pioneer. The country is often regarded as the one to first establish a long-term project aimed at gradually substituting fossil by biofuels and replacing entirely gas-run cars by flexible-fuel vehicles which can run at any percentage of ethanol. While the Brazilian ethanol program has been internationally hailed as an environmental success, the human costs of ethanol production have been virtually ignored. As the sugarcane industry grows by leaps and bounds, the production of its raw material encroaches upon traditional indigenous land awaiting demarcation or official recognition. The plight of the Guarani Indians in Mato Grosso do Sul/Brazil - the largest ethnic group in the country, in a State which holds the second indian population in Brazil - dates back to the 1950´s when they were forced out of their traditional land to live in tiny and packed reservations. As indigenous social movements try to regain access to their traditionally occupied territories, they are met with great resistance. The entire ethanol production chain has affected directly or indirectly the Guarani territories, jeopardizing their material and spiritual subsistance, their environment, placing them under constant threat of physical violence. Behind the success of biofuels there lies the violations of human rights as well as the failure to comply with ILO 169 Convention of which Brazil is a signatore.

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The Morans of Assam, India: Struggle for Survival

Authors: Birinchi Medhi (Gauhati University)  email
Aref Zaman (Assam State Legal Services Authority)  email
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Short Abstract

The Moran is an ethnic community of Assam, India. This Community is putting all efforts to restore its tribal way of life.Here, the authors have tried to focus on the issue of Morans identity from various perspectives.

Long Abstract

Survival has been the key objective of all human groups since time immemorial. Uncongenial environment, natural calamities and diseases have been the most common adversaries of mankind throughout ages. In addition to these, while fighting to keep one's kind alive, what a human group needed to do was to get hold of the resources and in doing so, had to make other such group/s with similar aspirations submissive to its will.

In India, struggle for survival of a marginalized ethnic community in a multi-cultural setting with influential caste population can be very easily observed through their social, cultural, religious, political, and economic standing. The Moran community is one such ethnic group of the State of Assam which is for a long time has been living with the disturbing fact that even after so many years of India's independence, their plight has stayed on. Their recognition as a scheduled tribe (plains) of Assam still seems a distant dream.

Opinion of the Morans suggests that relative socio-economic backwardness and with regard to their need of having some constitutional facilities are the driving forces behind their sustained effort to assert their unique existence,

In this paper, a modest attempt has been made to understand the continuous struggle of the Morans to assert their identity as a tribal community of the State of Assam.

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This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

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