IN SPITE OF GREAT ADVANCES IN FORMAL METHOD IN SOCIAL SCIENCE, MUCH OF THE UNDERSTANDING OF PERSISTING AND GENERAL RELATIONSHIPS DEPENDS UPON A GRASP THAT IS TOTALLY INDEPENDENT OF SOME FORMAL METHOD. IN ADVANCING SOCIAL SCIENCE, WE INVENT AND PRACTICE TECHNIQUE AND CULTIVATE A HUMANISTIC ART. (Robert Redfield)

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TRIBES OF INDIA (Video Playlist) ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMS BY SATHYA MOHAN

Showing posts with label Tribes Of India. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tribes Of India. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

MNCs Operated Destruction Of India

The Chenchus themselves may not be fully aware of the presence of Kali (Chenchu Lakshmi) in Nallamalais. They sleepwalk on her lap blissfully. She guards not just the life but also the ancient man-made treasure as well as diamond mines. Those who tried to steal from her got disappeared in her vicinity. If the present rulers don't grasp this and follow their predecessors thinking that their god Lucifer or the Illuminati can save them, they are mistaken. Let history not repeat itself!
OM SHANTI
Vandemataram
JAI ADIVASI


Government of India collects many statistics every year on everything and anything except on the displaced people from the resource rich forests or river banks or fertile lands. None in India in government circles have any figure for the number of people that have been or are being displaced by big developmental projects or sacrificed on the altar of Developmental Mantra by every national government.


Where do these displaced people go?

Eventually they end up in slums of urban centers on government lands or on disputed lands. They become vote bank for urban political parties. In most cases once the land title is allotted these slum dwellers are uprooted from these slums so that big corporation can build shopping malls or apartment complexes for the development of the nation.

Various courts in India including the Supreme Court are either silent on this human tragedy of forcible displacement or in rarest cases sided with the government and big MNCs in pursuing their agendas. In many cases even if there were no environmental clearances for such huge ecology damaging projects like Tehri Dam or Tata and POSOCO or Vedanta, still they went ahead grabbing the lands of poor and destroying the ecology for MNC interests.

It would appear as though these problems are just the result of bad management, planning and a general lack of oversight and holistic perspective. However true that maybe it is just the partial truth. Upon a closer observation infact one would find that these problems are not the result of mis-management, instead they are the results of a very systematic and strategically charted out policies in motion through a very long time.

Most of these above mentioned displaced people are from virgin forests from where coal to diamonds, rare earth metals to gold could be hauled out at throw away prices, which would be used to make high technology cutting edge products again to be sold to India at 10,000 times more profit than the actual cost of the materials/products hauled out.

MNCs want these tribal Indians to go away from their resource rich lands sometime like yesterday. But they are afraid just like the East India Company, that such evacuation (read rehabilitation) may create revolt among people. To avoid such inconvenience MNCs are now using the very democratically elected governments to do the eviction of population in the guise of protection of wildlife and sustainable development.

A massive such eviction is taking place in the State of Andhra Pradesh from the virgin forests of Nallamala range for the exclusive benefits of De Beers, a diamond mining corporation that wants the kimberlite or diamonds from the forest. But that is not the only thing De Beers is after. What De Beers is after is the buried wealth of Vijayanagara Empire to be hauled permanently into western fold.

The efforts of De Beers started at least 13 years ago when it was told to us that “they realized the massive diamond, gold and granite deposits in Mehaboob Nagar and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh”. These deposits are spread under the thick jungles of Nallamala Forests. These forests needed to be cleared first for the diamond mining or De Beers should have to resort to the latest technology called horizontal drilling under the forests.

Now here comes the kicker. East India Companies when they ruled India tried to locate these kimberlite mines and declared that they were all exhausted and thus shifted their focus to South Africa. In South Africa they found diamonds and set up African gold and diamond mining companies under the ruthless exploitative ownership of Openheimers, who were one of the owners of the East India Companies. It is these Nallamala diamond mines that were the source of the riches of all the kingdoms of India including the Vijayanagara Kingdom, which at its height sold diamonds on streets not in carats but in kilograms. This fact was recorded by Portuguese, Russian, French and other chroniclers who had business and diplomatic ties with Vijayanagara kingdom. Every crown jewel of every European kingdom in those days came from India and from these mines along the banks of Krishna or Tungabhadra rivers.

For a detailed understanding kindly read our research report The Hunt for the Treasures of Vijayanagara Empire.

In the year 1600 East India Company was formed and given exclusive right to trade with India and South East Asia by the British Monarchy under the concept of Free Trade and Globalization. It was also given the right to civilize India. In the year 1965 the Club of Rome (top industrial houses-real owners of EICs or MNCs) divided the world in 10 economic segments and gave unbridled authority to ruthlessly exploit Segment 9 (India belongs to this segment 9), a group of mineral (diamond, gold, uranium, life saving medicinal plants, organic food and drinking water) oil and natural gas rich South East Asian nations consisting one third of the population of the world- under liberalization (liberalize domestic economy to globalize its owners) and privatization (privatize so that Free Trade can further control domestic economy via global owners) to a group of MNCs.

Commenting on the mercantile political economy, Mayer Rothschild (one of the owners of the East India Company) once made a historic comment which is resoundingly true even after centuries – “give me the control of the currency of any nation and I care not who rules it…”

Liberalization and Privatization were the tools of the mercantile world in the long history of 400 year struggle to dominate resource rich Asia in general and India in particular. Since the beginning of liberalization of Indian economy for the supposed ‘development’ of India many Indians within the border of India became second-class citizens or non-citizens in their own native lands, country and cultural settings. They became the Helots of India, a derogatory term used by the Romans to indicate non-Romans in their country, intermediate in status between slaves and citizens. However still for whose sake is this development, is still not yet answered as it is tacitly understood that it is for the western countries to continue their geopolitical fight with their yester year cold war adversaries.

It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that in the name of development India is now run only for the profit maximization of giant western Multinational Corporations (MNCs) which are in their latest avatar from the erstwhile East India Companies (EICs). In fact all the owners of current MNCs are the grand children of the previous East India Companies, in lineage, spirit, methods, tactics and business policies (read Business Intelligence).

For a detailed study of the origin of these EICs, their motives and the motives of MNCs along with the commodities EICs dealt with and MNCs plan to deal with or are already dealing with; along with the elusive owners of these MNCs tracking them back to their East India Company roots kindly refer to our East India Company Series – Part I Noble Motives.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

MNCs Operated Destruction Of India

"In an industrialized India, the destruction of the aboriginal life is as inevitable as the submergence of Egyptian temples caused by the dams of the Nile. As things are going there can be no grandeur in the primitive's end. It will not be even simple extinction which is not the worst of human destinies. It is to be feared that the aboriginal's last act will be squalid, instead of tragic. What will be seen with most regret will be, not his disappearance, but his enslavement and degradation.
(Nirad C.Choudhury)

MNCs Operated Destruction Of India

Government of India collects many statistics every year on everything and anything except on the displaced people from the resource rich forests or river banks or fertile lands. None in India in government circles have any figure for the number of people that have been or are being displaced by big developmental projects or sacrificed on the altar of Developmental Mantra by every national government.

Where do these displaced people go?

Eventually they end up in slums of urban centers on government lands or on disputed lands. They become vote bank for urban political parties. In most cases once the land title is allotted these slum dwellers are uprooted from these slums so that big corporation can build shopping malls or apartment complexes for the development of the nation.

Various courts in India including the Supreme Court are either silent on this human tragedy of forcible displacement or in rarest cases sided with the government and big MNCs in pursuing their agendas. In many cases even if there were no environmental clearances for such huge ecology damaging projects like Tehri Dam or Tata and POSOCO or Vedanta, still they went ahead grabbing the lands of poor and destroying the ecology for MNC interests.

It would appear as though these problems are just the result of bad management, planning and a general lack of oversight and holistic perspective. However true that maybe it is just the partial truth. Upon a closer observation infact one would find that these problems are not the result of mis-management, instead they are the results of a very systematic and strategically charted out policies in motion through a very long time.

Most of these above mentioned displaced people are from virgin forests from where coal to diamonds, rare earth metals to gold could be hauled out at throw away prices, which would be used to make high technology cutting edge products again to be sold to India at 10,000 times more profit than the actual cost of the materials/products hauled out.

MNCs want these tribal Indians to go away from their resource rich lands sometime like yesterday. But they are afraid just like the East India Company, that such evacuation (read rehabilitation) may create revolt among people. To avoid such inconvenience MNCs are now using the very democratically elected governments to do the eviction of population in the guise of protection of wildlife and sustainable development.

A massive such eviction is taking place in the State of Andhra Pradesh from the virgin forests of Nallamala range for the exclusive benefits of De Beers, a diamond mining corporation that wants the kimberlite or diamonds from the forest. But that is not the only thing De Beers is after. What De Beers is after is the buried wealth of Vijayanagara Empire to be hauled permanently into western fold.

The efforts of De Beers started at least 13 years ago when it was told to us that “they realized the massive diamond, gold and granite deposits in Mehaboob Nagar and Kurnool districts of Andhra Pradesh”. These deposits are spread under the thick jungles of Nallamala Forests. These forests needed to be cleared first for the diamond mining or De Beers should have to resort to the latest technology called horizontal drilling under the forests.

Now here comes the kicker. East India Companies when they ruled India tried to locate these kimberlite mines and declared that they were all exhausted and thus shifted their focus to South Africa. In South Africa they found diamonds and set up African gold and diamond mining companies under the ruthless exploitative ownership of Openheimers, who were one of the owners of the East India Companies. It is these Nallamala diamond mines that were the source of the riches of all the kingdoms of India including the Vijayanagara Kingdom, which at its height sold diamonds on streets not in carats but in kilograms. This fact was recorded by Portuguese, Russian, French and other chroniclers who had business and diplomatic ties with Vijayanagara kingdom. Every crown jewel of every European kingdom in those days came from India and from these mines along the banks of Krishna or Tungabhadra rivers.

For a detailed understanding kindly read our research report The Hunt for the Treasures of Vijayanagara Empire.

In the year 1600 East India Company was formed and given exclusive right to trade with India and South East Asia by the British Monarchy under the concept of Free Trade and Globalization. It was also given the right to civilize India. In the year 1965 the Club of Rome (top industrial houses-real owners of EICs or MNCs) divided the world in 10 economic segments and gave unbridled authority to ruthlessly exploit Segment 9 (India belongs to this segment 9), a group of mineral (diamond, gold, uranium, life saving medicinal plants, organic food and drinking water) oil and natural gas rich South East Asian nations consisting one third of the population of the world- under liberalization (liberalize domestic economy to globalize its owners) and privatization (privatize so that Free Trade can further control domestic economy via global owners) to a group of MNCs.

Commenting on the mercantile political economy, Mayer Rothschild (one of the owners of the East India Company) once made a historic comment which is resoundingly true even after centuries – “give me the control of the currency of any nation and I care not who rules it…”

Liberalization and Privatization were the tools of the mercantile world in the long history of 400 year struggle to dominate resource rich Asia in general and India in particular. Since the beginning of liberalization of Indian economy for the supposed ‘development’ of India many Indians within the border of India became second-class citizens or non-citizens in their own native lands, country and cultural settings. They became the Helots of India, a derogatory term used by the Romans to indicate non-Romans in their country, intermediate in status between slaves and citizens. However still for whose sake is this development, is still not yet answered as it is tacitly understood that it is for the western countries to continue their geopolitical fight with their yester year cold war adversaries.

It wouldn’t be farfetched to say that in the name of development India is now run only for the profit maximization of giant western Multinational Corporations (MNCs) which are in their latest avatar from the erstwhile East India Companies (EICs). In fact all the owners of current MNCs are the grand children of the previous East India Companies, in lineage, spirit, methods, tactics and business policies (read Business Intelligence).

For a detailed study of the origin of these EICs, their motives and the motives of MNCs along with the commodities EICs dealt with and MNCs plan to deal with or are already dealing with; along with the elusive owners of these MNCs tracking them back to their East India Company roots kindly refer to our East India Company Series – Part I Noble Motives.

GreatGameIndia News Analysis

Join the GreatGameIndia Forum for debates and discussions related to geopolitics and international affairs from an Indian perspective.

SOURCE

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tribal Affairs Minister says govt's inclusive growth is making 10 billionaires at the expense of 10 million starving tribals

Bhuvan Bagga   |   Mail Today  |   New Delhi, July 14, 2013 | UPDATED 11:26 IST

The Prime Minister's model of economic growth has come under burning criticism from one of his own ministers who says it is one of the factors responsible for the spread of Maoist insurgency.

Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo has hit out at what he alleges is the increasing propensity within a section of the government to justify pervasive industrialisation as a step necessary to achieve a high growth rate.

"The Prime Minister has said many times that the UPA is for inclusive growth. (But) What does inclusive mean? Pushing up your growth rate targets by making 10 billionaires at the expense of 10 million starving, impoverished tribals...by exposing them to diseases and depriving them further?" stormed the minister who is known to be a close aide of Sonia Gandhi.

"I am against the growth of a crony capitalistic society at the expense of the most exploited and deprived," Deo, a tribal himself, added, warning the authorities against treating the issue of Maoism as a "mere law and order problem".

Deo has been a staunch advocate of banning mining activities in tribal areas, even if it means a lower growth-rate figure.

But this argument has been countered by several senior UPA ministers, who criticise the restrictions on development in key mineral-rich tribal and forest areas saying such an approach would prove detrimental to the country's growth rate.

Without naming anyone, Deo came down heavily on the proponents of this argument, insisting that his stand was a "constitutional one".

"I don't know about them but I have taken oath on the Indian Constitution - first as a MP and then a minister - and I stand by its principles," Deo said.
Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo
Tribal Affairs Minister V. Kishore Chandra Deo
"If they (leaders within and outside the government) have taken some other oath, I don't know. Otherwise, they too should take the same constitutional stand," he added, in a veiled attack on Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.

Ahluwalia has often been criticised for his "fetish" for economic liberalisation. Deo's outburst is symbolic of a growing sentiment among some Congress leaders that the government's capitalist policies were alienating their aam admi flank and would neutralise the gains of their pro-poor poll sops.

Talking about efforts to weed out Maoism, Deo said the government will soon get a first-of-its-kind accountability Bill that will track every penny of the thousands of crores of rupees allocated each year under various welfare and social sector schemes for Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections.

The legislation is being jointly worked out by the Union ministry for tribal affairs and the ministry for social justice and empowerment. "At present, our ministries don't have any idea about how the funds are utilised. This legislation will ensure accountability," Deo said.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

INDIA: Environment assessment is a joke, says Jairam; wants 3rd party EIA

THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Hyderabad, March 19
“The Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) in the current form is a bit of a joke as it is self-assessment by the company. Instead, we will have a third party EIA,” Mr Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment and Forests, said.
Speaking to reporters at the CII-Green Business Centre, Mr Ramesh said, “I have been concerned about this. Supreme Court also expressed its concerns. We want a cumulative EIA.”
“We have blacklisted three consultants for their wrong reports. Therefore, we would prefer a third party EIA for power, coal and multi-sector projects. The MoEF will seek third party assessment. The present system is deeply flawed,” he said.
Mentioning the clearance accorded to the Posco project in Orissa and the proposed nuclear plant at Jaitapur in Maharashtra, the Minister said both the clearances are conditional. In the case of nuclear power plant, third party assessment was done by NEERI and they have been directed to conform to at least 35 conditions.

IMAGERY

The satellite imagery assessment of costal areas of four States where a large number of projects are coming up, including ports and power, will be concluded within two months, he said.
The Ministry had initiated a project to assess the impact of projects coming up along the coast in Gujarat, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.
“We have completed work on three States and Andhra Pradesh is expected to be covered within two months. This impact assessment study will enable us to estimate the degradation and sensitivity along some of the coastal areas of these States,” Mr. Ramesh said.
Mr Ramesh said this imagery will facilitate a comprehensive environment analysis and ensure the preservation of precious natural resources in coastal areas. “We now have a new Costal Regulation Zone (CRZ) 2011 notified on June 6. This has to be complied with,” he explained.
Referring to the two AP power projects at Sompeta of (NCC Ltd) and Kakrapalli (East Coast Energy), he said they have been served notice. “I must admit the recent firing incident did move me. I have begun to grapple with the next moves,” he said.
The Supreme Court decision on the Ministry stand on Nirma's cement plant in Gujarat has been vindicated.

POLAVARAM

Andhra Pradesh is yet to conduct public hearing for Polavaram wherein villages in Chhattisgarh and Orissa will get submerged. The State has, however, agreed to construct a 30-km long wall along Sabari and Sileru rivers.
The clearance for Polavaram was conditional. The State Government was told to handle relief and rehabilitation simultaneously. Unless they take up public hearing it would be difficult to take this forward, he said.
TRIBAL DISPLACEMENT

This film is a call for tribal solidarity. It reveals the approaching trauma of two lakh tribals who will be displaced under the Polavaram Dam Project on river Godavari in Andhra Pradesh, India. The project is estimated to submerge four hundred villages and four thousand hectres of forest in Dandakaranya. Large-scale projects often created islands of development in the midst of under-development perpetuating regional imbalances. Past experiences have shown that development paradigms are often discriminatory against the tribal communities and other marginalized sections of society. Development is meaningful only when it is sustainable. India needs an alternative way of development which combines traditional methods with environmentally sustainable technologies. Only then will it be able to sustain its diverse cultures and promote the welfare of the tribals.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Development Vs Destruction in Telangana

By Sujata Surepally

The current situation is very disturbing in Telangana region. Many of you are aware that large scale destruction is going on Telangana. Now it is difficult to say who is our immediate foe. Today’s news is really shocking for many of us that the world’s richest diamond company DEBERS has entered into our Nallamala forest (TV 9 has shown exclusive story on it), Mahabubnagar and Kurnool region. This company has ruined, squeezed  entire Diamond zones of Africa.  They destroyed several regions in the world and now they had an MOU with AP Govt. For some time we have been hearing that Chenchus are asked to move out of forests.  It was for Wildlife, some said while others said it is to remove Maoists and finally it is the foreign draconian company. 

Sadly, we are not bothered about our tribal people like Koya, Konda Reddis, Chenchus and Gonds. Chenchus are known as PTGs (Primitive Tribal Groups). History says our language Telugu is originated from them. The Koya tribe in entire Bhadrachalam, Khammam district is going to disappear if the Polavaram project continues. We have already seen the Granite, open cast mining in Warangal, Khammam and Adilabad. Officially more than 500 granite mining permissions were given in Karimnagar alone. There is a struggle against these issues.

This ethnographic documentary deals with the socio-economic and religious life of the Chenchus, a Telugu speaking hunting and gathering tribe living in the Nallamalai forests of Andhra Pradesh, India. They are a conservative tribal group and have not made many changes in their lifestyle or tried to adapt to modernity. They live in the enclosed space and geography leading a life of an unbroken continuity.
http://anthropovision.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Development flows from the barrel of the gun


Police repression and administrative high-handedness is becoming a common phenomenon in India today, when the project-affected people protest against development-induced displacement and demand justice on account the serious consequences. It's but an irony that instead of ameliorating the sufferings of the displaced and the project affected people and working for their humane and just resettlement and rehabilitation, the Government machinery resorts to brutal violence on them whose lives are already at stake on account of the development projects. This is a clear case of human rights violation. While such acts of the state sponsored barbarism are to be condemned and the guilty punished by the court of law, one must understand how such crimes are committed by the law enforcing authorities on the just demands and rights of the people so that public opinion is created against such oppression.

Destruction of Adivasi Environment is built into India's Industrial Growth

Unforgetable day of Atrocities on Adivasis of Assam on November 24, 2007


Adivasis.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

Violence and the Need for Tribalism

Each of us individually struggles with the paradox of good and evil within, but a tribe creates a container that holds these disparate elements. Tribalism is a perennial archetype that re-emerges whenever it is absent in the dominant culture. In our decidedly non-tribal culture, the archetype may appear as belonging to a gang, being a Dead-Head, or talking about what Jerry Seinfeld did in last night's episode with the coworker in the next cubicle. In all these cases, the tribe creates a feeling of belonging through unified meaning. This meaning, implicit or explicit, becomes the group's mission statement and raison d'etre. And the mission statement can be anywhere along a spectrum of possibilities. They can be syntropic, healthy, and positive or destructive, dystopic and entropic.
Gangs are tribes. It is not tribalism which creates the problem of gang violence, nor is violence inherent to gangs. It is using violence to create meaning which is the problem. This raises the question, why would anyone choose violence as a source of meaning? 

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tribals happy after government rejects Vedanta Group’s plans for mining in Orissa, India

By Sharda Lehangir
Kalahandi (Orissa), Aug 25 (ANI): Locals of Orissa’s Kalahandi district expressed their happiness on Wednesday after the Union Environment Ministry rejected plans of India-focused miner Vedanta Resources Plc to go ahead with bauxite mining in the state.
Tribals professed themselves delighted with the decision of Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh.
“We are very delighted with the announcement made by Jairam Ramesh over rejection of plans for bauxite mining in the state. Niyamgiri Hills are our mother and we cannot destroy them. If the government will change their decision now, then we will protest again and we will not vote. As the mining has been closed, the factory should be removed from here as well,” said Kumiti Majhi, a resident of Kalahandi.
They added that for a long time they were not even able to cultivate their lands due to pollution from the Vedanta building, and welcomed the change.
“Our Niyamgiri Bachao Suraksha Abhiyan is a success now, and we are very happy for it. It is a winning moment for the jungle, water, and land of the tribals. After the company was set up here, we were not able to cultivate our land properly because of pollution. We will now start cultivating our land,” said Purna Naik, another resident of Kalahandi.
Environment Ministry on Tuesday rejected the plans of mining group Vedanta Resources Plc to mine bauxite in Orissa, saying that it violated forest laws.
The Environment Ministry’s decision came after a government panel said last week that giving permission to Vedanta would violate green guidelines, and may have a serious impact on security, in a reference to worsening Maoist insurgency that feeds partly off the resentment of people displaced by large industrial projects.
Vedanta, on its part, had said that no one will be displaced as the mining site is located in an uninhabited area, and the project would economically aid the poor district.
The committee, which was set up by the Ministry of Environment early in 2010 to investigate the alleged violations of environmental laws by Vedanta Plc, also accused the company of illegally occupying the forestland for the 1.7 billion dollars project. (ANI)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Third blow for Vedanta in a month as mine faces new probe

In the third major blow to Vedanta in a month, the Chief Secretary of the Indian state of Odisha (formerly Orissa) has ordered a new investigation into the rights of the Dongria Kondh tribe affected by Vedanta Resources’ controversial bauxite mine.
The announcement comes just two weeks after the Indian Minister of Environment and Forests ordered an investigation on the same topic, and ten days after leading Dutch investment firm PGGM sold its stake in the company over human rights concerns.
A government investigation published in March concluded that Vedanta’s mine ‘may lead to the destruction of the Dongria Kondh [as a people]’.
Under Indian law the Dongria Kondh can claim communal rights over the forest land they have historically used or protected.
Vedanta has been attempting to mine the top of the Dongria’s sacred mountain for several years, but has not received the final clearance it needs to begin.
Last year the Environment Minister said Vedanta’s mine would not receive clearance until the Dongria’s forest rights had been settled.
When Survival visited the Dongria in December, it was clear that many of them were not even aware of their right to claim communal land.
Vedanta Resources is majority owned by billionaire Anil Agarwal, who will have to address shareholders’ concerns about these delays at the company’s AGM in London on the 28th July.
Survival’s director Stephen Corry said, ‘How many more investigations will it take for everyone to finally accept that Vedanta’s mine would threaten the future of the Dongria Kondh and cause India to breach its commitments under international law?’

Monday, April 12, 2010

Development Challenges in Extremist Affected Areas


REPORT OF AN EXPERT GROUP

TO
PLANNING COMMISSION

GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
NEW DELHI


Concluding Observations


1.18.1 The development paradigm pursued since independence has aggravated the prevailing discontent among marginalised sections of society. This is because the development paradigm as conceived by the policy makers has always been imposed on these communities, and therefore it has remained insensitive to their needs and concerns, causing irreparable damage to these sections. The benefits of this paradigm of development have been disproportionately cornered by the dominant sections at the expense of the poor, who have borne most of the costs. Development which is insensitive to the needs of these communities has invariably caused displacement and reduced them to a sub-human existence. In the case of tribes in particular it has ended up in destroying their social organisation, cultural identity, and resource base and generated multiple conflicts, undermining their communal solidarity, which cumulatively makes them increasingly vulnerable to exploitation.

1.18.2 In the case of SCs and also tribes, protection against social discrimination is the essential condition for the enjoyment of any development benefits that remain unrealised. The pattern of development and its implementation has increased corrupt practices of a rent seeking bureaucracy and rapacious exploitation by the contractors, middlemen, traders and the greedy sections of the larger society intent on grabbing their resources and violating their dignity. It has invariably happened that in situations where the interests of the larger community have clashed with the interests of the tribal communities, the former have prevailed to the detriment of the latter. The participation of these communities in the articulation of this paradigm of development is at best symbolic and at worst non-existent.

1.18.3 This concludes our brief review of various disturbing aspects of the socio-economic context that prevails in large parts of India today, and that may (and can) contribute to politics such as that of the Naxalite movement or erupt as other forms of violence. It should be recognized that there are different kinds of movements, and that calling and treating them generally as unrest, a disruption of law and order, is little more than a rationale for suppressing them by force. It is necessary to contextualize the tensions in terms of social, economic and political background and bring back on the agenda the issues of the people –the right to livelihood, the right to life and a dignified and honourable existence. The State itself should feel committed to the democratic and human rights and humane objectives that are inscribed in the Preamble, the Fundamental Rights and Directive Principles of the Constitution. The State has to adhere strictly to the Rule of Law. Indeed, the State has no other authority to rule.

1.18.4 It is critical for the Government to recognize that dissent or expression of dissatisfaction is a positive feature of democracy, that unrest is often the only thing that actually puts pressure on the government to make things work and for the government to live up to its own promises. However the right to protest, even peacefully, is often not recognized by the authorities and even non-violent agitations are met with severe repression. Greater scope and space for democratic activity will bring down the scale of unrest, as it would create confidence in governance and open channels for expression of popular discontent. What is surprising is not the fact of unrest, but the failure of the State to draw right conclusions from it. While the official policy documents recognize that there is a direct correlation between what is termed as extremism and poverty, or take note of the fact that the implementation of all development schemes is ineffective, or point to the deep relationship between tribals and forests, or that the tribals suffer unduly from displacement, the governments have in practice treated unrest merely as a law and order problem. It is necessary to change this mindset and bring about congruence between policy and implementation. There will be peace, harmony and social progress only if there is equity, justice and dignity for every one.
  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Tribes dig in to fight uranium

Subir Bhaumik
BBC correspondent in Meghalaya
For more than a decade, India has been unable to mine high-quality uranium deposits in the north-eastern state of Meghalaya.
Fierce resistance by Khasi tribes people has all but scuttled a $100m project drawn up by the Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL).
The tribes people fear radiation could damage their health.
One senior UCIL official said: "Every time we turn up at the uranium mines, the tribes people chase us with bows and arrows and swords.
"They call us the agents of death and threaten to kill us if we try to mine uranium."
Our people cannot suffer because India wants our uranium... It is our people first and India comes after that
Paul Lyngdoh, former Khasi student leader
UCIL, the only state-owned company authorised to mine uranium in India, believes that once mining starts in the West Khasi Hills region, there will be huge development, particularly in infrastructure.
"But the local tribes people are adamant and determined to stop us," the official said.
Reserves
In 1984, India's Atomic Minerals Division found huge uranium oxide deposits at Domiosiat and then at Wakhyn, both in the West Khasi Hills, not far from the state's border with Bangladesh.
In 1992, the division completed its investigation and presented a final assessment of the deposit.
That was when the mining operations were supposed to commence - but never quite did.
The division's regional director in Meghalaya, B Huda, told the BBC the Domiosiat deposit was around 9,500 tonnes while that at Wakhyn was about 4,000 tonnes.
"At present levels, Meghalaya accounts for 16% of India's uranium reserves," Mr Huda said.
He says the quality of the uranium ore at Domiosiat and Wakhyn is much better than at India's other uranium mining area - in Jadugoda in the northern state of Jharkhand.
He says the recovery percentage at Jadugoda is 0.02 to 0.06, while the percentage is as high as 0.1 in Domiosiat.
There could even be more uranium in Meghalaya but the Atomic Minerals Division is no longer digging.
"If we cannot mine what we have found, which is a lot of uranium, why should we sink more money to explore?" Mr Huda asked.
Land battles
In Meghalaya, like in many other tribal societies of north-east India, land ownership is communal, not individual, and no villager enjoys property rights on land.
Moreover, the state government does not have the power to acquire land.
That is vested in the autonomous district councils that Delhi has created for the tribes people to protect their land rights, customs and way of life.
UCIL officials say they have been "running from pillar to post" between the Khasi district council and the Meghalaya state government.
Three years ago, the state government said it had in principle given the green light to uranium mining in the Domiosiat-Wakhyn area.
But when UCIL started moving earth-cutting equipment into the area, Khasi district council officials rushed in to protest.
The council says it owns the land and the state government - or the federal authorities - cannot acquire it.
Now the district council has granted permission for UCIL to "conduct exploratory surveys" but not to undertake commercial mining.
"That does not help us. We are where we were," says the UCIL official.
Priorities
Khasi politicians and students who oppose uranium mining have raised environmental concerns not easy to brush away.
Student leader Sounder Cajees says: "Look at Jadugoda. It has been in the press about how the tribes people there have suffered from radiation hazards, how callous UCIL has been in disposing of uranium waste and how it has seeped into the local groundwater system and the crop chain."
The former president of the Khasi Students Union, Paul Lyngdoh, says: "Our people cannot suffer because India wants our uranium for making nuclear bombs and missiles. For us, it is our people first and India comes after that."
However, Khasi nuclear physicist, Mary Jwyra, says the tribal leaders are overreacting.
"If done scientifically, and if all care is taken for proper waste disposal, there will be no threat to the environment or the local people," she says.
At the moment, no politician in Meghalaya is prepared to back a commencement of mining, although some admit that allowing it would be good for the economy.
"Our royalty would be substantial and the growth of infrastructure in the West Khasi Hills would be a boon," said BB Dutta, a former economist turned politician.
But the fear of radiation, and of falling prey to diseases caused by it, still haunts the Khasis.
Until that is taken care of, mining uranium in their hills will not be easy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Land of the Gurkhas


Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimdendorf and narrated by David Attenborough. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas and is put up with his permission. Much original material will be put up in due course on www.alanmacfarlane.com (under 'Films').

The Apa Tani


Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's and based on fieldwork carried out in Arunachal Pradesh in 1944-5. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas. It is put up with his permission. Other material will be put up in due course on www.alanmacfarlane.com (under 'Films'); see also www.digitalhimalaya.com
[please note that a section on tribal feuding has been cut out in the middle due to political sensitivities]

The Men Who Hunted Heads

Tribes of the Deccan (Hyderabad, India)


Filmed by Christoph von Furer-Haimendorf. Broadcast by the BBC in the 1960's and based on fieldwork carried out in the Deccan between 1940-8. The film is part of a large archive of footage shot by Haimendorf in the Himalayas. It is put up with his permission. Other material will be put up in due course on www.alanmacfarlane.com (under 'Films'); see also www.digitalhimalaya.com.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Our sixth sense


by Paul Anderson (7 January 2005)

Gunshots in Indonesia last week were not the only threat to warrant caution on the part of tsunami relief workers. An arrow was fired at a relief helicopter on a remote Indonesian island that signaled a very different kind of warning.

The arrow was fired by a lone, naked man who stood on the beach of Sentinel island and, in his own way, defied the inherent evils of the 21st century. By distancing himself and his tribesman from that chopper and, by association from the Age of Technology, that man and his people made an unusual declaration of independence.

The man on the beach is a member of the Sentinelese tribe, a group of anthropologically retroactive people who have willfully and militantly cloistered themselves in order to preserve their traditional, Paleolithic ways of life. Among those ways of life is the receptivity of a sixth sense.

According to an article about these tribal people, "Anthropologists believe that ancient knowledge of the movement of wind, sea and birds may have saved the five indigenous tribes on the Indian archipelago from the tsunami that hit the Asian coastline Dec. 26."

A local environmentalist familiar with these reticent people was quoted as saying, "They can smell the wind. They gauge the depth of the sea with the sound of their oars. They have a sixth sense which we don't possess."

It is the same sense that wild animals possess, the same sense that accounted for the survival of elephants, tigers, reptiles, sea birds and other creatures that found their way inland before the tsunami struck.

John Muir spoke of a sixth sense, an intuitive understanding that alerted him to events affecting people close to him. Muir, a devout man of nature, had premonitions when each of his parents was close to death, and he was right both times. A thousand miles from home, he once had a sense that his daughter was deathly ill, and he was right again.

Many people describe experiences of intuitive knowing, of feeling the sixth sense that primitive peoples and animals possess innately. But the more we "civilized" people are distracted by the static noise of the industrial world, the less that sense is heard or correctly interpreted.

Somewhere deep in man's nature is the ability to comprehend things of the natural world that often seem incomprehensible. As we move further and further away from our natural heritage, however, our inherent connection to the cosmic grapevine is diminished.

Human beings have become so driven by the myopia of anthropocentrism that we summarily disavow our connection to nature, even when that connection could provide information essential to our survival.

By blocking our message centers with extraneous noise and spamming out our natural receptors with meaningless input, we cut ourselves off from deeper knowledge broadcast throughout the universe.

The animals and primitive people that fled the tsunami knew something the victims didn't. They sensed a warning, and they fled. Relief agencies know all too well how important early warnings are to avoiding similar disasters. Rather than making those warnings technologically based, we need to open ourselves to the pulses of earth forces.

The lone Sentinelese tribesman standing naked on the beach of Sentinel Island shot his arrow at the helicopter in a statement of self-defense. He knew, intuitively, that contact with that relief crew could damage his chances for survival. He knew that whatever help they had to offer was not worth the taint of contact.

That man's arrow, shot in an act of defiance, should be regarded as a profound warning to a disconnected people who, despite our science, reason and technology, are ill-equipped to survive in a world where nature is the dispassionate arbiter of life and death.

Gunshots in Indonesia last week were not the only threat to warrant caution on the part of tsunami relief workers. An arrow was fired at a relief helicopter on a remote Indonesian island that signaled a very different kind of warning.

The arrow was fired by a lone, naked man who stood on the beach of Sentinel island and, in his own way, defied the inherent evils of the 21st century. By distancing himself and his tribesman from that chopper and, by association from the Age of Technology, that man and his people made an unusual declaration of independence.

The man on the beach is a member of the Sentinelese tribe, a group of anthropologically retroactive people who have willfully and militantly cloistered themselves in order to preserve their traditional, Paleolithic ways of life. Among those ways of life is the receptivity of a sixth sense.

According to an article about these tribal people, "Anthropologists believe that ancient knowledge of the movement of wind, sea and birds may have saved the five indigenous tribes on the Indian archipelago from the tsunami that hit the Asian coastline Dec. 26."

A local environmentalist familiar with these reticent people was quoted as saying, "They can smell the wind. They gauge the depth of the sea with the sound of their oars. They have a sixth sense which we don't possess."

It is the same sense that wild animals possess, the same sense that accounted for the survival of elephants, tigers, reptiles, sea birds and other creatures that found their way inland before the tsunami struck.

John Muir spoke of a sixth sense, an intuitive understanding that alerted him to events affecting people close to him. Muir, a devout man of nature, had premonitions when each of his parents was close to death, and he was right both times. A thousand miles from home, he once had a sense that his daughter was deathly ill, and he was right again.

Many people describe experiences of intuitive knowing, of feeling the sixth sense that primitive peoples and animals possess innately. But the more we "civilized" people are distracted by the static noise of the industrial world, the less that sense is heard or correctly interpreted.

Somewhere deep in man's nature is the ability to comprehend things of the natural world that often seem incomprehensible. As we move further and further away from our natural heritage, however, our inherent connection to the cosmic grapevine is diminished.

Human beings have become so driven by the myopia of anthropocentrism that we summarily disavow our connection to nature, even when that connection could provide information essential to our survival.

By blocking our message centers with extraneous noise and spamming out our natural receptors with meaningless input, we cut ourselves off from deeper knowledge broadcast throughout the universe.

The animals and primitive people that fled the tsunami knew something the victims didn't. They sensed a warning, and they fled. Relief agencies know all too well how important early warnings are to avoiding similar disasters. Rather than making those warnings technologically based, we need to open ourselves to the pulses of earth forces.

The lone Sentinelese tribesman standing naked on the beach of Sentinel Island shot his arrow at the helicopter in a statement of self-defense. He knew, intuitively, that contact with that relief crew could damage his chances for survival. He knew that whatever help they had to offer was not worth the taint of contact.

That man's arrow, shot in an act of defiance, should be regarded as a profound warning to a disconnected people who, despite our science, reason and technology, are ill-equipped to survive in a world where nature is the dispassionate arbiter of life and death.