Wednesday, August 12, 2009

DDK on Adivasis

JJ Roy Burman cites DDK in his article on the term 'Adivasis':
At the outset it needs to be realised that a nation-state like India is not a cultural but political entity which was borne due to a quirk of history. Imposing Hindi as a national and official State language over all the regions is not a very civilised act—it smacks of North Indian chauvinism. Secondly, it is also not true that the tribes in all quarters of the country are aboriginals of the regions where they inhabit at present. While the famous historian Kosambi (1956) viewed that the tribes had migrated to the plain areas at a much later date only after the vegetation had thinned out and wild animals became less numerous—making the area less dangerous for human habitation and fit for settled cultivation, Archana Prasad (2003), the young scholar from Jamia Millia Islamia, Delhi, feels that the tribes practising settled cultivation in the plains were pushed to the hills and forests by the profligate Aryan invaders and later Hindu settled cultivators and the outside traders. Either way the tribes are not autochthons of the spaces occupied by them at present. In 1980s Andre Betteille` had similarly expressed about the inapplicability of the concept of aborigine to the tribesmen in India.

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