ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Changing Dynamics of Tribal Societies in India

India’s Tribes: Unfolding Realities edited by Vinay Kumar Srivastava, New Delhi, California, London and Singapore: SAGE Publications, 2021; pp 294, ₹ 1,295 (hardcover).

Undertrial Prisoners in Bihar

Following the liquor ban in Bihar in 2016, many people from Dalit and Adivasi backgrounds were arrested under the prohibition law. A majority of them were behind bars under exaggerated charges or because of procedural lapses by visiting legal aid lawyers. Most of the undertrials are unable to get released on bail due to their inability to produce suitable sureties or pay the bail amount. There is an urgent need for sociolegal intervention with undertrial prisoners towards ensuring their legal rights.

How Many People Will We Continue to Displace In the Name of Development?

This reading list looks at why we need to conceptualise an inclusive model of development that does not shortchange marginalised communities.

Tribal History sans Contemporary Politics

Narratives from the Margins: Aspects of Adivasi History in India edited by Sanjukta Das Gupta and Raj Sekhar Basu; New Delhi: Primus Books, 2012; pp 312, ₹995.

Right to Contest

All progressive forces need to come together to roll back the recent moves by the Bharatiya Janata Party Governments of Rajasthan and Haryana to curtail the right to contest elections through arbitrary and restrictive criteria. Parliament has just passed an amendment to the President's address reiterating the fundamental right to contest elections. This is a battle for India's democracy.

Eviction of Landless Tribals in Ahmadnagar

In yet another incident that gives the lie to laudable pieces of legislation like the Land Ceiling Act 1961, and to other constitutional provisions that extend protection to weaker sections, several landless adivasis in two tehsils of Ahmadnagar district were evicted from land they had cultivated for some years now.

Destitution, Deprivation and Tribal 'Development'

The reasons for the widespread hunger and devastation that Kashipur experienced this year are no different from similar reasons cited for starvation deaths a decade ago. Tribals have been driven into debt with the gradual erosion of their traditional rights to forests and the large-scale intrusion of the usury culture. It is not short-term poverty alleviation programmes or crisis management endeavours that are direly needed, but broader structural interventions that would involve tribals themselves as participants in the development process.

Muthanga: The Real Story

The tragic events at Muthanga in Kerala earlier this year were a culmination of adivasi frustrations over the failure of successive governments in the state to restore adivasi land despite several judicial directives and the existence of laws enacted for the purpose, such as the KSA Act of 1975. Instead attempts were made to amend the act which was later wholly repealed. The protest of the adivasis at Muthanga met with brutal repression by the government. But chastened by the public anger at the police action, the government now remains immobilised in the face of a series of fresh land occupations by adivasis in the Kerala part of the Western Ghats. If the government were to handover the land in Muthanga to the adivasis and make other lands available to landless adivasi families and bring all adivasi regions under Schedule V of Article 244 which provides for participatory self-rule and autonomy, it would herald a new era in adivasi history.

Education Guarantee Scheme and Primary Schooling in Madhya Pradesh

This paper presents the results of a field study of public schools in Betul and Dewas districts of Madhya Pradesh. The study aims to document the functioning of public schools, whether created by the Education Guarantee Scheme or not and to understand the consequences of the reforms on the links between education and rural society and on the development of private schools. While the results may not be representative of all of rural Madhya Pradesh, they provide an accurate picture of the situation in two areas atypical of the settings targeted by EGS, viz, adivasi villages and dalit hamlets.

Re-imagination of the State and Gujarat�s Electoral Verdict

The BJP's electoral victory in Gujarat last year has further cemented the grasp of the Hindu right in all aspects of the state's social and political domain. The rise of reactionary politics was itself an outgrowth of different socio-political movements that Gujarat was witness to since the 1970s. It is the absence of any progressive class/caste movement or a new social movement, this paper argues, that has made Gujarat susceptible to experiments with and sustenance of right wing ideologies, especially the politics of the Hindu right.

Breaking New Ground

For over 25 years, the agitation waged over the restoration of alienated tribal land in Kerala had languished as successive state governments chose to ignore several court directives. Yet the unusual mode of struggle waged recently by the ADSS drew unprecedented tribal support. The negotiations that followed with the state government broke new ground as well, as the adivasis sought concessions that marked a departure from previously legislated acts.

Orissa : Adivasi Assertion

Adivasi Assertion Towards the middle of the year and about the same time as the spectre of starvation loomed large over Kashipur in Orissa, adivasis of the nearby district of Nabarangpur, bordering Chhattisgarh, were engaged in a prolonged struggle to recover land they claimed had been illegally settled by non-tribals, mainly Bangladeshi immigrants.
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