Locating Tribal Identity and Cultural Existence in the Light of Industrialization in Post-Colonial India

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 12:00
Oral Presentation
Niharranjan MISHRA, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, India
The tribal communities in India have developed their identity in close proximity to the natural resources around which they had developed their cultural traditions, economy, social control mechanisms, religious myths and techniques of production. They have developed a symbiotic relation with their local environment. For them land was not merely a source of livelihood rather a representation of their cultural identity and existence.

In the name of development, tribal communities in post-colonial India have been alienated not only from the development processes, but even from their own dwellings. As mainstream development processes tended to create social spaces of inequality, tribal communities face marginalisation virtually in every sphere of social life. More than half of them are malnourished, two thirds continue to be illiterate and live below the poverty line. With the introduction of globalisation more land is being acquired to encourage investment by the Indian and foreign private sector in the tribal region of Middle India. Due to this marginalization their long-standing social position, which is ‘self-representation’ has become question mark. The loss of land has brought a question on their indigenous identity.

With the above back ground taking some secondary cases and also from personal experiences the present paper has tried to explore the impact of industrialization on tribal identity and cultural existence in central India.