Talk:Adivasi

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Removed quotes[edit]

These quotes I removed as I felt they were non-notable:

  • Prof. Béteille (...) contrasts the category of caste, slightly reinforced and rigidified under colonial rule but otherwise thoroughly familiar to the Indian population since millennia, with the very new concept of tribe: 'Every Hindu knew not only that he belonged to a particular caste but also that others belonged to other castes of whose respective places in a broader scheme of things he had some idea, whether vague or stereotyped. Hardly anything corresponding to this exited in the case of those we know today as tribes. The consciousness of the distinct and separate identity of all the tribes of India taken as a whole is a modem consciousness, brought into being by the colonial state and confirmed by its successor after independence.
    • André Béteille: 'Colonial construction of tribe', (column in Times of India), Chronicle of Our Time, p. 187., quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • 'These protagonists of separatism argue that these 'tribals' worship things like trees, stones and serpents. Therefore they are 'animists' and cannot be called 'Hindus'. Now this is something which only an ignoramus who does not know the ABC of Hinduism will say. (..) Do not the Hindus all over the country worship the tree? Tulasi, bilva, ashwattha are all sacred to the Hindu. (...) The worship of Nâg, the cobra, is prevalent throughout our country. (...) Then, should we term all these devotees and worshippers as 'animists' and declare them as non-Hindus?'
    • M.S. Golwalkar: Bunch of Thoughts, p.471-472. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Given the Hindu-tribal continuity, Guru Golwalkar proposed that for the integration of tribals and untouchables, one and the same formula applies: 'They can be given yajñopavîta (...) They should be given equal rights and footings in the matter of religious rights, in temple worship, in the study of Vedas, and in general, in all our social and religious affairs. This is the only right solution for all the problems of casteism found nowadays in our Hindu society.'
    • M.S. Golwalkar: Bunch of Thoughts, p.479. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • This is sociologist Gérard Heuzé's assessment [of Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram schools in tribal areas]: 'Those cost-free tribal schools, about a hundred in 1990, cater to an undemanding population, and often the poorest section of it. (...) These children are made to live like the 'Vedic ancestors', to which the vanavasis are supposed to have remained closer. It is also in this framework of mission to the tribals that the most traditional ideals of Hindu nationalism (power of the sage, study of Sanskrit) are implemented most seriously. These RSS schools have remained lacking in influence and prestige vis-à-vis the Christian mission colleges with their infinitely larger financial support base.'
    • G. Heuzé: Où va l'Inde moderne? p. 141. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • 'On the Indian front, [the Hindutva movement] should spearhead the revival, rejuvenation and resurgence of Hinduism, which includes not only religious, spiritual and cultural practices springing from Vedic or Sanskritic sources, but from all other Indian sources independently of these: the practices of the Andaman islanders and the (pre-Christian) Nagas are as Hindu in the territorial sense, and Sanâtana in the spiritual sense, as classical Sanskritic Hinduism. (...) A true Hindutvavâdî should feel a pang of pain, and a desire to take positive action, not only when he hears that the percentage of Hindus in the Indian population is falling (...), or that Hindus are being discriminated against in almost every respect, but also when he hears that the Andamanese races and languages are becoming extinct; that vast tracts of forests, millions of years old, are being wiped out forever (...); that innumerable forms of arts and handicrafts, architectural styles, plant and animal species, musical forms and musical instruments etc. are becoming extinct.'113
    • S. Talageri in S.R. Goel (ed.): Time for Stock-Taking, p.227-228. Quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Discussion of the religious status and political rights of the tribals is rendered more difficult by the term commonly used to designate them: âdivâsî. Christian missionaries and secularists have popularized the belief that this is a hoary self-designation of the tribals (unmindful that this would prove their intimate familiarity with Sanskritic culture, as the term is a pure Sanskrit coinage), e.g.: 'These peoples are called adivasis, which means 'first inhabitants'. Like the American continent, India has its Indians... Contrary to a widespread belief, this term is not indigenous. It is not listed in the 19th-century Sanskrit dictionary of M. Monier-Williams, a zealous Christian who would gladly have obliged the missionaries if only he had been aware of the term. The Sanskrit classics attest the awareness of a separate category of forest-dwellers, but used descriptive terms for them, e.g. âtavika, from atavî, 'forest'. ...The imposition of the term adivasi during the colonial period was itself an instance of replacing facts of history with an imaginative theory.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • The excluded ones, the non-Adivasis, all the urban and advanced agricultural communities, suddenly found themselves labelled as immigrants who had colonized India and chased the aboriginals to the most inaccessible places. The message of the colonial term Adivasi was that the urban elites who were waging a struggle for independence, could not claim to be the rightful owners of the country anymore than the British could. Likewise, it served to present Hinduism, the religion named after India, as a foreign imposition. The only non-tribals considered aboriginal were the Untouchables, supposedly the native dark-skinned proletariat in the Apartheid system imposed by the white Aryan invaders to preserve their race... This racial view of history was nothing but a projection of 19th-century racist colonial perceptions onto ancient Indian history, but it was well-entrenched and put to good colonial use. Thus, during the 1935 Parliament debates on the Government of India Act, Sir Winston Churchill opposed any policy tending towards decolonization on the following ground: 'We have as much right to be in India as anyone there, except perhaps for the Depressed Classes [= the SC/ STs], who are the native stock.'
    • Reproduced in C.H. Philips ed.: Select Documents on the History of India and Pakistan, part IV, p.315. , in Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Many people use the term 'Adivasi' quite innocently, but the term is political through and through. Its great achievement is that it has firmly fixed the division of the Indians in 'natives' and 'invaders' in the collective consciousness, on a par with the division in natives or aboriginals and the immigrant population in America and Australia.... However, no conscious Hindu now accepts the ideologically weighted term Adivasi, much to the dismay of those who espouse the ideological agenda implied in the term, viz. the detachment of the tribals from Hindu society and the delegitimation of Hinduism as India's native religion.... All by itself, the neologism âdivâsî constitutes one of the most successful disinformation campaigns in modern history. ... In fact, not just 'Hindu spokespersons' but everyone who cultivates the scientific temper would reject a term which carries the load of an entirely unproven, politically motivated theory, viz. that the tribals are 'the' (i.e. the only) original inhabitants of India. Nobody is 'loath to accord to the tribal population the status of original inhabitants', certainly not the Hindu nationalists. But every objective observer would reject the effective implication of the term Adivasi, viz. that the non-tribals are not original inhabitants, on a par with the white colonisers who decimated the Native Americans.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • Tribes from the Kafirs of Afghanistan to the Gonds of South-Central India have taken starring roles in the resistance of the native society against the Muslim onslaught. If the Bhil boy Ekalavya of Mahabharata (I.31-54) fame could seek out the princely martial arts trainer Drona as his archery teacher, even the terrible treatment he received from Drona (for reasons unrelated to Ekalavya's social origins) cannot nullify the implication that the Bhil tribe habitually interacted with the Vedic Bharata clan. Those who use the Eklavya story against Hinduism do not know or ignore the fact that Eklavya is mentioned twice (II.37.47; II.44.21) as one of the great kings who was invited and given great hospitality in Yudhisthara's Rajasusya Yajna at Indraprastha. Kautilya mentions tribal (atvî) battalions in Hindu royal armies. Rama, of course, relied on his Vânara (forest-dweller) allies to fight Ravana. The tribals may have lived on the periphery, but it was still within the horizon of Hindu society.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, with reference to Kautilya: The Arthashastra 9:2:13-20, Penguin edition, p. 685.
  • Birsa Munda, whose Munda rebellion started with attacks on mission posts in 1899, claimed to have visions after the mode of the Biblical prophets, but told his flock to give up animal sacrifice, witchcraft and intoxication and to wear the sacred thread, all amounting to a kind of self-sanskritization. While such charismatic leaders come and go, the tradition of tribal nativism continues, and the VKA seeks to channel it towards integration into a larger Hindu activism. Gérard Heuzé ... aptly notes that the tribal rebellions of the 19th century, such as the 1830 Kol movement, the 1855 Santal Hoot and the 1899 Birsa rebellion, were incorporated by the Freedom Movement in its vision of a native tradition of struggle against foreign invaders (embodying 'the authentic spirit of the nation'), though in fact, exploitation by native (Hindu and Muslim) landlords and money-lenders had also played a role in provoking the tribals into rebellion.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743, with reference to Gérard Heuzé (Où va l'Inde moderne? p. 1 33)
  • Some tribal traditions may be transformed borrowings from the Sanskritic tradition, but in most cases they have developed in parallel with and separate from the Vedic tradition. In that sense they date back to antiquity and perhaps even to pre-Vedic times, though at that time-depth they may still have common roots with the Sanskritic mainstream.... If we go by the historical definition, the question whether tribals are Hindus is very simple to answer: they are Indians but not prophetic-monotheists, so they are Indian Pagans or Hindus. Moreover, typologically the tribal religions are similar to the Vedic religion. They have many elements in common... From a Christian or Islamic viewpoint, any such differences between tribal 'animism' and Hinduism are purely academic, since by all accounts both religions belong to the polytheistic and Pagan category. This does not nullify the practical distance between many Hindus and many tribals, a cultural gap which Hindu activists are working hard to bridge. In this effort, they are greatly helped by the natural socioeconomic evolution which is inexorably drawing the tribals into society's mainstream and hence into its predominant religion, Hinduism.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743