Adivasis of India and Development Strategies: A Policy Working Paper in Progress

TitleAdivasis of India and Development Strategies: A Policy Working Paper in Progress
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year2004
AuthorsSurendra, L, Narayan, K, Hebbar, R
AgencyHumanist Institute for Co-operation with Developing Countries, Netherlands
Languageeng
KeywordsAdivasi (Indian People), economic development, indigenous institutions, indigenous knowledge, self-governance
Abstract

"In 1988 Hivos-India has developed a 'Tribal Belt Strategy Paper', but over the last few years, Hivos has felt the need to revise and develop a new strategy or perspective paper with reference to the tribal or adivasi population of India. This paper takes into consideration the changes context in relation to the adivasi communities of India in the year 2003. 2004 marks the end of the Decade of the Indigenous People declared in 1994 by the UN. 2004 is therefore a good time to undertake a critical assessment of the achievements and failures of the UN Decade. By presenting a policy perspective with regard to the adivasi people and communities of India, we hope that this paper will serve as a starting point for such an assessment, both in India and internationally. We also view this paper as a limited exercise that can serve as a catalyst for a more thoroughgoing review and analyses of the interventions that have been made among the adivasi people, and point to the lessons that can be drawn for further work on their behalf. It is also a modest attempt towards developing guidelines for a strategy that Hivos in India might adopt with reference to the tribal or adivasi indigenous population in the country.
We first examine Hivos' Human Rights policy and adivasi concerns, as well as the adivasi context in India. We then dwell on the major issues relevant to adivasi communities such as: 1) adivasi space, culture, cosmology and identity; 2) adivasis and the politics of knowledge systems; 3) the ground reality of adivasi communities; 4) autonomy for tribal populations and movements for self-rule; 5) administrative decentralization and local 'self-government' in adivasi areas; 6) Indian federalism, local government and adivasi regions in the Indian development discourse; and finally 7) globalization, th retreating welfare state and the politics of identity.
"After a consideration of adivasi language, culture, cosmology, identity and issues relating to their knowledge systems, the paper delves into the issues of decentralization of power, tribal self-rule and autonomy, which are not at all and always a blessing for tribal communities. Adivasi movements and demands are also critically re-examined. Issues relating to self-rule and the administrative decentralization and devolution of power to the grassroots are also critically scrutinized. The gap between the promise of political devolution through the Panchayati Raj system and the increasing lack of control and access of people over their natural resources is most garingly evident in regions inhabited by adivasis. The Panchayat Raj is also therefore critically reappraised. In the context of globalization, the paper looks at the retreat of the welfare state and its increasing inability to meet its welfare obligations and the relevance of this emerging scenario with reference to discussions on a development agenda and strategy for adivasi communities. Based on the examination of isses in each of these major areas and the concerns of adivasi communities, conclusions and recommendations are drawn with regard to Hivos' policy relating to the adivadid in India. "

Sector

Social Organization
General & Multiple Resources

Region

Middle East & South Asia

Country

India

Library

wsl

Collection

Books

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