Accepted paper:

Changing Gond Identity: A Study Among The Gonds Of Wardha District Of Maharashtra


Prashant Khattri (Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya)

Paper short abstract:

political economy, tribal development, identity, integration

Paper long abstract:

The contemporary discourse on tribal identity revolves around two domains- political economy and socio-cultural. This debate on tribal identity is closely related with the issue of development and its impact on various aspects of tribes in India. Since Independence, the policy of integration was followed for tribal development. This policy, rather an ideology propounded by Jawahar Lal Nehru focused on tribal development without affecting their indigenous culture. But, the forces of development and later globalization have taken a heavy toll on the socio-cultural identity of tribes. In the context of India, tribes were always a part of civilization and were never completely isolated but the policy of rapid development left no time with these tribal groups to cope-up and eventually instead of being a part of development, they became a victim of it. This paper tries to understand the forces that has affected the identity of Gonds. Impact of local caste and religious groups is seen on their lifestyle. Besides, mightier forces of globalization has resulted the settlement into a melting pot where group identity is lost at the hands of more unifying global identity. The debate further incorporates the interaction of Great Tradition and Little Tradition that resulted into parochialization of dominant cultural forces. This is not just a cultural phenomenon, but a psychological one as well, that has resulted into conforming to the dominant ideology at the cost of indigenous traditions which also have some economic consequences in the form of more spending on festivities and life-cycle rituals.

panel SE03
Indigenous culture at the cross roads in the Indian subcontinent