Accepted paper:

Indigeneity issue and Environmentalism: Towards a Paradigm Shift in Anthropology

Author:

Nava Kishor Das (Anthropological Survey of India)

Paper short abstract:

In this article we discuss the predicaments of Indian tribespeople/Adivasi in terms of their struggle for self-rule. The other issue is survival issue and protection of livelihood practices. Tribespeople in north-eastern India have a variety of agro-ecosystems , managed through low-intensity management to middle-intensity management systems. Shifting agriculture, home gardens, valley land wet rice cultivation, rotational fallow and the traditional horticulture and cash crop farming systems, contribute to rich crop biodiversity where a variety of species and cultivars are handled and conserved by the tribes of the region. There is need to elucidate scientifically the conservation-related traditions, linking such traditions to livelihoods that can survive the onslaught of modernization

Paper long abstract:

A review of literature shows that much of intellectual energy is wasted in searching definition of the 'tribe' concept in anthropology. In recent decade transnational concerns over indigenous people, indigenous rights and indigenous development has re-ignited indigeneity debate. This article analyses these debates in the context of the anthropology and its contemporary advances, with support of a few case studies. Today the most important resistance to neoliberal capitalism has emerged around land struggles, wherein tribes are facing dispossession. As anthropologists the concern should be to judge the pragmatism of the customary laws, their federal support base as also to grapple with the ways that law defines the social environment through legal categories. Need also is to see the decriminalize categories / legal knowledge regimes, including confrontation within 'legal-pluralism'. Tribespeople in north-eastern India have a variety of agro-ecosystems , managed through low-intensity management to middle-intensity management systems. Shifting agriculture, home gardens, valley land wet rice cultivation, rotational fallow and the traditional horticulture and cash crop farming systems, contribute to rich crop biodiversity where a variety of species and cultivars are handled and conserved by the tribes of the region. There is need to elucidate scientifically the conservation-related traditions, linking such traditions to livelihoods that can survive the onslaught of modernization.

panel SE11
Contestations and aspirations of indigenous people and nation states: need for anthropological intervention