Accepted Paper:

Indigenous people of India: struggle for survival  


Atrayee Banerjee (University of Calcutta)
Madhurima Chowdhury (Calcutta University)

Paper short abstract:

The indigenous people are confronted with the basic issue of maintaining their identity which is closely linked to the environment they live in but the mainstream society in any country seems to consider those natural resources as ready raw materials for the production of consumer goods.

Paper long abstract:

The tribal population of India constitutes nearly 8.2 percent of the total population. The indigenous or tribal people of India and elsewhere in the world is confronted with the basic issue of maintaining their identity which is closely linked to the natural resources and the environment they live in. The tribes of India today seem to have been living a life of uncertainty because their life-world is in a phase of transition in the face of the challenges posed by the forces of modernization and globalization. These areas, once largely inaccessible, have been put within man's reach with the help of modern technologies. As a result, the state planners and policy makers, in the name of development often falters to take into account the need of the tribal population and their age-old economic and cultural rights. The tribal areas are the repositories of 80.00 to 85.00 percent of the India's total mineral resources, thus resulting in large scale land alienation, mass displacement, deforestation and migration of tribes to the cities and towns. Being landless and poverty stricken, the tribes migrate in considerable numbers to the cities and towns in search of a livelihood. Gradually they settle down in the city slums where the conditions of living are almost precarious. They lose their identity and are forced to cope up with a lifestyle which is unknown to them.

Panel P049
Indigenous people and their culture: struggle for identity and survival?