Thursday, August 14, 2008

Gond Indigenous Peoples of India: Systematic Displacement Destroying Traditional Lifeways

I was sent an urgent request from a indigenous colleague in India about their current situation, and thought I would try and help get the word out. Please, if you can email this entry to friends and colleagues, or help spread it around so that word gets out on the current situation in India concerning indigenous peoples.

Dear Friend,

I belong to the Gond tribe of India and you must be aware that in India tribal are being systematically displaced and killed in the name of development by the Indian Government policies and USA expansion policies in India.

We have registered a political party by the name "Prithak Bastar Rajya Party" where we will be demanding a seperate Bastar State to safe gaurd the interest of the tribal. Evo Morales is an inspiration for us.

Below is also a video link which might give you some insight to our plight.
http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=1O2WwESwJhw

I would be grateful if you can mobilize some support for us in your country.

Regards,
Prabhat

You can read more about this at Prabhat's blog: http://bhumkal.blogspot.com

For a greater insight into the current situation of indigenous peoples in India, a great resource to have that provides an excellent overview is: Disappearing Peoples: Indigenous Groups and Ethnic Minorities in South and Central Asia by Left Coast Press and edited by Barbara Bower and Barbara Rose Johnston. A full review of the book can be found on the Indigenous Peoples Issues & Resources site.

A similar situation is occurring among the Dongria Indigenous Peoples of India as a result of mining operations.

Background

The South Central Gond indigenous people live in the forests and hills of India in Maharashatra and Andhra Pradesh, north of the Godavari River. They are essentially concentrated in the Chandrapur, Adilabad, and Garhichiroli districts. The Southeast Gond indigenous people live in the forests and hills of southern India. They are primarily concentrated in the state of Andhra Pradesh, south of the Godavari River and in bordering districts north of the river.

The South Central Gond speak a Central Dravidian language called Adilabad Gondi. Today, The Southeast Gond are bilingual, speaking both their native language, Koi Gondi, and the Telugu language. The Telugu, their bygone rulers and present neighbors, immovably influenced both the South Central and Southeast Gond indigenous peoples.

The Gond were historically one of the most significant group of original Indian tribes. In the 1500's, several Gond dynasties were firmly incorporated by the Gond rajas, or kings. They ruled like Hindu princes until Muslim armies overthrew them in 1592. In the 1700's, the Gond lost all power to the Maratha kings, who forced the Gond and their culture to retreat to the hills.

Sixty percent of the Gond are Hindus, while the remaining forty percent are animists. The Animist Gond believe that the wood is the dwelling place of the gods and hereditary spirits. As such, the forests in which they live are considered extremely important to them. They habitually pray to the ancestral spirits for guardianship and blessings. This is one of the natural resources currently being impacted by developments in India as demand grows for wood - resulting in the destruction of Gond indigenous territory and lifeways.

Both the South Central and the Southeast Gond are semi-nomadic framers, who use swidden or "slash and burn" agriculture to survive. Most of the South Central Gond survive by farming, hunting, and eating the fruits of the forest groves, but they also trade and sell cattle. Others hold wage-earning jobs.

If anyone knows of specific groups that are working to protect indigenous peoples rights and sovereignty in India, please leave their information in a comment. This is an important issue and we need to make more people aware of the situation.

Related Indigenous People's Issues by Keywords



Use the Search Function at the Top to Find More Articles, Fellowships, Conferences, Indigenous Issues, Book Reviews, and Resources

3 comments:

A. Stier said...

I will pass this around in my humanities class at school.

Peter N. Jones said...

That's great, we need to get the upcoming generations involved in these issues as they will be the ones grappling with our natural resource management issues in the future. Some more info on indigenous peoples in India - specifically the Chittagong Hill Tribes - was just contributed and adds further context.

Anonymous said...

DEAR SIR,

OUR NGO IS A TRIBAL / INDIGENOUS PEOPLE`S NON-PROFITABLE NGO WORKING FOR THE POOR TRIBAL PEOPLE OF MAHARASHTRA STATE.

OUR OBJECTS
1] TO TAKE CARE OF THE CHILD, WIDOW WOMEN, WIDOW OF NEXELITE
[TRIBAL] PEOPLE, BLIND, HANDICAPTS PERSONS,
2] PROVIDING THE EDUCATION, ADULT EDUCATION, DISTANCE
EDUCATION, URBAN SCOOLING, TRAINING TO PEOPLE LIVING IN
REMOTE TRIBAL AREAS, WHICH ARE PRIMITIVE TRIBAL FEMALE
WHERE IS BELOW 10% EDUCATION, CULTURAL EDUCATION, PREVENT
FROM MIS-EDUCATION,
3] SUPORTS TO POOR TRIBAL PEOPLE FOR SMALL BUSSINESS, PROVIDING
GUIDENCE FOR SELF EMPLOYEMENT, FORMING SMALL SAVING
GROOPS IN VILLAGES, ARRANGING TRAINING FOR SMALL INDUSTRIAL
PRODUCTS,
4] PREVENT FROM THE VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS OF TRIBAL PEOPLE,
5] ISSUES TAKING WITH GOVERNMENT, APPROPRIATE AUTHORITIS
THAT ARE
A] MALNUTRITIONS / STARVATION IN TRIBAL AREAS,
B] UNMARRIED MOTHERS IN TRIBAL AREAS,
C] KILLING TRIBAL BY TRIBALS ON THE NAME OF NAXELITE,
D] KILLING THE TRIBAL PEOPLE IN PUBLIC PLACES, POLICE STATION
AND IN CONFLICT WITH IN RELIGEOUS STRUGGLES,
E] PRESERVATION AND PREVENTION OF CUSTOMS, CUTOMARY LAW
CULTURAL IDENTITY OF THE TIBAL PEOPLE
D] RESTORE OF TRIBAL LAND, RIGHTS OF TRADITIONAL LANDS.

PRAYER-
WE NEED OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE, GRANTS
FOR CHILD EDUCATION, AND INCREASE EDUCATION IN PRIMITIVE TRIBES, FOR PROTECTION OF WOMEN, UNMARRIED MOTHER, TRIBAL CHILDREN DUE TO MALNUTRITION, HELP TO HANDICAPTS, ARFEN CHILDREN, RESETTLEMENT OF TRIBAL PEOPLE, AND WIDOWS OF NAXELITE [TRIBAL]


YOURS SINCERELY

L K MADAVI
PRESIDENT
MULNIVASI MUKTI MANCH

Post a Comment

Contribute to Indigenous People's Issues Today

Do you have a resource on indigenous peoples that you would like to share? Indigenous People's Issues is always looking for great new information, news, articles, book reviews, movies, stories, or resources.

Please send it along and we will do a feature. Email it to the Editor, Peter N. Jones: pnj "at" bauuinstitute.com.

Indigenous Peoples Issues and Resources

Privacy Policy for Indigenous Peoples Issues Today (http://indigenousissuestoday.blogspot.com)

The privacy of our visitors to Indigenous Peoples Issues Today is important to us.

At Indigenous Peoples Issues Today, we recognize that privacy of your personal information is important. Here is information on what types of personal information we receive and collect when you use visit Indigenous Peoples Issues Today, and how we safeguard your information. We never sell your personal information to third parties.

Log Files

As with most other websites, we collect and use the data contained in log files. The information in the log files include your IP (internet protocol) address, your ISP (internet service provider, such as AOL or Shaw Cable), the browser you used to visit our site (such as Internet Explorer or Firefox), the time you visited our site and which pages you visited throughout our site.

Cookies and Web Beacons

We do use cookies to store information, such as your personal preferences when you visit our site. This could include only showing you a pop-up once in your visit, or the ability to login to some of our features, such as forums.

We also use third party advertisements on Indigenous Peoples Issues Today to support our site. Some of these advertisers may use technology such as cookies and web beacons when they advertise on our site, which will also send these advertisers (such as Google through the Google AdSense program) information including your IP address, your ISP, the browser you used to visit our site, and in some cases, whether you have Flash installed. This is generally used for geotargeting purposes (showing New York real estate ads to someone in New York, for example) or showing certain ads based on specific sites visited (such as showing cooking ads to someone who frequents cooking sites). Google, as a third party vendor, uses cookies to serve ads on this site. Google's use of the DART cookie enables it to serve ads to users based on their visit to sites on the Internet. Users may opt out of the use of the DART cookie by visiting the Google ad and content network privacy policy.

You can chose to disable or selectively turn off our cookies or third-party cookies in your browser settings, or by managing preferences in programs such as Norton Internet Security. However, this can affect how you are able to interact with our site as well as other websites. This could include the inability to login to services or programs, such as logging into forums or accounts.

Thank you for understanding and supporting Indigenous Peoples Issues Today. We understand that some viewers may be concerned that ads are sometimes served for companies that negatively depict indigenous peoples and their cultures. We understand this concern. However, there are many legitimate companies that utilize Google Adwords and other programs to attract visitors. Currently, we have no way of deciphering between the two - we leave it up to the viewer to decide whether the companies serving ads are honest or not.