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Are the adivasis in India true indigenous people?: Prof. Satyapal

The International Day for the World's Indigenous People (Adivasi Day) is being celebrated for the last 23 years. But are the Adivasis in India the true indigenous people, questioned Head of the Department of Anthropology, Andhra University, P.D. Satyapal.
He was speaking at a seminar on ‘Scheduled Tribes: Issues and perspective for development’ organised by the Centre for Study of Social Exclusiveness and Inclusive Policy and the Department of Journalism and Mass Communication on the occasion of the International Day for the World's Indigenous People here on Wednesday.
Throwing open the question Prof. Satyapal said, “If Adivasis are considered to be the indigenous people of India, then why did the government say there was no separate population that can be called as indigenous people in India, at the United Nations in 1994, when the World Indigenous People’s Day was constituted.
“Moreover, the government till date has been maintaining the same stand. And because of this stand the country has lost valuable funding for the last 23 years from the UN that was earmarked for the indigenous people,” he added.
According to him almost every country such as Malaysia, Bhutan, Nepal and even Pakistan have notified their indigenous people to the UN and it is placed in the UN website, except India.
“If the Adivasis of the central and southern India and from the North East are not indigenous people, then who are,” he asked.
Prof. Satyapal also faulted the development model for the Adivasis. Former AU Registrar K. Ram Mohan Rao said: “Development does not mean just economic development, but it encompasses many things such as education, culture, linguistic, infrastructure and financial.”
HoD of Journalism Ch. Ramakrishna, member State BC Commission Subrahmanyam, Centre Director Subbarao and Kishore Joshi from Bhavanagar University, Gujarat, spoke.
In an official programme organised by the university, Vice-Chancellor G. Nageswara Rao said Adivasis were a neglected lot and they needed special attention. He urged the community members who settled down in the plain areas to go back to their roots and create awareness on the government schemes so that the others can benefit.


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Posted on : Aug 11, 2017