Amazon India link for TMYS Review June 2023 will be available here.
(Available worldwide via Amazon)
NOTE FROM THE SERIES EDITOR by Dr. Sourav Banerjee
TMYS Review, a quarterly imprint of www.tellmeyourstory.biz (TMYS), began in 2020 with the vision of popularising stories from personal experiences and academic research. Diverse themes covered under TMYS Review are conscious about documenting women's history of a generation because for every subject, every topic, women have a different story to tell which points towards all those aspects that the society as a whole and people individually must take note and respond to. The effort has been recognised by global thought leaders and universities with their generous participation and/or collaborations. TMYS Review works on sparking gender sensitivity by engaging a community of emerging and established scholars/writers through creative writing and critical thinking. The primary audience comprises of students – the future torchbearers and other literary enthusiasts, who are constantly inspiring and moulding the world with their words.
EDITORIAL By Dr. Protim Sharma (Project Lead)
The concept of "identity," whether viewed from an individual or collective socio-political perspective, cannot be simplistic or linear. Instead, it is a construct that emerges from intersecting and conflicting discourses, practices, and perceptions. As a result, it represents an ongoing recontextualization of the broader term "culture." These interdependent entities, which constitute the entirety of human existence, serve as active domains where the narratives take shape. The implicit sense of self is largely shaped by the way we perceive our explicit roles and positions within society. These positions act as differentiating factors that contribute to the division of social identities within a culture.
Tribal communities have played a significant role in shaping the diverse tapestry of human civilization. Their distinct identities, rich cultures, and unique histories deserve proper recognition and representation in history. The historical representation of tribes in mainstream narratives has been plagued by misconceptions, marginalization, and even deletion. The historical narratives we come across often overlook the contributions and struggles of Indigenous tribes. So, it goes without saying that we address this by delving into tribal history, acknowledging their contribution to human society, and ensuring their representation in historical discourse. It is crucial to foster a more inclusive and accurate understanding of our shared past. It is only through such efforts that we can build a future that respects the rich tapestry of human diversity and ensures the preservation of tribal cultures for generations to come.
Poet: Ruma Chakraborty
NAWA BIHAN (New Mom)
Phulmoni walks with her friends to school
Over the crunching pebbles of the red path
Through the quiet glade of the canopied trees
Across the verdant greens of the swaying crops
All the while talking shop with her giggling motley
Her large, dark kohl-lined deer eyes dart with life
Here, there and light up with joy when she sees Satyacharan
Tendrils of smoke curling into a smoky haze around the bidi alight on his wiry lips.
Poet: Dr. Vandita Dharni
THE AWAKENED TRIBE
For we carry identity in silvered horizons of our palms
not in silver spoons but in intersections between primitive
and evolving, landscape and empty space, lost shadows
ever haunting. There it is we dwell, blizzards in an endless haze,
draped warm in earthy colours of literature, tradition, magic
and mystique, three thousand grains old, all lost, forsaken.
As nomadic cattle herders, trade and travel have adopted us,
through deserts, ridges, wetlands in tanda lines headed by a naik.
Poet: Ekta Verma
The stars in the sky have fallen,
The directions have been blown.
The rivers have been stopped somewhere above
Flowing is no longer their mandatory rule.
The children who till now drank water from the hands of their fathers,
No need to learn making chullu
Now does not stop by going to the north,
Earth's magnetic forces
Have been dug out and sold.
THE FOREST LEFT BEHIND
Tribals do not migrate alone.
Climbing on their shoulders
even the forest is displaced little by little.
They carry the stars with them
picked from the roofs and place in a swag of seeds.
Otherwise, how is it that the bright starry sky looks buried in a puddle of ash
like a murky pool of chemical waste?
Being dispossessed, when they leave the forest,
they must have taken the language of the forest.
Everyone in the woods behind them;
Animals, birds, and insects all scream - danger! danger!
But no one is left to extract the meaning from those words.
Author: Shyam Sundar Pal
Reeenn reeeen reen reeeeen… reeeeen reen reeeeen…reen
“Minu’s cycle. Hurry up, quickly,” Lipi’s mother shouts, “Minu didi has been waiting for long. Why are you getting delayed?” After two more calls from her mother, Lipi, a ten-year-old girl who studies in class five, comes out of her house, takes her old cycle, and joins her Minu didi. Minu is responsible for gathering the girls daily for school. Today is a special day as the classes resume after an entire month of summer vacation. So, she is well aware that the little girls may take some extra time to prepare for school.
“I forgot my water bottle,” Lipi exclaims.
“Leave it. You hurry up. Take my water bottle today.” Minu tells her.
Minu cannot delay any longer. She has to pick up three other girls, Sonali, Rinki, and Monika, all of whom are in class six. It’s already 10:15 am, and the school’s main gate will be closed by 11 am. They must cycle a little over three kilometers to reach their school from their village, Sundara.
Sundara is a picturesque village in the western part of the Bankura district in West Bengal. Nearly thirty Adivasi households inhabit the village, surrounded by scenic natural elements. The Neelmoni hill, with its evergreen surface, stands tall behind the village like a jewel. In the west, there is a big dam which stretches until the water kisses the sky on the horizon. East of the village is a narrow earthen-pebble road, with unusual stocks of stones beside it, connecting the village to a small town in twenty kms. The village men visit on foot or by cycle to buy the necessary things from the town. A long stretch of sal jungle (a jungle mainly covered with sal and mohua trees) adorns the front of the village, and in the middle of the sal jungle, there is a very narrow earthen and stony path. This path is the only way to get to the school from the village. Apart from the five schoolgoers, this path is seldom used by other villagers.
THE FORESTS WHISPER A SECRET
Author: Urmi Chakravorty
Diangsuk Tamlang surveyed her backyard – she was low on firewood. Winter was approaching. She needed to stock up on fuel, for both warmth and security, and to keep the home fire burning. The altitude and abounding greenery of this tiny village in the Nongphlang region of the east Khasi Hills amplified the cold in the winter months. Add to this, the natural dampness of the topography, which made a generous stock of dry wood a priority in all households here.
Diangsuk carefully bolted the door of her rundown tenement– the creaky, rusted hinges cried in protest. For a decade now, they had done their best to shield this 30-year-old petite widow from the barbs and calumny of the entire village peopled by the Bhoi tribe. The forlorn hut stood in a clearing outside the village, condemned by fate and shunned by humankind.
Later in the night, Diangsuk made a mental note of her agenda for the morning. She would visit the forests in the neighbouring foothills. Times were a-changing, the British sahibs were making things difficult for them, the forest dwellers. The air was rife with suspicion and resentment, thanks to the new land regulations. Therefore it was better to keep the pantry well-stocked, especially since she had no family or support system to call her own.
Interviewed by Sourabhi Dutta Roy
Interviewed by Jaishree Chouhan
WHAT IS INVISIBLE TO THE EYE: CONTESTING TRADITIONS IN TRIBAL SOCIETIES
Author: I Watitula Longkumer
In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the position of women in tribal societies of India. While it is commonly believed that women in these communities are better off (in comparison to the women from non-tribal communities), scholars are challenging the broad terminology (and perception) used to describe their empowerment. The traditional measures of social mobility, economic independence, and labour participation may not adequately capture the complexities of their lives. As a result, scholars are beginning to investigate the nuanced realities of women's lives in these communities and the various social factors that shape their experiences. This essay interrogates the concept of customary law in tribal societies and its influence on women, with a particular focus on the Naga society. Customary laws are the unwritten norms of conduct that are designed to protect tribal identity and way of life. They often take precedence over the legal justice system due to the long-standing tradition of self-governance in tribal societies. However, these laws have contributed to gender gaps and restricted women's participation in public lives. The essay also highlights the need to acknowledge the inaccurate association of mobility with freedom, particularly in the context of tribal women. Despite the presence of greater mobility of tribal women as compared to their counterparts, they still face constraints in asserting themselves politically.
Keywords: Tribal societies; Women's empowerment; Customary law; Gender disparity; Naga women.
The scholarly discourse on the place of women in tribal societies in India has gained significant attention in recent years. This is due to the popular discourse on the seemingly favorable position of women in these communities. However, scholars are now re-examining the sweeping terminologies of empowerment used to describe the lives of tribal women, as conflicting patterns have emerged in recent conversations. While some studies suggest that women in tribal societies enjoy a relatively advantageous position compared to their counterparts in other parts of the country, others point to the existence of subtle yet powerful social structures that suppress women's rights and agency.
This shift in the scholarly discourse is crucial in recognizing and debunking the assumption of a better place of women in tribal societies. Instead, scholars are beginning to interrogate the complex realities of women's lives in these communities and the various factors that shape their experiences.
It is important to recognize that the idea of liberation cannot be understood in a universal sense, as it is heavily dependent on cultural, social, and economic contexts. The traditional measures of social mobility, economic independence, and labor participation may not adequately capture the complexity of the lived experiences of women in tribal societies. There are various scholarships that use these indicators to examine the role and place of women in tribal societies. However, the studies rarely take into consideration, the important aspects that will help in understanding the status and agency of tribal women. For example, a) the nature of work b) the inevitable responsibility that rests on women as an earning member of the family, particularly in a low-income family and often, c) the absence of choice.
WHICH WITCH: MYTHS, CURSES AND THE HUNT FOR INDIA’S ADIVASI WITCHES
Author: Barsha Mondal
‘Abracadabra’ in Hebrew stands for ‘I will create as I speak.’ It is one of the most commonly known magical spells. This power of creation and destruction, in order to maintain a fine balance in society, was yielded by women, and thus was born the knowledge of witchcraft. However, as soon as fear and distress kindled in the human heart – superstitions, corruption and authority to gain control over this power came to the forefront and a mad race began to hunt down witches. This is the tale of India’s indigenous tribes, where hundreds if not thousands of tribal women, bear the brunt of accusations of witchcraft and sorcery, even in the 21st century, and are unduly punished and killed before they even get an opportunity to voice out their side of the story. The essay deals with the double marginalization of India’s Adivasi women for whom the belief in the inherent superiority of womanhood, triggered the insecurity of the masculine patriarchal regime, turning their blessing into a curse and giving off an advantage to those who make use of such deep-rooted beliefs, to trigger panic amongst the vulnerable community, and serve their own propaganda.
Keywords: Witch hunts, Witchcraft, Tribal women, Adivasi, Bonga, Ojha, Patriarchy, Marginalization
“Words such as ‘witch’ have been redefined in the light of their true origin and nature. Instead of the evil, dried-out, old prude of patriarchal lore, we know the witch to be a strong, proud woman…defending her right to her own sexuality and her right to govern her life and community according to the laws of nature. We know that she was slandered, oppressed, and burned alive for her wisdom and her defiance of patriarchal rule.” (Luisah Teish, ix).
Mankind, throughout history, has believed in a dichotomous existence of benevolent and malignant forces that operate the functioning of the world system, guiding and affecting individual lives. India’s indigenous tribes are no exception to this rule. However, caught between the crossroads of the mainstream dominant ideology and their own indigenous culture, the tribal community has struggled to survive and accommodate themselves in this rapidly changing milieu. The tribal world has, thus, been characterised by ‘primitive’ traits, distinctive culture, ‘backwardness’, geographical isolation, and a sense of shyness – which demotivated the establishing of any contact or interaction with the community at large (Vikaspedia Domains). In addition to this, the communities are riddled with various kinds of problems such as illiteracy, poverty, and diseases. It is seen that these marginalized sections often seek shelter from their dilemmas in the houses of superstition, ignorance, and delusional beliefs, one of the most important of which is witchcraft and the effect of the ‘evil eye.’ The deep-rootedness of such faith that varies greatly from the usual human behaviour, as witnessed in the tribal society, has been explored in this essay through two specific instances: the first is the fictional story by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar named Baso Mai’s Story and the second deals with the real-life tragedy of a poor village lady who was branded as a witch for rejecting a man’s sexual advances as depicted by activist-author-professor Anamika Baruah during her talk in the presence of Dr. Shashank S. Sinha and Sourabhi Dutta Roy (TMYS Review June 2023).
The story of Baso Mai or Basanti begins with her being given a shelter by Soren babu after the latter had found her abandoned and struggling on a railway platform. Initially, she was welcomed in her new family and community. However, following the death of three other individuals in this tribal village, people began to be doubtful of Baso Mai’s identity.
TRIBAL NARRATIVES AND INDIGENOUS RELIGIOUS DISCOURSE
Author: Haimanti Bagchi
Tribe-caste continuum has been manifested through the most intimate religious discourses found in the tribal cosmogonies in India. This essay explores the phenomenon of the cultural and religious state of flux exorbitantly functioning through the manifestation of the religious beliefs, customs, folk songs and narratives both in tribal and non-tribal societies since ages. All Indigenous cultures have their own diverse belief systems and religious narratives, but a closer look will disclose how these cultures are connected to each other and have been diffusing into the non-tribal cultural structures and vice-versa. The essay also explores how Indigenous narratives and religious structures are built upon strong superstructures based on the elements of nature; initiated by women’s tales, women’s songs and women established as highly revered deities in the tribal world of transactions, which is an indicator of the belief that brings humans to have a deference for nature (a feminine symbol of fertility and abundance) and ecology, above themselves. Similar undertones can be noticed in the mainstream Hindu religion puranic hymns and vedic texts. Carnivalization of deities is another phenomenon which is quite conclusive in the tribal religious planes – it is related to the deities enjoying carnal pleasures of living in the mortal world. This ideology brings the Indigenous closer to their deities and contributes to the rawness of their rustic lifestyle. It is interesting to notice how this phenomenon interacts with the non-tribal perspective of the mainstream religious discourse.
Keywords: Tribalization, Carnivalization, Tribal belief, Spirituality, Ecocentricism, Women’s narratives.
The religious discourses of the tribal community are often seen as the counter discourse to the mainstream religion. Tribal Gods are representations of the tribals themselves and the creator of the source of energy and manifestation of this world. Hence, they are more basic in terms of profession, lifestyle, and choices. A tribal God is more susceptible to experience the same kind of problems that the tribals go through, like poverty and receding natural resources on one hand and celebrate the minimalistic joys of life, like a good harvest or a good hunting expedition on the other. So many etiological narratives can be found on the ground of shared experiences of the tribals with their Gods. In Assamese folk, there is a deity who is an old man, absorbed in the enjoyment of marijuana, bhang and other drugs. This deity is the tribal equivalent of Shiva. Another form of Shiva can be seen in the Gajan Festival on the last day of Bengali year. Rather than being a powerful, a super human, larger than life figure of Shiva, he is portrayed as a poor worshipper himself, who consoles his wife Parvati, when her conch bangles are broken. Tribal religious discourse perpetuates God as someone as common as themselves.
The prominent space for women in the tribal society is special which generally manifests through the worship of goddesses and the women songs sung during marriage, childbirth, work songs, and Brata Katha (ritualistic fasting narratives) etc. It is interesting to notice how the goddesses too experience the same phenomenon like menstruation, abuse by the in-laws and husband. Simultaneously, they are loved and cherished as a daughter, a symbol of fertility and abundance. The Goddess of harvest, widely known as the corn-goddess, Tusu is seen as a young daughter Tusumoni, who is a beautiful young girl and wears a crown made of glitter but lives in a poor home and is even married off, where she is abused and ill-treated. She shares her little joys and sorrows with her worshippers. Tusu songs are generally sung in the winter. In a Tusu Brata Song, from Santhals of Sundarbans, Tusu is seen as a rebellious girl who refutes her in-law’s house in protest to the beatings.
“ALIEN SUITE”: THE VOICE OF A WOMAN OF THE ARAB TRIBE IN THE US
Author: Sameena Tabassum
“Alien Suite” is one of the most spectacular and memorable poetic performances by Safia Elhillo, a Muslim female poet with Sudanese tribal origins, born in the US. She has authored the famous work, The January Children (2017), which is a heart-touching story revolving around Islamophobia, oppression against immigrant women, and racism. In her poem, “Alien Suite,” Safia Elhillo voices the history of her Sudanese identity. She explores the complex and fluid nature of her identity through the matter and the manner, the content and the method, and the substance and the style of her poetry.
Keywords: Safia Elhillo, Alien Suite, Sudanese woman, Arab tribe, Arab-American.
“Where I’m from is where I’m from and not where I was put” (Elhillo). Startling! Shocking! Stunning! That’s the instinctive reaction “Alien Suite” triggers in the audience. “Alien Suite” is one of the most spectacular and memorable poetic performances by a Sudanese American Muslim poet, Safia Elhillo.
Safia Elhillo, a Sudanese Muslim, was born and brought up in Washington, D. C. She completed her B. A. from Gallatin School of Individualized Study (New York University) and she got an M. F. A. in poetry from the New School (New York University). In 2015, she was nominated for a 2015 Pushcart prize and she won the Brunel University African Poetry Prize, along with a co-author. She has been a Cave Canem fellow and an editor of poetry for a journal of black expression, Kinfolks Quarterly. Forbes has listed her in Africa's "30 Under 30." She has co-edited Halal If You Hear Me, an anthology published by Haymarket Books in 2019. In 2018, Poetry Foundation honoured Elhillo with the Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Fellowship. She has recently served as a Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Her work, The January Children was published by the University of Nebraska Press in the year 2017. It has been honoured with the prestigious Arab American Book Award (2018) and the reputed Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets (2018). Commenting on the recurring theme of identity in Elhillo’s work, The January Children, Agho asserts,
Poet Safia Elhillo wrestles with the intersection of multiple identities throughout her work, especially in her new book, The January Children. The term “January Children” refers to her grandfather’s generation, born in Sudan under British occupation and assigned birth years by height, all given the birth date January 1. Elhillo addresses the possibility and complexity of fluidity in one’s identity through the themes she explores and stylistic elements of her poetry (Agho 1).
Panel Discussions under the Project
The Consolidated Link: all panel discussions can be accessed here:
GENDER ROLES IN TRIBAL TRADITIONS AND HERITAGE
Project Assistant & Author: Dr. Stella Chitralekha Biswas
India is home to over seven hundred tribal communities which have been a part of its cultural and socio-political history since time immemorial. Often referred to as ‘Adivasis’, the term attributed to the heterogenous tribal groups thriving within the Indian subcontinent – these people are generally regarded as the ‘original inhabitants’ of the land, thereby possessing a rich fabric of ethnic culture and identity. While the Constitution of India prefers to use the terms ‘Scheduled Tribes’ or ‘Janjati’ instead, in its efforts to group them together as targets for socio-economic development, it is an undeniable fact that tribal communities had a degree of autonomy and ownership of land which were disrupted by the infiltration of external forces. In fact, the often-patchy historiography of the tribes in India since the ancient and medieval periods attest to the forced encroachment upon indigeneity and tribal aristocracy which had led to a legacy of dispossession, forced migration, revolt and suppression shared by many of these groups. An investigation of tribal culture entails a meaningful engagement with their customs, rituals, festivals, cuisine, choice of costumes, legends, myths, folk traditions, oral cultures, etc.
The digital panel discussions held under TMYS Review June 2023, revolved around the exploration of Tribal History & Tribal Representation in History within the broader context of Tribal Identity & Culture. These discussions were categorized into three overarching sub-themes.
- Gender Roles in Tribal Traditions and Heritage
- The Everchanging Status of Women in Tribal Communities
- Historicity of Social and Political Struggles of the Tribal Communities
Rather than limiting our critical approach to certain generalized images, ideas and theoretical frameworks, through these discussions we strove to understand tribal culture and identity through multiple perspectives. The first sub-theme, ‘Gender Roles in Tribal Traditions and Heritage’ was divided into four different topics for deliberation:
- Gender & Folklore: A Historical Perspective
- Tribal Women as Custodians of Traditional Knowledge Systems
- The Role of Tribal Women in the Preservation of Endangered Languages
- Costume & Cuisine Defining Tribal Identity: A Historical Review
THE EVER CHANGING STATUS OF WOMEN IN TRIBAL COMMUNITIES
Project Assistant & Author: Sourabhi Dutta Roy
Culture and identity are fundamental aspects of a person's existence, forming the core and foundation of their being. However, comprehending these concepts, whether individually or collectively, can often require a lifetime of study and exploration. Culture is defined as “the way of life for an entire society.” It is evident that to navigate one’s individual or group identity, one needs to first acknowledge and be aware of their culture and long withstanding traditions. These are umbrella terms, for neither identity nor culture can ever be truly singular. TMYS Review June 2023 deals with these very ideas and concepts, with an emphasis on Tribal Identity and Culture (Tribal History and Tribal Representation in History). The sub-themes for the June 2023 issue comprised three important discourses:
- Gender Roles in Tribal Traditions and Heritage
- The Ever Changing Status of Women in Tribal Communities
- Historicity of Social and Political struggles of the Tribal Communities in India
While talking about Tribal History and Representation in History, it is perhaps impossible to discuss the chapter, without taking into account, the several unheard, and repressed voices, especially the stories by tribal women. Locating female voices and narratives in history is of utmost importance. Therefore, the panel discussions under “The Ever Changing Status of Women in Tribal Communities” tried to present a glimpse into the otherwise colossal scope of the tribal women's stories, struggles, and of course their identities. Based on their personal and professional experiences, the panelists including academicians, anthropologists, philanthropists and storytellers, tried to help the audiences to better understand the place of and attitude towards these women in tribal communities.
“Well, I don’t care about being a good woman.
I shan’t ever be a good woman, whatever that is” (Kire, 39).
The digital panel discussions on “The Ever Changing Status of Women in Tribal Communities” were divided into the following six topics, each trying to highlight one of the important aspects or themes of tribal female identity formation:
- The Diverse Roles of Tribal Women in Family Traditions
- Overcoming Barriers: Success Stories of Tribal Women
- The Struggles of Unheard Voices
- When Women Become Witch: The Dark Stories
- The Worldview of the Great Andamanese
- Another Paradise on Earth: Socio-Economic Status of Kashmiri Tribal Women
HISTORICITY OF SOCIAL AND POLITICAL STRUGGLES OF THE TRIBAL COMMUNITIES
Project Assistant and Author: Jaishree Chouhan
The concept of 'Identity', whether examined in a singular or multitudinous sense, and within individual or collective socio-political contexts, is far from being unidimensional or linear. Instead, it emerges as a construct shaped by intersecting and conflicting discourses, practices, and perceptions. In this complex interplay, 'Identity' undergoes iterative recontextualization, ultimately intertwined with the overarching framework of 'Culture.' These mutually interdependent entities which form the entire existence of a human being are the most active fields where all the narratives take shape. The idea of our implicit self is more or less based on the perceptions of our explicit roles and position in the society. Needless to say, these positions are the different factors which divide social identities in a culture. This relation is crucial in understanding how certain sections of the society fared poorly in ensuring a strong sense of national, cultural and individual identity.
TMYS Review June 2023 revolved around the exploration of Tribal History & Tribal Representation in History within the broader context of Tribal Identity & Culture, categorized under three overarching sub-themes:
- Gender Roles in Tribal Traditions and Heritage
- The Everchanging Status of Women in Tribal Communities
- Historicity of Social and Political Struggles of the Tribal Communities
The project made an effort to primarily understand and inquire about marginalized positions of certain sections of society constitutionally categorized as ‘scheduled tribes’ and pushed towards peripheries. The panel discussions curated under Tribal History & Tribal Representation in History further enhance a larger discussion on “Historicity of Social and Political Struggles of the Tribal Communities” in the Indian subcontinent.
Indian population census of 2011 marked 104.3 million tribals who make 8.6% of the total population of India, listed under 705 identified ethnic groups. ‘Tribe’ as a category, a point of reference, is a colonial construction but the image and meaning underlying it are not. It is rather civilizational (XaXa) and with social and political transformations, a difference in the approaches of identification is visible. Consequently, these tribes are left with no distinct identity and space of their own. The panels through different standpoints have tried to answer the central question of marginalization of tribal identity and culture throughout Indian historical traditions from pre to post-colonial India. Following the sub-theme of “Historicity of Social and Political Struggles of the Tribal Communities”, the discussions put forth perspectives of field experts on stories of clashes and struggles between marginal and dominant forces for centuries. The stories highlight their struggles against the blind and forceful assimilation and in the due course, neglecting the unique tribal ways of sustaining with nature and their indigenous culture. Eventually, few questions that demanded immediate attention are - how the idea of exceptionalism endorsed the notion that tribes are distinct and vulnerable and need the state’s protection (Das Gupta 108); how the pre-colonial characterization and categorization by the state gradually shaped internal and external identities of tribal population for centuries and resulted in their social, political and economic otherization and homogenization that still haunts the social and anthropological studies on Indian tribes; and how social and political marginalization established preconceived, poorly informed prejudices which became the surface of constant friction between state and the forest dwellers/ Adivasis who could hardly be decisive enough regarding assimilation or isolation from the mainstream majority.
The panel discussions under the subtheme also took into account, particular feminist discourses to try and assess historical and present conditions of tribal women with respect to existing frames of feminism in India, to conceptualize distinct practices which are unique to one region or community for greater welfare and policy implementation. Tribes have the closest affinity with nature, their sustainable ways of habitation shape their reality, culture and identity. Hence, a discussion on tribal habitation is conducive for prevalent environmental debates which should seek participation of tribal communities with the intent to protect their natural habitat and living.
The topics for the digital panel discussions on the subtheme, ”Historicity of Social and Political Struggles of the Tribal Communities”, were divided into four sub-themes:
- Positioning of Tribal Women in Historical Perspectives
- The Stories of Conflict and Confrontation
- Tribal Representation in Historical and Political Narratives
- Habitation and Tribal Identity
Amazon India link for TMYS Review March 2023 will be available here.
(Available worldwide via Amazon)