The essays in this book focus on the inadequacies in the way adivasis have been looked at and thought about, resulting in their complete marginalization and oppression. The essays are the result of the author's deep involvement with tribal peoples, their cultures and literatures, and also with the problems they face in the modern world.
Interesting and pertinent questions are discussed-tribal aphasia, tribal silence in the face of the threat to their physical environment and to their knowledge systems; the violence experienced by Tribals, and also the inducting of Tribals in the communal violence in Gujarat in 2002; tribal knowledge by systems, and the relevance of Gandhi to our troubled times.
The essays bring together the author's from his decades of work as an activist, student and teacher working with adivasis on issues as varied as health, micro finance, education and literature. The essays also highlight initiatives such as Budhan
And Dhol (adivasi eyes, and the setting up of the unique museum of Voice.
About the Author:
G. N. Devy is an activist for the cultural and human rights of the nomadic communities and the adivasis of India. He is the founder of Bhasha Research and Publication Centre at Baroda for documenting the cultural practices of these communities, and of the Adivasi Academy at Tejgadh for educating and empowering them.
Before turning to activism, Dr. Devy was Professor of English at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda. At present, he is Professor of Humanities at the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology. He has also published books on the marginalised communities in Gujarati and Marathi.
Other titles by G. N. Devy brought out by Orient Longman include After Amnesia: Tradition and Change in Indian Literary Criticism
(1992), Of Many Heroes: An Indian Essay in Literary Historiography
(1997), and Indian Literary Criticism: Theory and Interpretation
The texts brought together here have been published in various shorter forms in segments, in little magazines, journals, newspapers. Most of them have appeared in revised, curtailed or enlarged form more than once. These pieces are brought together here as, I suppose, together they give a better picture of my political and intellectual concerns, and more importantly, present the articles of my faith.
It is difficult for me to name the first place of publication of these essays with any great precision. For they have been written, rewritten, enlarged, abridged, reproduced, mixed, edited, and have appeared in print in all these versions. Besides, the statements in these essays have been used by the collective of my colleagues engaged in the adivasi movement focused round the Tejgadh experiment; to that extent this work is now more in the mode of an oral text.
However, based on my memory, I would like to gratefully acknowledge The Hindu, The Times of India, India International Centre Quarterly, Seminar, and Budhan, among publications, and Penguin India and Bhasha Publications, among publishers, for carrying previous versions of these writings.
I would like to thank Sarah Boltwalla and Kavita Patel for rendering into English my work from Gujarati. Sarah Boltwalla persuaded me that the Gujarati booklet Vikas Vichar was worth rendering into English, and, together with Kavita Patel, produced the English version 'Development', which is included here. I would like to thank Sonal Baxi for documenting and producing a readable transcript of the symposium on 'Adivasi Knowledge and Aphasia.'
For the tremendous encouragement given by Orient Longman and its editor Vidya Rao, I wish to thank them.
G. N. Devy
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