Lens on tribal diversity

Ranchi, Feb. 9: Violation of women's right to impact of industrialisation on Santhals to migration of tribals ' nothing missed the focus of experts during a two-day national seminar on bio-cultural diversity in tribal India that concluded at the Aryabhatt auditorium of Ranchi University today.

The seminar, organised by Ranchi University in association with Indira Gandhi Anthropological Museum, Bhopal, and the Indian Council of Social Science Research, saw participation of more than 150 anthropologists, social scientists and research scholars from around the country.

The event during its course reflected the sentiment that cultural aspects should be given due importance while formulating any development plan for the tribal community ' a view that was endorsed by most of the speakers during the inaugural session of the seminar on Friday morning.

"A community's culture is influenced by nature and its economy has a lot to do with the culture," L.N. Bhagat, the vice chancellor of Ranchi University, said while delivering his inaugural speech.

He had added that development programmes should never be against the cultural heritage of any community.

"Cultural tolerance should be given priority. A multi-ethnic society is like a salad-bowl, with every component having a different identity, irrespective of its ingredients," D.K. Behera of Sambalpur University had said in his keynote address.

Behera had gone on to add that there should be no development process at the cost of the under-developed. "The success of any development process is dependent on factors like awareness perception and motivation of the community about any particular plan," he claimed.

Kanchan Roy, a professor of the anthropology in Ranchi University said the seminar was an attempt to find out ways of maintaining a balance between nature, culture and technology, with particular reference to Jharkhand.

"It is sad that even after 12 years since its formation and even after having a tribal chief ministers at its helm, the tribals have been dealt a raw deal," said S.P. Singh, dean of social sciences of Ranchi University.

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