Conference Panels

GLOBALIZATION: ITS IMPACTS ON INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES

Co-convenor: H. M. Maralusiddaiah (contact person), Anthropological Survey of India, Ministry of Culture, Government of India
Email: patel.anthro@gmail.com
Co-convenor: H.M. Ganesh, Anthropology, Manasa Gangotri, University of Mysore
Email: hmganesh@anthropology.uni-mysore.ac.in

According to the Anthropological Survey a total of 4,635 communities are now to be found in India. Out of this total, ‘tribal’ or Indigenous communities number 732. Under globalization. The impact of globalization on the Indigenous communities is manifold, and often they are ones most negatively affected. Under globalization, it is the tribal Indigenous areas that have had to face the attacks of massive developmental projects. Cases of displacement of tribal populations have increased in India. Commercial activities have also introduced alien forces, cultures and influences into the traditionally insulated life and culture of the Indigenous peoples. Deprivation of land and forests are the worst forms of oppression that these people experience. It has resulted in the breakdown of community life and a steady cultural death or ‘ethnocide ‘. The tribal people are exterminated by a process of attrition, through which their lands are taken away, their rivers poisoned, their cultures undermined and their lives made intolerable. Hunters and gatherers, forest produce collectors, fisherfolk, both inland and marine, and the rural artisans are the victims of globalization and modern development through appropriation of people's resources for industrial advancement, especially in association with capital-intensive, machine-oriented technology.

In India, the New Economic Policy that was the harbinger of globalization for India was initiated in 1993. Over the last few decades, the open market policy of the Indian Government has resulted in increased privatization, huge lay-offs of labour, and heavy debts on the nation. The benefits of development touted under globalization have not reached the poorest sections of the society. The disparity between the rich and the poor has widened. Its disturbing impact on family and the drastic erosion of traditional social life is a main concern. In India, globalization has resulted in growing foreign debts of poor countries, the financial crises of 1997, growing inequality within and among countries, unemployment, underemployment, and poverty. Also globalization in India has been responsible for social unrest, drugs, growth of the culture of violence, trafficking of people, and neo-colonization that can be called ‘homogenization’.

This panel calls for papers that examine the effects of globalization upon Indigenous communities both in the South Asian subcontinent and beyond. Such papers might analyse or contest such issues as the attribution of unsustainable development, overconsumption of life-sustaining resources, impacts on environment and ecology, impacts on Indigenous communities, and the growing contrast between the rich and the poor. They might treat the extent to which social tensions borne out of international and intra-national ‘lifestyle inequalities’ will give rise to the mushrooming of global cross-border terrorism, secessionist movements in multi-ethnic societies, and tendencies for the balkanization of states. This panel seeks to promote new visions, based on different paradigms and to evaluate challenges to the logic of globalization that posit alternative ways of life of community in diversity in a project of not only critically analyzing development and globalization, but also facilitating solidarity and mutuality of people themselves in the search for alternatives to the culture of neo-liberal globalization.

  • SESSION 1     Room: G62 ARTS     Wed 6/7/2011     Time: 13.30-15.00     Room Location Map
    • Paper 1: Indigenous People, Livelihood and Culture: The Path that leads to Nayaka's Survival A study on the Nayaka Community.
      • Saraswathi Gopala Krishna, Azim Premji Foundation (WIPRO),
    • Paper 2: The Globalization Process among the Hill Tribes of Chmarajanagara District
      • Krishna Prasad, Karnataka Public Service Commision,
    • Paper 3: Understanding Climate Change Crisis along with Cultural Changes and the Politics of Development in Capitalist Era: An Anthropological Analysis
      • Sajjadul Hoque Nur, University of Chittagong

SESSION 1

Chair: Halasur Matt, Maralusiddaiah, Anthropological Survey of India

Paper 1: Indigenous People, Livelihood and Culture: The Path that leads to Nayaka's Survival A study on the Nayaka Community.

Saraswathi Gopala Krishna, Azim Premji Foundation (WIPRO)

Tribals in India present a significant degree of cultural and ethnic diversity. The tribes, who have been mainly confined to hills and forests, have now sought their absorption into the regional and national mainstream. In many ways, Globalization destroys identities. Before the era of Globalization, there existed local, autonomous, distinct and well-defined, culturally sustaining connections between geographical place and cultural experience. Globalization is not merely a question of marginalization for indigenous peoples it is a multi-pronged attack on the very foundation of their existence and livelihoods. Vast indigenous knowledge, rich culture and traditions, and any hope of preserving the natural world, and a simpler, more holistic way of life for future generations. This Paper is on the Head Loading Community, the Nayaka of H.D. Kote taluk who are totally dependent on the fuel wood collection and selling them to the local public, hotels, bakery etc, for their survival. It also reflects their socio-economic condition, why head loading, what are the other alternate livelihood sources opted to stop head loading, why female head load more than male, how it is hereditary in nature, how many days in a month do they head load, the communities involved in this livelihood activities, why they are involved, what are the remedial measures that would perhaps make them to stop this activity respectively. Globalization can be observed in different economic, social, cultural, political, finance, and technological dimensions of the world. It is crucial that indigenous peoples' demands are realized; life ways, traditional knowledge and practices are protected and sustained. The impact of globalization is strongest on these populations perhaps more than any other because these communities have no voice and are therefore easily swept aside by the invisible hand of the market and its proponents.

Paper 2: The Globalization Process among the Hill Tribes of Chmarajanagara District

Krishna Prasad, Karnataka Public Service Commision

The paper traces the drawbacks in the present system of eGovernance and decentralization, which are the approaches in the process of globalisation, and suggest appropriate models to overcome the problems faced by tribal people who are excluded and deprived of social security. The tribals were interviewed with structured questionnaire along with video recording to supplement the study. The study shows that the hill tribes Soligas, Jenu Kurubas and Kadu kurubas in 20 habitations of Chamarajanagar District, Karnataka State, India, are illiterate and their living standard is Below Poverty Line (BPL). Most are deprived of social assistance. The existing system is ineffective in delivering services to people. Added to this the tribal communities lack effective leaders among them to help their people. It was found that the major problems are lack of awareness and ability to access to public offices. Their fear of the unknown official system and inability to meet the transaction costs have also left them deprived. Further, the study confirms decentralization of powers and e-Governance initiatives, under the umbrella of globalization, introduced at the village level in the delivery system have not yielded the expected results due to infrastructure inadequacies. Finally, the paper analyses barriers before the tribal people and recommends models for effective coverage and meaningful social security to all the excluded eligible people, at right time at their door steps without any official or political intervention. It is concluded that the instruments of globalization have not rendered positive impact in achieving intended objectives social security to the indigenous people.

Paper 3: Understanding Climate Change Crisis along with Cultural Changes and the Politics of Development in Capitalist Era: An Anthropological Analysis

Sajjadul Hoque Nur, University of Chittagong

By 2015, the average number of people affected each year by climate-related disasters may have grown to 375 million and by 2030 the number of people suffering from hunger and illness due to creeping climate change (such as shifting rainfall patterns) could reach 310 million, with nearly half a million deaths. Climate change is the harvest of the capitalist economy which mainly started from the beginning of the industrial revolution in the west. The developed countries that have morally assumed responsibility for climate change have taken, in the name of development, various steps to reduce the impact of environmental disasters, but these have not yet been proved as sustainable. Following the 'dominant ideology thesis', most of the problems of the third world have been identified by the rich, western nations rather than the affected nations themselves. Contamination of water, reduced rainfall, the greenhouse affect, river erosion- these are definitely problems for all. In order to survive, humans are being forced to change their culture and life-styles, adapting new survival strategies, and the cultural changes of the urban people and the sustainability of the adaptation strategies to climate change in Bangladesh will be examined in this paper. Yet the problem of climate change is defined by the rich, western nations. The author will examine the climate change crisis in the capitalist era and raise the important question of whether climate change is a crisis or it is a new technique of the developed world to exploit the poor nations.

Discussants: Rajasekhara Reddy, Ganesh Hanagalshettelli Mallappa