Sunday, April 14, 2024

National seminar on tribal politics in NE held

tribal politics

Dimapur, February 22: The Department of Political Science at St. Joseph University, in collaboration with the Tribal Research Centre, Department of Sociology at Nagaland University, organized a national seminar titled “Tribal Politics in North-East India: Navigating Identity, Autonomy, and Development.”
The seminar featured speakers, including Dr. Walter Fernandes, Director of the North Eastern Social Research Centre in Guwahati, who delivered the keynote address.
The valedictory session featured Dr. Leban Serto, a distinguished member of the Global Campaign for Peace Education in New York City and Director (Hon.) of the Centre for Peace Education in Manipur, India. A total of 31 paper presentations were delivered, representing 15 institutions from nine states across the country.
In his keynote address, Dr. Walter Fernandes discussed the state of tribal politics in Northeast India, shedding light on specific regional concerns such as ethnicity, language, indigeneity, identity, and autonomy, which distinguish the region from mainland India. While protecting tribal land and identity remains crucial in the Northeast, Dr. Fernandes stressed the equal importance of development. He noted a disparity in attention between preserving the past and considering future prospects, emphasizing the need for a balanced approach.
While tribal customary law preservation is prioritized, Dr. Fernandes highlighted the need for reform and modernization. He advocated for modifications to ensure gender and class equality within customary law and proposed facilitating land development alongside protection measures. Dr. Fernandes also endorsed community-driven initiatives for processing and marketing. He emphasized the importance of comprehensive development, encompassing economic growth, infrastructure enhancement, and human advancement.
In the valedictory address, Dr. Leban Serto urged students to join the global peace campaign while leveraging legal provisions to empower Northeast Indian tribes. He advocated that the tribals of North East India should draw strength from the legal and constitutional provisions in addressing their issues face by them. Dr. Serto encouraged to voice tribal issues using pen and not gun and recognize education’s role in resolving violence.
The seminar featured a diverse array of paper presentations, each addressing critical issues pertinent to the region’s tribal communities. The presentations encapsulated multifaceted dimensions of tribal politics, social dynamics, cultural preservation, and socio-economic challenges. Presentations revolved around themes such as ethnic diversity and inclusion politics, exploring the challenges and nuances of identity formation and group representation. Environmental justice and sustainability emerged as prominent topics, with discussions centering on the environmental concerns faced by tribal populations and the need for sustainable development practices tailored to indigenous contexts.
The seminar also delved into the imperative of youth inclusion in ethno-political realms, examining avenues for empowering young tribal members to participate actively in political processes and address youth-specific challenges and aspirations. Gender dynamics and women’s participation in tribal politics and society were also focal points, with analyses encompassing women’s roles in civil society activism, inheritance norms, and political movements. Discussions also covered how autonomous government structures function, with comparative studies assessing how well autonomy meets the socio-economic demands of tribal communities and manages political complexities.
(Page News Service)