Life is larger than all Arts, Sciences, Religions, Philosophies, trade, techs, States... through times and places.

Thursday, 22 August 2013


People Energy
Soil Unknown-Undiscovered Indian
INDICA: I deliberately use the word ‘Indica’, a biological term, instead of ‘India’. It is precisely to indicate a ‘region’ and not political boundaries that associate with the State. In the historical time political boundaries have been subjected to change, anywhere.
TERRA: literally ‘soil’, which I refer to ‘Land and Waters and People, and Biotic and Abiotic Nature’. The biotic and abiotic nature is intrinsic in the life, therefore also in their culture, of the people – the daughters and the sons of the soil.
INCOGNITA: the literal meaning is ‘unknown – unexplored – unrecognized’ alike the medieval (European) map showed the known world encircled by ‘Terra incognita’ where monsters roam.
Indeed even in the twenty-first century, the ‘soil’, in my way of comprehensive meaning, still remains ‘unknown (to the world) – unexplored (by the pundits) – unrecognized (by the so-called Authority or the State)’, whom I fondly call my ‘anonymous’ kin, from whatever glimpse I have had through my six decade journey in the Third World India and the Fourth World India.
Social and Cultural Sub-groups of India
INDIA has almost a continental size. Broadly there are about 50 – 60 cultural and social sub-groups (as illustrated). No. We are not referring to the castes or cults or the creeds. We are not taking of, in American lingo, of the Class or 'the classless society'. We are speaking of the ethnic and adivasi – tribal – communities (that is the cohesive collectives), not the civilized advance societies (that is the fragmented collectives in the modern times).

She indeed is a thousand-petal lotus, our national flower. There have been as many topographic and climatic regions – bio-regions – that have great hand in shaping the culture, expressed in food, clothing, shelter (or architecture!), visual and performing arts and crafts, languages an folklore… and thus as a result a superior quality of sustainable living. I call it a model for the modern world, a world heritage, now facing a wipe-out.
Unfortunately in the global race to make India an industrial power by the petty imitators – the ruling minority – comes at cross-purposes with the survival of the agrarian society and the diverse bio-regions. The petty imitators are out to homogenize them with monoculture of industrial civilization. The industrialization here, so far, only helps the power mongers and profiteers through their invisible tentacles.

Indeed one lifetime is not enough to see and to assimilate and to understand this phenomenon for any person or even a group of persons. Any documentation, even a fraction, would reveal great treasures of wisdom and knowledge and skills, across these diverse bio-regions, accumulated over generations of anonymous People of India. 

India is such a vast country with diversity that it is impossible to manage even the welfare of the people (for the lack of understanding) for any centralized power, even with an iron hand. This is true of any region in the world which has been proved time to time. Decentralization of powers, down to earth in practice, (power in the hands of peasants) is the only answer to this malady; M. K. Gandhi came very close to it in his concept of Panchayati Raj – power to village self-rule.

Note: Map- Social and cultural sub-groups of India, after the cover page of 'Seminar', Issue 226, 1978, New Delhi.
© Remigius de Souza., all rights reserved.
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