Special Call for Studies of the culture, history and geography of the Scheduled Tribes of India under ICSSR Research Projects for the year 2022-23

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The Janjatis (Scheduled Tribes) of India have their own specific origin stories (jati puranas), their own deities, and their own rituals and festivals. These stories, deities and rituals reflect their core strengths, commitments and beliefs. They also have their own glorious histories that includes several revered heroes, saints and kings. They also often have their own dialects. They are the carriers of specific, and valuable, skills and technologies. Individual Janjatis are associated with specific parts of India and their places of origin or habitation have specific geomorphological features, specific rivers, vegetation and animals. The Janjatis have strong associations with these geographical features. For them, all of these have a special sanctity. They revere the hills, rivers, water bodies, vegetation and animals of their specific geography and undertake pilgrimages to pay their respects to these sacred entities. This reverence for the land and its specific flora and fauna arises from a deep sense of oneness with nature and all beings, which is also expressed in their stories and songs. The geography they revere is often endowed with extraordinary beauty, richness and grandeur. The tradition and history they revere has its own glorious episodes; its own great heroes, saints and kings. These several geographies, histories and traditions are important component parts and manifestations of the civilisational heritage of India.

The Government of India has decided to celebrate these glorious attributes of the Janjatis of India by declaring November 15 as the Janjati Gaurav Divas. In order to create a corpus of authentic literature on the special attributes of the individual Janjatis of India, the ICSSR proposes to adopt this as one of its priority areas of study and research.

The ICSSR invites Research projects that propose to comprehensively and authentically record the specific geographies, histories, skills, technologies, stories, songs, beliefs and rituals of specific Janajatis of India. We shall also be interested in studies that propose to authentically and rigorously compile the life-stories of the heroes, saints and kings of the various Janajatis.

In addition to other proposals along the lines suggested above, this year, we propose to particularly encourage rigorous and exhaustive compilation of historical and archival material on the life and work of Bhagavan Birsa Munda; detailed geographical and sociological studies of the localities, places and families associated with him; and detailed studies of the religious movement that he founded.

These studies will be for a duration of Twelve Months to twenty four Months.