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Home > News > Report

Living in harmony with nature and IT

Vijay Singh in Mumbai | January 20, 2004 15:02 IST

Tribals of Jharkhand are trying to improve the quality of their lives by hitching on to the Information Technology bandwagon but at the same time, they are unhappy with the influence of outsiders on their culture.

The tribals live in harmony with nature. They mark each and every important occasion, including changes in climate, with music, song and dance, which are an integral part of their lives.

A group of them, from Gumla and Lohardaga districts, is in Mumbai to attend the World Social Forum meet. One of them, Anil Bhagat, told rediff.com: "We have a unique song, dance and music for each month. The song tells the specialty of that particular month. We do not sing a song associated to a particular month in any other month."

They have a special dance for the famous festival of Jharkhand called Karma. The song sung at this event seeks prosperity for all people on Earth.

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Amarnath, another tribal, said, "Our culture unites us, preserves social values, maintains communal harmony and promotes secularism."

Of late, some changes have come about in the tribal-dominated areas. The youth are keen on education, to learn new things, communicate with urban societies and take advantage of Information Technology.

The Raji-Padaha Forum of Lohardaga is helping to make them to aware of developments in the IT field. It encourages the tribals to learn new things while at same time preserving their traditions, which includes their own local government system called Padaha.

Under Padaha, there is a judiciary, a constitution and an executive. It incorporates safety measures to preserve their art and culture. "We can hope for justice only under Padaha rule," Amarnath said.

But the influx of outsiders is weakening their traditional systems. It has brought about modernisation, introduced a new dress sense and begun influencing the musical tastes of the tribals.

"We were in a majority in Jharkhand but from the last many years. But outsiders have begun settling in the state. This influx had affected our culture. Now they are ruling us. They don't have a soft corner for our art and culture and are also rendering us jobless," Amarnath said.



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