Karma Oraon, anthropology department faculty member, Ranchi University
Manchester, known for its textile mills that started industrial revolution, is the venue for Jharkhand scholars to talk on tribes.
The 17th World Congress of International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, 2013, at the University of Manchester, UK, is special for Jharkhand as it will boast eminent scholar-delegates from the state and a session chaired by Ranchi University (RU) anthropology faculty member Karma Oraon.
The world congress, hosted by the varsity and supported by Manchester City Council, will be held between August 5 and 10, but preparations have begun from 2011.
Oraon apart, state scholars who have been invited at the event include Hari Oraon, Baijnath Seth, Pradip Singh, Prabhat Kumar Singh, Hem Bachan Sahu, Syed Mobarak Abbas, Mayank Prakash, Singo Soren, Ashok Oraon, Awinash Mishra from RU; Seema Minz from Central University of Jharkhand; Vinay Kumar and Raj Kumar Mahto from Vinoba Bhave University (Hazaribagh); Shanti Oraon, Bhikham Oraon and Jaishankar Bhagat from Jharkhand Samajik Vikas Samiti.
They, like other anthropologists and ethnologists from the world over, will speak on various aspects of the theme for 2013 — evolving humanity, emerging world.
“I have been appointed to chair a session on the topic ‘indigenous cultures at the crossroads in Indian subcontinent’ where scholars from India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Nepal will speak their mind,” Oraon, a regular delegate in meets abroad since 1983, said.
He added the last edition of this international union meet had been held in 2008 in China on the theme of humanity, development and cultural diversity. Oraon had participated in it.
Right now, he is a busy man as he is going through the scholarly papers of the delegates who would speak in his session.
“Thirty scholars will present papers on indigenous life and culture. They have sent me their papers and I am studying them thoroughly before okaying them,” Oraon added.
Scholars are expected to deal with the collision of global and local cultures.
They will discuss issues of tribal identity, language, tradition, folk dances and songs, practices and customs, all of which are influenced by the globalised world order.
“I will highlight Parha, a socio-cultural system of self-governance among tribes of Jharkhand, its present condition and how the panchayati raj weakened it at the grassroots,” said delegate Hari Oraon, a faculty member of department of tribal and regional languages, RU.
The 52-year-old varsity is considered an important anthropological research hub as the state is home to many tribal and primitive groups. Renowned anthropologists S.C. Roy and L.P. Vidyarthi lived and worked here.