The diversity of India is one of its greatest strengths. To celebrate the 72nd Republic Day of India by spreading awareness of the role of native adivasis in the freedom struggle, The Central Libraries of Brainware University and Brainware Group of Institutions-SDET organised a special Republic Day Lecture on The Lesser Known Sides of a Rural Humanity: Colonial Domination and Adivasi Resilience in 19th and 20th Century on January 30, 2021 at 4:30 PM. Dr. Rachana Chakraborty (Professor, Department of History, Calcutta University) was the special guest and Dr Raj Sekhar Basu (Professor, Department of History, Calcutta University) was the guest speaker for the event.
Dr Rachana Chakraborty helped introduce the topic to the audience by highlighting how adivasis were divested off their lands by the “collusion of native landlords and the British officers. The romanticised portrait of a tribal protest for the motherland is complicated by this inherent class and caste stratifications within pre-colonial British India,” she said.Dr Basu explained that “Revenue arrangements made by the British fundamentally altered the rural structure of India. We find that in most cases it is the peasants who are affected by it the most. The economic causes of the revolution are often ignored in historical accounts to favour a patriotic reading of the entire freedom struggle.” On being asked if adivasi women played a significant role in the struggle Dr Basu answered, “we don’t have many accounts of women’s role but we know that adivasi society was a lot more egalitarian when it comes to gender relations. Advasi women did protest and faced severe persecution in the form of sexual violence.” The lecture ended with a vote of thanks by Ms Bandana Basu (Librarian, Brainware University).