Dear Reader,

The Bhil Adivasis in Madhya Pradesh justifiably lay claim to a rich legacy of culture and art which they mark and celebrate at weddings, special occasions and festivals. However, resorting to ‘modern’ practices at the cost of traditional totems is cause for concern that age-old customs are eroding and decaying.

Main Bhi Bharat reports from Alirajpur district that the sound of traditional instruments is being drowned out by “DJ culture”, the local wines from the Mahua flower are giving way to “beer and foreign liquor”, and social turpitudes like dowry are fast-rearing their head. Fearing that the Bhil culture is being irrevocably adulterated, a group of youth have taken it upon themselves to reverse the trend and preserve their legacy.

Another community that has been under the cosh is the Dalit community in Madhya Pradesh. Article 14 analyses the deeply entrenched caste-based discrimination in the state and the challenges in seeking and finding redressal. The Union government's statistics from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) say that crimes against Dalits in the state have been steadily rising over the past decade. The data reveals that in the number of ‘atrocity cases’ against Dalits, Madhya Pradesh ranked third nationally with 7,211 cases in 2021, behind Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan.

The contest between the rights of forest dwellers and the quest for development is a vexed issue. This is once again being enacted in the Bastar district of Chhattisgarh. Launched in January, last week marked 250 days of the indigenous peoples' protest against unbridled mining and construction.

The Citizen reports on the protests from deep inside Orchha, designated as a ‘highly disturbed’ area, scarred by Maoist violence. The story, with rich visuals from the site, says the villagers bemoan that while the mining infrastructure is being built at a frenetic pace, affecting their livelihoods and their unique way of life, nothing has been done to secure healthcare, mobility and give the locals a stake in decisions on their destinies.

And, despite India celebrating 12 consecutive years without a reported polio case, concerns are rising about the reliability of the claim. There is scepticism about the underreporting of polio cases and anxiety that the disease is making a furtive comeback. The Probe takes a closer look at the evidence and the policy.

For more such stories from the grantees this week, please read on.


Sunil Rajshekhar

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डीजे, देजा और दारू का आदिवासी संस्कृति पर हमला

The invasion of ‘modern’ practices and social evils at the cost of their rich tradition and culture among the Bhil Adivasis in Madhya Pradesh is causing concern. Main Bhi Bharat reports from the Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh.

Watch Here

Dalit & Adivasi Murders On The Same Day Show How Madhya Pradesh Is Failing Marginalised Communities

Article 14 laments the rising cases of crimes and atrocities against the Dalit community in Madhya Pradesh and how the avenues for seeking justice are clogged.

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‘It is a Fifth Schedule Area and the Gram Sabha Does Not Consent to This’

The Citizen goes deep inside Bastar to bring you the story of the struggle of the indigenous people to preserve their identity and way of life even as they yearn for basic health facilities and mobility.

Read Here

Polio Vaccine Derived Virus: WHO’s Controversial Stance and India’s Silence

India’s fight against eradicating polio is a happy story. However, now there are fears that polio is making a comeback. The Probe discusses the evidence.

Read Here

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