The tribals who were converted, and where do they place themselves in the society?

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The internal conflict a child goes through to find their identity as a converted tribal in a society where being tribal is often looked down upon, and being a converted tribal is even more abhorred.

The English missionaries and the Evangelists played a great role in converting a large number of tribals into Christianity. While some acknowledge their service towards the oppressed tribals to be constructive and hospitable, some associate it with the colonial propaganda to uproot their religion which the British considered to be heathenistic. The intent of the Evangelists is unclear and still debated. Amidst this ongoing controversial debate, the internal struggle of the present generation of tribals born in converted households are often ignored.

The present tribal generation often finds themselves in a dilemma between their birth religion and their tribal traditions. This is especially true for those who have been raised in a religious environment. Their parents often keep them away from the rich culture, the rich history the tribal communities have. The colonial attitude has been passed down through generations, leading to parents having instilled misconception and prejudices against their community who practice their unchanged ancestral religion. As a result, the children struggle to find an identity that can be both spiritual and rooted in their cultural heritage. The lack of knowledge about their ancestral traditions and culture alienate them from their own community. They do not feel the inclusiveness among their upper caste fellow religious sect, nor can they identify themselves as a part of the indigenous community because they were not made to know one since their childhood. No help coming from the parents, elders when the child wants to explore their heritage, often leads to confusion and feelings of being lost in terms of identity. Thus it is important to understand the conflicts that this generation faces, so that it is possible to reconcile both faith and traditions— the two seemingly conflicting aspects of their lives. This will allow them to find peace within themselves.


Gouri Shankar Murmu 11 hrs

I can definitely relate to the second part of this article.