The School of Tribal Legal Studies and Tribal Rights and the School of Tribal Culture, Philosophy and Eco-Spiritualism, KISS-DU jointly organized a seminar on ‘Issues on Tribal Displacement in India – Experience from Odisha’ on 12th July 2022. Professor Pradip Kumar Parida, Associate Professor, Public Administration and Policy, FSS, Banaras Hindu University was invited as the distinguished invited speaker. The seminar was attended by senior functionaries, faculty members, research scholars and students.
Addressing the gathering, Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Vice-Chancellor, KISS-DU said, development and underdevelopment are often two sides of the same coin, since the development of a section of the people often comes at the expense of the displacement of others. He regretted the ways in which the process of development always appears to call for sacrifices from some sections of the population, as though their marginalization is the price of development.
Professor Pradip Kumar Parida, who has written two books, over twenty papers and numerous articles in popular media, explored the dynamics, institutions, processes, politics involved in the conception and execution of development, arguing that the poorest affected by the development are usually also often those institutionally denied a voice. Development most often displaces the tribal population, alienating them from their motherland, and the landscape of which they form an integral part, as though they must pay the price for the development of the rest of the country, he stated.
The development model of the Nehruvian state had failed the tribals, turning them into aliens in their own land, Professor Parida opined, while lauding the efforts of exceptional bureaucrats who had called for more and better delivered compensation for the tribal population. Stressing on the pain and suffering of those who have lost their lands, home and other cultural institutions such as shrines, at the altar of development projects, such as Hirakud and other dams, he invoked the concept of development induced refugees. The benefit of development as a process has not trickled down to the grassroots, said Professor Parida. The students and scholars must develop empathy towards the pain and suffering of the tribal communities in order to acquire the requisite sensitivity for policy studies or public discourses involving tribals, he concluded.
Speaking at the seminar, Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, Registrar, KISS-DU recalled his experience of working in the Development Sector and with various NGOs on the issues of displacement and its impact on tribal population. While speaking in the context of KISS and KISS-DU, he reiterated the contributions of Dr. Achyuta Samanta, Founder, KISS & KIIT, especially the various educational and vocational initiatives undertaken by him, calling upon the students of KISS to take charge of their lives and their communities.
Dr. Krupasindhu Nayak also spoke on the occasion. Dr. Ratnakar Mahapatra, Dean, The School of Tribal Culture, Philosophy and Eco-spiritualism, delivered a formal vote of thanks.