‘Who is Civilised?’ On the Tribal Traditions, Society, and Culture
There can be little dispute that the sociocultural norms, practices, and rituals in the mainstream Hindu tradition subsume a deep ideological repugnance towards gender equality. But this contrasts—rather sharply—with the overall features of tribal culture and society of the country. Indeed, the latter, which has ever been exterior to patently patriarchal and caste-hierarchical Hindu sociocultural orbit, is traditionally characterised by high degree of gender equity with its many admirable demographic concomitants (e.g. lower infant and child mortality and fertility, balanced sex composition of the population).