|HCC 2.pdf||77.04 KB|
Pointillism of heritage, gender, communication, and agriculture: Reflections from Arunachal Pradesh, India
If 'heritage' is anything inherited (from past generations), it also includes (traditional) social prescriptions, sanctions, etc. These all could collectively be termed as 'social heritage'. On this line, one may argue that often inherited social attitudes and various modes of behaviour are in conflict with 'progressive ideas'. Such ideas advocate (more) egalitarian social order, in which all sections of society are to be treated equal in every respect, to ensure comprehensive development. Gender concerns are one among such issues that do not constitute the said social heritage.
The studies conducted on Arunachal Pradesh reveal interesting facts and formidable challenges. It is a. hilly State located in the far north-east corner of India. Arunachali population is diverse in terms of ethnicity and language. The mainstay of the people is agriculture with predominance of jhooming, i.e. shifting cultivation. Agriculture is further characterised by almost uniform distribution of under-development. Such a situation is suggestive of employing alternative agricultural practices along with horticulture, floriculture, pisciculture, poultry keeping, and animal husbandry. These areas are information dependent and hence there exists a vast scope to develop communication channels to disseminate relevant information from time to time.
However, there are barriers too in the path of communication. Most important among them is gender problem. As a matter of fact and common sight women share greater responsibility at family and farm alike. But, they are treated sub-ordinate to the men-folk and have no land property rights. On top of these, they hardly have a perceptible role in the socio-cultural space. The census data nevertheless show women out-numbering men as cultivators. This fact not only tells about women's worth in agriculture but also under- lines the need to establish communication links with them. Apart from this gender barrier, it is the linguistic multiplicity that poses challenge to effective communication, especially when a common communication strategy is thought of.
This paper seeks to place gender issue in the social heritage framework. From that point of view it overlooks at the gender problem in Arunachali society and tries to assess their economic (participatory) role in the household and at farms too. It is apparently found that since women play an important role in agriculture, they need to be informed about practical tips on relevant strategies to maximise agricultural productivity from season to season. They should be treated as agents of change and development with the long-term strategy to reduce the general under-development in agriculture in Arunachal Pradesh.