September 21, 2022
Martin Luther Christian University (MLCU), Shillong held an international panel discussion on the theme “Crossing paths: reflections on three decades of research on indigenous issues” with eminent anthropologist B.G. Karlsson, Professor of Social Anthropology at Stockholm University, Sweden. Professor B.G. Karlsson is the author of Unruly Hills: A Political Ecology of India’s Northeast (Berghahn Book, 2011) and Leaving the Land: Indigenous Migration and Affective Labour in India (Cambridge University Press, 2019, co-authored with Dolly Kikon) among others.
Professor Karlsson presented a journey of his work on indigenous issues with particular focus on the politics of ethnicity and nature in Northeast India among the Rabhas in Duars/ North Bengal, communities in Meghalaya, indigenous migrants from Northeast India to metropolitan cities in the south and indigenous foodways in Eastern Himalayas. Professor Karlsson concluded with a call for indigenous peoples to preserve and appreciate their identity.
Dr.Glenn C. Kharkongor, Chancellor, MLCU in his talk highlighted the intersections of biodiversity and culture among indigenous communities and the increasing objectification of nature and cultural treasures. Ms. Patricia Mukhim, Editor, The Shillong Times as the discussant raised pertinent questions related to indigenous peoples, the sustainability of food production in Meghalaya and the empowerment of indigenous migrants as they venture out to work in cities across the country.
The event, organized by the Department of Sociology, MLCU, concluded with a vibrant discussion with the students and was attended by guests, faculty and students of the university.