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How to write a synopsis Indigenous Knowledge System of the Rajbanshis People of North Bengal (With Special Reference to Agriculture)

Submitted By ASHOK DAS GUPTA

Introduction Indigenous peoples are those communities living in close to nature. They are the folk people or ethnic communities who are regarded as aborigines or natives during the colonial period. They have historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies. They have their own territories where they now have become non-dominant sectors. They consider themselves distinct from rest part of the society. They have appraisal for their land, their ethnicity, culture, social institutions and even legal systems. They however might be influenced by various outside influences. They maintain intimate understanding of nature, generation-wise intellectual reasoning and informal experimentations on trail and error method. So, definitely Indigenous Peoples in each case develop a set of indigenous knowledge traits or traditional knowledge traits. When these knowledge traits work systematically in accordance to mode of production, division of labor, social system and faith-fear-belief systems, it is the indigenous knowledge system (IKS). IKS related to the ecosystem or microenvironment could be community specific or area specific. It serves for those who stay far away from modern facilities and meets the ends for basic livelihood. As modernity can cause harm to humanity and nature in various ways, the alternatives have to be learnt from IKS. We can not separate IKS the rational part from its nonrational part. However, IKS can be broadly divided into so many forms in the context of folk life, such as, agriculture, animal husbandry, poultry, fishery, handicraft, agro-forestry, biodiversity management, sustainable development, alternative ways of disease treatment, weather forecasting, disaster mitigation, and so forth. Nikobarese and Shompens of Great Nikobar island (Patnaik and Prasad, 2009), aboriginal Vanuatu fishermen (Johannes and Hickey, 2004), Inuit of Arctic (Nakashima, 2003) are various examples of Indigenous Peoples. Rajbanshi people are living in agrarian pockets of North Bengal (India) and they might have possessed IKS regarding agriculture and other related issues. Many of the Indigenous Peoples are moving towards globalization or opposing it; but in that due course situations have been emerged out when they could eventually loose their IKS. But it is their cultural values and social norms standing along with the civilization that does not let the IKS being totally lost. There is an urgent need to document those IKS. The technical open-ended parts are easy to document. But in case of close ended IKS embedded deeper inside the culture are hard to be documented. For that we have to understand the folk cognition and cultural symbols, and only then in a proper methodological

way, we can perhaps decode the information. For that we even have to follow the postmodernity. In this way, we can get a holistic picture of the entire scenario. In this regard, North Bengal is the northern political geography and administrative zone of West Bengal state of India. Out of total 19 districts of the state, the region constitutes only six northern to river Ganges (Jalpaiguri, Koch Bihar, Darjeeling, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda). North Bengal could be divided into several zones: Darjeeling Himalayas, Kalimpong hills, Terai foothills (Darjeeling district); Duars foothills (along Jalpaiguri-Bhutan international boundary); plains of Teesta-Brahmaputra valley (Jalpaiguri-Koch Bihar); upper plain of Mahananda valley (North Dinajpur); lower Plain of Mahananda valley (Malda); Atrai-Purnabhaba plain (South Dinajpur), Varendrabhum highlands (Baikunthapur-Rajganj area and Mainaguri of Jalpaiguri district, Haldibari-Mekhliganj and Sitai-Sitalkuchi of Cooch Behar, Chopra-Goalpokhar of North Dinajpur, Kumarganj of South Dinajpur and Habibpur-Bamangola of Malda). Actually, Varendrabhum or Dinajpur highland that has in majority gone into the hands of North Western Bangladesh (Rajshahi Division consisting of 16 upa-zilas), is actually a watershed that separates Teesta-Torsha and Mahananda river systems to its east and west respectively. From TibetBhutan-Sikkim-Kalimpong-Duars, the former flows down into Jalpaiguri-Cooch Behar plains and meet into Brahmaputra-Jamuna of North East India-Bangladesh continuity. The later imitates from Darjeeling-Nepal, flows down into Terai-North Dinajpur-Bihar (neighboring state) and meets into Ganges with a continuity of Malda-Bangladesh. This is also the MaldaMurshidabad region or Mid Bengal where Ganges forms the Bengal Delta of Bay of Bengal. Delta is shared both by southern West Bengal and Bangladesh. In this Mid Bengal, the river divides the state into North Bengal and South Bengal. Malda along with Dinajpur now partitioned into North Bengal and Rajshahi Division is actually the Gour Vanga transnational. So, North Bengal is actually means Mechi-Mahananda basin of Terai, Baikunthapur-Rajganj, and Teesta-Torsha plains of Jalpaiguri-Cooch Behar with included areas like Duars (Doors), Kalimpong Himalayas and Darjeeling Himalayas. Rajbanshis are staying in actual North Bengal or Bengal frontier, pockets in Duars and Gour Vanga, when only northern West Bengal is concerned. Rajbanshis are basically agrarian people staying in both river plains and highland watersheds. Rajbanshis are so exclusive within the social structure of North Bengal. Without the Rajbanshis neither organization of social structure in North Bengal nor IKS embedded within folk life could ever be recognized. According to

Census 2001, Hindu Rajbanshis are 129,904 in Darjeeling of total individual 1,609,172; in Jalpaiguri 811,567 out of 3,401,173; in Koch Bihar 972,803 out of 2,479,155; in Malda 144,158 out of 3,290,468; in North Dinajpur 405,140 out of 2,441,794 and in South Dinajpur, 224,988 out of 1,503,178 and there of total 14,724,940 of North Bengal, Rajbanshis have a population of 2,688,560 (18%). They might have good knowledge over traditional agriculture and agro-based biodiversity management of North Bengal. In that context their indigenous knowledge is going to be studied here. Statement of Problem Knowledge is a philosophical term and can be conceptualized as a set of various facts and information traits. It is of two types: scientific and indigenous. Both work as systems and hence we use the terms like Scientific Knowledge System and Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS). These two together constitute Global Knowledge System. Scientifically proved knowledge is the scientific knowledge, whereas knowledge of the Indigenous Peoples can be treated as Indigenous Knowledge (IK). There is actually no universally accepted definition of IK. This is the major obstacle in doing research with IK. IK is the actual knowledge of a given population that reflects the experiences based on traditions and includes more recent experiences with modern technologies (Haverkort, 1991). Indigenous knowledge (IK) is the local knowledge- knowledge that is unique to a given culture or society. IK contrasts with the international knowledge system generated by universities, research institutions and private farms. It is the basis for local level decision making in agriculture, health care, food preparation, education, natural-resource management and a host of other activities in rural communities (Warren, 1991). Indigenous knowledge is the systematic body of knowledge acquired by local people through the accumulation of experiences, informal experiments, and intimate understanding of the environment in a given culture (Rajasekaran, 1993). Indigenous Knowledge traits are oral, undocumented, simple; dependent over the values, norms and customs of the folk life, production of informal experiments through trial and error, accumulation of generation wise intellectual reasoning of day to day life experiences, loosed and rediscovered, practical rather than theoretical as well as asymmetrically distributed. IK is also regarded by several names, such as, folk knowledge, traditional knowledge, local knowledge, indigenous

technical knowledge (ITK), traditional environmental/ ecological knowledge (TEK), Peoples Science or ethnology that often look very much confusing and overlapping (Das Gupta, 2011). IK has the following characteristics: (1) local or specific to a particular geography or microenvironment or ecosystem and folk people living there close to nature, (2) orally transmitted, (3) outcomes of informal experiments, intimate understanding of nature, and accumulation of generation-wise intellectual reasoning of day-to-day life experiences, generation-wise intellectual reasoning tested on religious laboratory of survival, (4) originated through interactions and not at individual level, (5) empirical rather than theoretical or any abstract scientific knowledge, (6) functional or dynamic and hence constantly changing, discovered, lost and rediscovered in a new form (open-ended IK), (7) culturally embedded (close-ended) where separating the technical from non-technical, rational to non-rational is problematic, (8) repeating with time (as because IK is both cultural and dynamic), (9) segmented into social clusters or asymmetrically distributed within a population, by gender and age, (10) shared by many and even by the global science (Ellen and Harris, 1996). Folk people have preserved these functional IK traits within non-functional symbols of their value loaded folk life. In order to gather IK traits, domains that have to be decoded within the folk life are folk song, folk proverb, folk etymology and chants, folk music, folk tales, folk literature, folk dance, folk painting, folk sculpture, folk recreation, folk play, folk art and craft, folk cookery, folk settlement and patterns, folk architecture, the notion of time in folk society, weather forecasting, dialectology of folk speech, superstitions, myths, legends, riddles, folk religion folk lore, like sense of right and wrong (folk ways), norms regarding kinship relations and rites of passage (rites-de-passage), folk customs regarding household affairs and agricultural operations and behavior of the folk people, folk dialect to folk technology, various type of organization (political, economic, religious, and social) and ethno-medicinal practices (Das Gupta, 2011). Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) is the cognate of IK. Folk people are well aware of how to apply IK traits in quite a systematic way and so to gain certain nature-friendly Public Services form the so formed Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS). So, Public Services from IKS are very much helpful in filling up gaps within Scientific Knowledge System and achieving sustainability in development programs. IKS is a multidisciplinary subject and incorporates the following dimensions: physical sciences and related technologies, social sciences and humanities

(Das Gupta, 2011). IKS can again be considered as summation of all traditional knowledge systems (TKS) scattered all over the world. Such summation in a systematic way through proper documentation can really contribute parallel to globalization. Indigenous Peoples suffering from global market economy can then access to Indigenous Rights (International Labour Organization). In that case, they will not take the way of localization, rather follow the way of globalization with certain safeguard and even contribute to overcome negative impacts of unidirectional modernization process (Das Gupta, 2010a). IK/IKS is very much based on the relationship among (1) mode of production and reproduction, (2) social structure and (3) magico-religious/cultural issues. Simply saying, this is a relation among nature, human and super-nature. Communities who treat culture as result of their psychobiological need and not mere psychic unity of mankind are not so much akin to civilization but are much closer to this relation among nature, human and super- nature (NMS) (Das Gupta, 2012b). IKS is a multidisciplinary subject and could be divided into various domains like agriculture and post-agricultural practices; animal husbandry and poultry; ethno-fishery; hunting and gathering; artisan; disease treatment, ethno-medicine and folk remedy; traditional economic and political system (Das Gupta, 2010c). IKS could be divided into various domains like agriculture, animal husbandry (including poultry and fishery), handicrafts, tools and techniques, nutrition, health care practices and bio-medicines, psycho-social care, natural and biological resource, management of environmental and bio-diversity resources, disaster mitigation, human resource management, saving and lending, poverty alleviation and community development as well as education and communication. Each of these domains is provided with own respective area and manifestation (Mondal, 2009). If we only consider agriculture related IKS, we have to focus on definite interrelationship among production and technical practices in a specific farming system, conservation of crop varieties, alternative agricultural production, production of various cash crop/vegetables/spice/fruit and flower, maintenance of the nutrition level and traditional concepts of health, food preservation, labor-oriented hand-loom industry, traditional type of division of labor, ethno-fishery, animal husbandry and poultry, agro-forestry and use of forest products (timber and non-timber), sacred groove, agro-ecology and food web, bio-diversity with feedback, water and soil management, house construction and kitchen garden, folk taxonomy, magico-religious performances, belief in super-nature, cultural lag, emerging socio-economic

challenges, social transformation, sustainable rural and human resource development (Das Gupta, 2010a). Actually, farmers remain no longer passive consumers, but active problem solvers (Warren, 1991). So, the highest priority is going to be given upon alternative role of IKS against the highcost modern crop production system (Davis and Ebbe, 1993). It could then only allow a lowlevel external input among the traditional agriculturists living in nature-surrounded remote areas (Haverkort et. al., 1992). Review of Literature Indigenous Knowledge System (general): Gartoulla (1992) has worked on the Ethno-Medicinal Practices and Therapeutic Treatment within the Periphery of Ayurveda, the traditional Hindu medicinal practice, and other value loaded cultural interpretations in Nepal provided with a rich bio-diversity and multi-ethnic composition very much similar to that in North Bengal. Choudhuri (2003) has emphasized on the need of proper interaction between modern and traditional ways of disease treatment for overall betterment of the health system of the folk communities. The traditional way of disease cure was an important part of their knowledge system. That could be considered rather as a discipline highly involved in the mental construction of the folk peoples. Many of their rituals were again connected to this system and therefore, deterioration or replacement of this traditional treatment process could cause harm to the stability of the indigenous social life. Sengupta (2003) from his study on two closely related folk communities (Santal and Kol) in the industrial enclave of the west Singbhum, Jharkhand wrote on perception of folk environment and folk taxonomy regarding land, plant and animal domains; color categories, hierarchical classification of food items and categories of food taste. Anandabazar Patrika (19th August, 2006 and 4th April 2007) has published an article on the Mizo community of North East India relevant to the discussion of IK. The concepts strongly established within the mind of any ethnic community like the Mizos could lead to the expression of certain features harmful for their social life and economics, particularly when the issues like women right violation or the restriction up on the red wine manufacture from the non-eatable Bangaluru Blue variety of grape very much sour in taste - have come in front of all. These decisions are influenced by the Church and Youth Associations on one hand and exerted strong influence upon the IKS on the other. Another article on the same newspaper I would like to state. Nagas in

Nagaland domesticate a variety or hybrid of bison that they call Mithun. This can live in hilly condition of Nagaland and be utilized for production of good quality of milk-meat-skin (Anandabazar Patrika, 14th March, 2007). Subramanyam and Rao (2007) have discussed on about 40 medicinal plants in Visakha tribal agency area of Andhra Pradesh maintained within the sacred grooves of the local tribal people (major fourteen tribes including three Primitive Tribal Groups) in the context of deforestation. Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge System Studies: Rajasekaran (1993) has indicated to the importance of certain informal indigenous communication systems in agricultural communities that work incredibly well in India. There are different types of rice cultivation processes in India that contain several issues regarding rice cropping system, soil health care practice, rice nutrient management, seed selection and processing technique, rice transplanting technique, weed- and pest-management strategy, as well as gender-oriented division of labor and decision-making system. Farmers have therefore become active problem solvers. Chawhan and Oberoi (1990) in their study conducted on Gaddi tribal women of Bharman tehsil of Chama district found that the role of tribal women worker in the farm operation contribute to more than 70 per cent of total workforce (except ploughing of fields, marketing of grains, irrigation and application of pesticides and fungicides). This has happened irrespective of discrimination in technology transfer. Beohar et al. (1999) found that both family and hired women labourers in tribal dominated Central India were engaged in sowing, transplanting, interculture, harvesting, transporting and winnowing. In operations like transplanting, inter-culture and harvesting the use of female labour hours was more than that of men labour. Mishra et al. (1999) in their paper on paddy cultivation and gap in wages between men and women labour in Kymore Plateau and Satpura hill region of Madhya Pradesh show that women labour more participated in transplanting of paddy, inter-culture and harvesting while, operations like preparatory tillage, sowing, manuring and fertiliser application, irrigation and threshing operations were performed jointly with men. They proposed for diversified farming systems such as dairy, poultry etc. so as to increase the employment opportunities of women. Pandey et al. (1999) proposed that in operations such as cleaning of cattle, re-collection of refuse, compost, bio-gas production etc. in which women are actively involved in Hissar (Hariyana) need to be more skill based rather than labour oriented. Shiyani and Vekariya (1999) examined the gender differences in groundnut and wheat production in South Saurashtra zone of Gujarat where maximum women involvement can

be seen in case of hand weeding and harvesting (during groundnut and wheat productions) as well as irrigation (during wheat production). In activities like sowing, primary tillage, application of manures and chemical fertilisers and irrigation, women took part along with men. Subrahmanyam (1999) showed demand of labour in respect to gender is basically subjected to cropping intensity and cropping pattern; in Andhra Pradesh, items like paddy, cotton and chilies had higher demand for total labour as well as female labour. Sugarcane has the lowest demand for female labour. Tripathi (1999) in his paper has examined the level and pattern of womens contribution in hill economy of Tehri district in Uttar Pradesh. The contribution made by women for field preparation, manuring, and sowing were higher over men (exclusively in rice crop). That is followed by their participation in weeding and hoeing operations as well as harvesting and digging operations. These are associated with production of fruit and milk. Bora et al. (2000) in their study have examined the role performance of farm women in animal husbandry activities in the selected villages of Tezu Development Block of Arunachal Pradesh. The study identified a total of eighteen roles performed by women. They were fodder gathering, carrying fodder to the home, grinding of feed, cutting and boiling of fodder, feeding the animals, watering to the animals, cleaning of mangers, grazing of animals, bathing of animals, cleaning of sheds, grooming, milking of animals, heating of milk, selling of milk, care of new born animals, care of sick animals and vaccination of animals. Dhillon et al. (2007) from their study in three agroclimatic zones of Punjab found that the age of farm women ranged between 24-56 years and majority of them belonged to the age group of 35-45 years. Actually, women in varied situations can take part in more or less all the agricultural activities: 1. ploughing of field, 2. cleaning of field, 3. leveling of field, 4. raising nursery for seedling (lady finger, green chilly, tomato, cauliflower), 5. sowing, 6. transplanting , 7. mannure application, 8. fertiliser application, 9. weeding, 10. thinning, 11. gap filling, 12. irrigation, 13. plant protection measures, 14. cutting, 15. picking, 16. shifting production to threshing floor, 17. threshing, 18. winnowing, 19. drying of grains, 20. cleaning of grains, 21. grading, 22. storage, 23. marketing, and 24. processing. In most of cases, women are associated with pre-agricultural and post-harvesting activities. They are also associated with drain preparation, fencing, applying insecticides, homestead gardening (kitchen garden), rearing poultry, rearing livestock, collecting yams and other vegetables plus medicinal plants, and even fishing. Addition it this, there are non-agricultural activities: handicraft work,

bamboo and cane work, extracting jute flex, silk extraction from cocoon, handloom industry, dye yielding, embroidery work, sewing and dress making, making cigar, teaching children, buying daily necessities, and raring care of aged and children. Labour selling is also there. It may be long term or short term, long distance or short distance, low wage or relatively high wage, daily or conditional, private or governmental, group-wise or individual, seasonal or yearly, haphazard or pre-decided, permanent or temporary. Again, it depends on several factors: to meet basic family needs, absence of men earning members, to increase family income, to meet personal needs, (and) to meet additional family requirements. Nidup et. al. (2007) have observed that how the cultivators of North Bengal relay on potatoes from neighboring Bhutan, rather than dormant variety of Punjab and less susceptible ones of South Bengal so as to get good quality seed; and therefore, in order to check this bio-piracy, Bhutan in the season of October exports small sized tubers. Rapid developmental activities performed by the market economy of Modern World in this era of Globalization but accordingly face six serious problems as pointed out by UNDP report: Challenges of global warming, Rapid loss of bio-diversity, Crisis-prone financial market, Growing international inequality, Emergence of new-drug resistant disease strains & Genetic engineering (Grunberg et.al., 1999 in Kelkar et. al., 2004). Out of so many problems that humanity is now facing, IKS in both agrarian sectors and pre-agrarian situations can highly contribute to the protection of bio-diversity that is now rapidly deteriorating due to pollution, unplanned exploitation of resources and use of genetically modified breeds in the name of meeting the profit level, demands and pressure of common people. Biodiversity in a sense cannot specify to either of flora or fauna, medicinal plants or crop plants, domestic breeds or wild verities. It would encompass whole of the food chain/food web in the ecosystem. Biodiversity is a public policy as well as a scientific issue. It is stratified into a four-level hierarchy (i.e., genetic, species, ecosystem and landscape). It maintains ecosystem stability. IKS on the other hand provides empirical insight into crop domestication, breeding, and management. It further acts in favor of agro-ecology, agro-forestry, crop rotation, pest and soil management and other agricultural activities. Agro-based IKS also develops guidelines of natural forest management and biodiversity management (Das Gupta, 2011).

Indigenous Agricultural Knowledge System Studies regarding food preservation: Lal et. al. (1986) have gathered various information regarding Preservation of Fruits and Vegetables in different parts of India. This bulk of information would actually help in arranging a full-proof planning about the techniques the Rajbansis have been using for preservation of food since time immemorial. Steinkraus (1996) has been discussed about the importance and application of Indigenous Fermented Foods which is actually another pavement of studying the IKS with special reference to agriculture, medicine as well as heath and nutrition. Fellows (1997) has discussed on various types of Traditional Foods, most of these foods are of preserved type. The ways of cooking and the food ways are organized in such a manner, that the nutrition level should maintained. Pickles, dry foods, liquor, spices, sun-dried elements, soil preserved food, concept of fresh food and various types of food taste are very important in the study of IKS regarding folk agriculture and animal husbandry. Battcock and Azam-Ali (1998) have mentioned that fermentation is an affordable and manageable food preservation technique, which is very appropriate in use where other food processing technologies such as canning and freezing are either inaccessible or unavailable. The fermentation of staples serves as a major source of nourishment for large populations in rural communities and contributes significantly to food security by increasing the range of raw materials, which can be used in the production of edible products. The consolidated information base on traditional small-scale food fermentations is however very weak and existing information on the subject is widely dispersed. Furthermore, "indigenous knowledge" on fruit and vegetable fermentations is being lost as technologies evolve and populations move away from traditional food preservation practices. The Argo-Industries and Post-Harvest Management Service (AGSI) of FAO has therefore initiated the publication of a document series of fermented foods. The present publication on fermented fruits and vegetables is the first of the series. The whole work prevails around the benefits, basic principles and different types of fermentation in case of post-harvest procedure and therefore is very much important to keep in mind during the IKS study of the Rajbansi agriculturists and food growerstheir traditional knowledge about the food preservation process & their concept of nutrition. Mishra (2007) has mentioned the traditional food preservation techniques of Oraon community of tribal dominated Sambalpur region of Odisha (India).

Rajbanshis of North Bengal: Sanyal (1965) mentioned that Rajbanshis in and around the plains of northern West Bengal or North Bengal have their own history of thousands of years. They have transformed from a community to a huge complex heterogeneous social fold incorporating animism, ancient pre-Vedic versions of Hinduism, Vedic traditions, magico-religious performances and Buddhism, Kashyap-Bratya Kshattriya combination, Sufism and Vaishnavism, status mobilization, and folk practices symbolic to agriculture and trade relations (Sanyal, 1965). Das Gupta (2010a) while studying on indigenousness of the Rajbanshis has coined certain terms like Kirata, Paundra-Kshattriya, Kashyapa, Aryan, pro-Aryan, Buddhist, pro-Kushana, Barmana kings, Pala, Kamboja-Pala, Kaivartha-Mech, King Jalpa, Khen, Garo, Bodo, Kuchhur, Mech, Rabha, Lepcha, Burmese-Naga, Bhutia, Drukpa, Denzongpa, Sherpa, Monpa, Mog-Arakan, Toto, Doya, Tharu, Dhimal, Jalda, Mon, Brahmin, Kshattriya, Vaishnava, Nath/Debnath, TurkAfghans, Sufism, semi-independent autonomous states, Kamtapuri, Koch-Rajbanshis, MughalRajput, Assam, Manipur, Surma valley, Arakan, Burma/Bagan, Gurkha, Adivasi tribal communities of Chota Nagpur plus Central India and Andhra that will come one by one in any diachronic discussion on North Bengal. Das Gupta (2010b) has discussed on Rajbanshis that they were originated from the mixing up of local Mongoloid inhabitants Kirata, continuous with the Shiwalik hills of Himalayan range and the Bratya-Kshattriya excluded Hindu Warriors who fled into foothills and northern plains of North Bengal from the adjacent ancient state of Paundrabardhana. The latter has been mentioned in Mahabharata, was most probably settled in the place of Mahananda valley and the people there have still been regarded as Pundras, whereas the same in Brahmaputra triangle known as Mech/ Deshi (aboriginal) and if combined with the Koch, then Koch-Rajbanshis. Some of them have been treated as Puliya due to the 400 years long Buddhist Pala regime here in Bengal (750-1165 AD). The Rajbanshis are still singing Kushana song that probably indicates out of once Kushana occupancy (Buddhist) over the trade routes here in North Bengal. Kushanas were followed by Tibetans, Moghs, Palas, Kambojas, Turk elements and the British who in 19th Century A.D., established lots of Tea Estates here in Terai, Doors/Duars and Darjeeling hills. During that phase of tea garden establishment; numerous ethnic groups from Nepal and people from Central Indian tribal territories (both tribes and non-tribes) have entered in this land. Some agricultural tribal communities from the same Central Indian region entered the territory, never went to the Tea Estates and some of them started cultivation along with local Rajbanshi and various Bengali caste groups. Rajbanshis are

now a caste group, mostly Hindu; asking for their superior status; but at the same time they are simple, little bit backward, searching for socio-economic mobility often in a political line, not prepared to shed off all the knowledge systems and cultural values in the name of Global Market Economy; and facilitated by the Government of India with constitutionally approved reservation opportunities for education, occupation and social justice. Still they are successful in maintaining their knowledge bulk and cultural values more or less intact. These Rajbanshis from past one decade started movement in the name of ancient Kamtapur and for recent few years in favor of Greater Koch Behar. Though these socio-political movements in the name of identity crises have not been too much successful; but still there might be so many reasons behind such identity issues and crises. Das Gupta (2012b) again highlighted on the fact that many tribes have been absorbed by Brahminical heritage (Varna and caste systems of Hindu social hierarchical stratification) or they are in a Tribe-Caste Continuum. Certain groups stay on their own ways. But many of them are said to be highly deprived. They constitute the Dalit section in castedominated Indian society. Certain low ranking castes and various tribes have been therefore scheduled into Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (SC and ST). Primitive Tribal Group (PTG) is also there. Not so much deprived but still with certain lower ranking status groups are categorized within Other Backward Caste/Class (OBC). Extreme Backward Caste/Class (EBC) is also there. ST might be a Hindu or a non-Hindu. OBC or EBC can incorporate non-Hindu noncaste groups while being considered on class basis. These scheduling processes are performed according to constitutional provisions of India. Often these community centric groups classified themselves into various transnational communities. They starting dominating the local society even the Brahminical system on politico- economic grounds. They in this way become Dominant Communities. Some exclusive communities are Khmer, Mon, Bodo and Bhati. Rajbanshis of North Bengal in their traditional agrarian structure are not beyond that and have got facility of SC. Das (2001) has shown how material culture and traditional technologies could be associated with myth and belief behind the causes of disease and illness, natural calamities and supernatural entities. Das Gupta (2010) has encoded so many symbols to Rajbanshi performances during festivals repeating every year season-wise and tried to emphasize on traditional agricultural practices. Research Scope

i.

Contribution to Agriculture: Some good scopes related to this domain are (1) indigenous

technical practices in a rice-based farming system and watershed vegetable agriculture cum kitchen garden; (2) indigenous way of soil and water conservation; (3) indigenous soil classification; (4) the very nexus among the various aspects of indigenous knowledge, indigenous peoples and sustainable agricultural practice and (5) sustainable availability of good quality seed (important for crop production and food security). ii. iii. iv. topicsBox 1: Categorization of agro-oriented IKS of the Rajbanshi People of North Bengal 1 Protection of healthy variety of crops growing in nature, domestication of wild varieties, natural variety of high yielding crops, indigenous way of producing hybrids with high nutrition level, retention of soil fertility and soil classification, concept of upland, lowland and marshy land; 2 application of degradable ethno-toxicants, cutting, pruning, tissue culture and cloning, seed treatment in the nursery to provide healthy seedlings and saplings; 3 field preparation, application of organic manure, application of eco-friendly microbes and vectors, natural way of paste and herb control: use of larvae, insects, birds, fish, ants, white ants and earth warm; 4 symbiosis and nitrification, fishing-cum-paddy cultivation, techniques involved in shifting cultivation and step cultivation, feed-back manner, fuel collection, use of cow dung, classification of soil types, classification of cultivation ground, cultivation on the fertile alluvial soil on the river islands, bush fallow cultivation, seasonal cultivation, yearly cultivation, annual and biennial cultivation, flowering in the first year of a biennial crop variety, mixed cultivation; 5 identification of certain plant species on trees or in soil causing severe herm to the crop production, weeds used in removal of pests and other harmful organisms, earth-warm in maintenance of soil fertility; 6 seed and sapling selection, roles of women, crop selection, seed germination, crop sowing, protection of ripen crops from rat, insect, bird and bat; 7 crop harvesting, crop thrashing, grain storing, preservation of the crop, fish, food, fruit, fruit pulp and so on, pressed and puffer rice, alcoholism, fermentation of rice or fruit juice, palm juice, debt juice and production of unsaturated sweet cakes, types of pickle, prickles in mustard oil or as stored in dried condition, use of dry neem leaves as preservatives, use of sun beam in preservation, use of dry soil as preservative, use of pond soil in facial and skin treatment, use of the straw stalks for fertilizing the soil, use of straws in mushroom cultivation, burning of the left-away straws in the post-harvest period on the cultivation ground, light trap, weed management, use of dry soil (of rat house) as preservative; 8 mushroom cultivation, mushroom varieties;

Contribution to post-Agricultural Performances (such as food preservation) Contribution to Biodiversity Management Contribution to Sustainable Development study

Emphasizing on agriculture based IKS of the Rajbanshis, we could discuss on the following

9 use of algae and lichen in cookery, classification of bamboo; 10 use of bamboo in every aspect of life from drinking water in a glass made of bamboo to house construction, techniques involved in bamboo cultivation, bamboo parts as food, fodder and pickle, bamboo and myth, flowering in bamboo; 11 use of algae, fungi, pteridophytes and fern in cookery, dye production, wax formation and medicinal purposes; 12 floriculture, use of pots, environmental influence, low-cost greenhouse manufacture, nursery and water shade, use of organic manure, cutting and pruning in horticulture, garden ecosystem, shade trees, fish manure and bone dust, soil types and stones, soil sterilization, fencing, use of roots, rhizomes, shoot, bark, lattice, leaf, bud, inflorescence, flower, anther, nectar, fruit, seeds in various purposes, pitcher plants, extraction of essence from the flower, lemon grass production; 13 honey collection, nectar yielding flower species protection of the trees favored by the honey bees, role of honey bees in ecosystem and maintenance of food web, use of honey in food, as medicine and health protection, use of wax, use of birds in searching out the honey nest; 14 animal husbandry and poultry, construction of the shade, fodder, fertility control and breeding, grazing, milk products and curd, indigenous techniques for increasing milk production, protection of the cattle from leaches, protection of poultry from bird eating animals, veterinary and control of disease in the domestic plant species, animals and birds, use of animal produce, skins, wool, bones; 15 spice cultivation; 16 vegetable cultivation; 17 ethno-fishery, pond selection, protection of pond ecosystem, liming the soil for controlling the water pH level, careful observation of fishes in the cold foggy winter, especially regulating the water temperature in the pond, proper physical activity and regular feeding, disease treatment, fertility control, various techniques of fishing, fishing in the streams, fishing in the rivers, fishing under the waterfalls, fishing in the marshy land, fishing in the paddy field, fishes as good source of manure, fishing of fishes with extra-respiratory organ, group fishing, quick fishing in emergency, use of ethno-toxic elements in fishing, preserved fish products, fishes in maintenance of the health condition and nutrition level, superfluity and fish feed, cultivation of prawns, crabs, colored fishes, insect and mosquito eating fishes as well as hybrids, use of fishes in controlling mosquito larvae; control over snake, rat and frog; concept about water pollution and the role of pond water as the carrier of diseases in fishes, cattle and human and related disease cycle; 18 sericulture, selection of trees for sericulture, food chains in the natural process of sericulture, cocoons and production and storage of silk fibers; 19 folk classification and folk taxonomy; 20 cultivation of jute, tea, tobacco, shorea, teak, legume, betel, betel nut, aurum and palm; 21 house construction, use of rice seed-coat in soil for wall construction, use of bamboo, grass, jute stick, straw and leaves in roofing, use of wood and bamboo in construction of the framework, house types in heavy raining areas; construction of storage, manufacture of basket, use of basket for storing; 22 production of wooden plough and other artifacts; food preparation and cooking utensils; 23 wood and leaf collection, husking machine and the role of women; handlooms and women; women and self-help groups; women and trade; women in the village-level power sector; 24 use of fire, control on fire, earthen stoves, earthen kiln; 25 use of stagnant water in mud-ponds under bright sun beams to remove the dry jute fibers from the hollow straw, use of jute and straw, straws in construction, fencing and fuel source, collection and storage of jute and other fibers, their use in handlooms and weaving cloths, mats and seats, dying the cloth with natural color produced from soil, plant extract, emulsion of rice

dust and charcoal; 26 pulse cultivation, production of sun-dried preserved pulse cakes; 27 medicinal weeds; consumption of nutritious food and disease curing dishes; concept of disease, health and nutrition; health consciousness and illness, believe in super-nature [in order to control the nature and maintenance of the mental health]; 288 alternative crop production; 29 concept about season and weather, related myths, disaster management system in case of flood, drought, heavy rain, land slide, soil erosion, deforestation, crop failure, storm, fire, attack of insects or birds or rats or elephant or other herbivores, weather forecasting from watching the nature and activities in the wild life; 30 protection of forestry by feed back, protection of sacred groove, conserving and maintaining forest resources, indigenous tree classification systems, terrace planting techniques (if applicable), trees suited for different geographical locations, tree species for providing shade for plantation crops, forest product marketing strategies, intercropping in forest gardens, timber yielding plants, nut yielding plants, gum and resin yielding plants, plants with other economic importance, religious system and conservation of plant species, flowering plants, medicinal and herbal values of wild trees, supply of global public goods and global environmental services, water management, irrigation and fishing, indigenous irrigation techniques, preservation of ground water level; recycling of solid waste, utilization of the superfluity in various manner.

No doubt, this work has to be done in more systematic way and according to appropriate methodology. The best ways are to do Rapid Rural Appraisal (from silent observation to mapping to rapid report writing), document properly and analyzing the facts later in-depth, select key informants and case study them in an unstructured way in such a manner that they willfully cooperate with you, decode the symbols, feel the folk life, make own mindset like the target community, think like them, become etic to emic, absolutely be inclusive, become poststructural, even post-modern, aware about research-informant biasness, chose proper extentionists in order to cover a wider area, implement extentionists only you have the feeling that you are now at a stage of evaluator and moderator, etc. (discussed in the methodology part). Focus Group Discussion can also be used. That is good for cross-cultural study in emic approach. There you can be a moderator. For example, men and women, student and farmer, milkman and day laborer, hunter and fuel wood gatherer, highlander and valley people, rich and poor, Hindu and Muslim, semi-urban and absolutely rural, Rajbanshi and non-Rajbanshi, etc. Regular visit is a must here. That can be throughout the season. You have to sure that the target group if know you in any way from earlier date will feel that you are equally oppressed and a part of the Indigenous Peoples group. Inclusiveness is very much necessary. You have to impress the informant on your own and without any intervention of a third person. That type of rapport is really a tough job. And remember always one thing that you need financial assistance as the

work is not village specific, but micro-environment specific from where you have to document information as much as possible in post-structural and post-modern ways. You have to go beyond questionnaire and schedule survey. Try to be innovative and go beyond a frame. Be completely objective, qualitative, extra-scientific and humanitarian. You have to understand indigenous classifications about social system, economy, polity, and religion. You have to realize the story beside the story. As you progress, they output will be quite impressive and quick. Go to public gathering. Select informant not on educational ground or connection to the outside, but on the basis of his/her understanding of nature, innovativeness and own perception (IKS). And do not disclose the secrets on how you be cognitive and then post-structural. And do not disclose the informants. That is also ethical issue. You should know that an illiterate indigenous person is more sensitive than a literate one. But obviously the researcher has to construct some research questions to some extent. What are those? Basically Wh-questions are to be asked. And in the next step: How? Actually, you will face the question from the people of the informant group first. If they do not ask your name, your place, your aim, your religion, your ethnicity; you ought to believe that the place is not right to conduct the fieldwork. Either they have misinformation regarding you from earlier or they should have bad impressions about the earlier visitors/strangers/researchers. And if they ask you the questions, then you should answer them in proper way (if you can communicate through language). It would depend on situation that if you name a person of neighboring sacred place or market. You may meet a shepherd, a peasant, a day laborer, a fisherman, a gatherer, a housewife working in her kitchen garden, a wood cutter, an aged person taking rest under the tree, children playing in a temple site, gathering in weekly market. Do not miss the opportunity to talk with women doing domestic work especially fuel collection or a person walking in the path on foot in a hurry. You may face embarrassing questions: Are you to here to buy our agricultural land? Are you a thief? etc. If you can convince them, they can invite you to their homestead. And even offer food and drink. Some simple questions you can also askWhere is the religious place? Could you bring me a glass of water? How long are you in this occupation? Is your job still profitable? Can I call from your mobile phone? What types of crops you usually cultivate? Why you do not cultivate this type of crop? What are you doing? Can I take rest here for a while? What are you eating? Can I join you? Can I help you? Share your

experiences. What type of plant is this? What types of species do you have here? Why you pray to this deity? Yes! Political situation is like thatwhat do you think? How you manage all this? Is there any valuable object? Why are you afraid so much of this? And in this way you have to enter into discussion. As good would be the discussion, people will gather there and automatically a kind of group discussion will emerge out. You can also ask for castles, poultry and fishing. You have to be good in folk communication. You can ask about natural resources, their utilizations, micro-environments and distance related questions. But question only when you have to ask or you have a very short time span in your hand. Be aware that your collected information traits will not be mishandled or wrongly interpreted. Some typically agriculture related questions are as follows- What are the crops grown in various agro-ecological environments of the study villages? Is it a monocropped or intercropped area? What are the sources of irrigation? What manure is applied? How you control the pest? What is the size of the farm holding? What are the primary soil types of the farm holding? How are the farmers classified? What kind of division of labor exists? What are the roles of men and women laborers? What are the tools and implements used by them? What do you feed your livestock? How you perform treatment of the livestock? How do you know their quality? How do you form complex production system? How do you make more profit? What do you think of your present and of past? What do expect of your future? Why do not you involve in alternative agriculture? Why are you using modern facility? Why are you not satisfied with the production system? How do not you send your children go to school? Why you prefer male child? Why are you not living in traditional joint-extended family structures? And in this manner, many more questions could be asked. But ranking and scoring (timely approach) are highly maintained. And also some other relevant information traits are to be incorporated where Case Study or long interviews are must(1) beliefs, values, and customs of the producer, (2) the process of decision-making and communication and (3) relation among sociofacts, artifacts and mentifacts composing together agrofacts, (4) production system, social system, economy, polity and religious issues as well as (5) nexus among nature, people and super-nature. The research can also contribute to food production and resource conservation. Important steps are to be keeping in mind (1) cropping systems, (2) seeds and sowing, (3) seed processing, (4) soil health care management, (5) planting techniques, (6) crop nutrient management systems, (7) weed management techniques, (8) plant

protection strategies, and (9) post-harvesting procedures including food preservation. However, may not all the steps be covered! Or we can get some extra information.

Aims and Objectives Aim of this study is to examine and explore IKS (here, agro-oriented) of a specific community (here, Rajbanshis) within a particular bio-geographic region (here, the northern part of West Bengal). The research work will highlight on traditional agricultural practices, food processing and biodiversity management (including seed management) and will also discuss on sustainable agriculture for future generations. Considering the agriculture oriented production system, Rajbanshi IKS can be good source of information traits on the following domains. For the Rajbanshi people, agriculture oriented IKS study may not confine within agriculture, but rather go beyond this. Of which the major are as follows1. agriculture, post and pre agricultural activities in terms of sustainable and organic cultivation; 2. fishery, poultry and livestock; 3. protection of sacred grooves and regular supply of ethno-medicines, medicinal importance of the plants neighborhood; 4. processing and preservation of food substances; 5. food and food-ways, concept of nutrition; 6. agricultural and associated biodiversity; 7. complex production systems; 8. agro-forestry and minor forest produce; 9. division of labor; 10. folk life and religious/cultural symbols; 11. decision making- social structure in terms of economy, polity, social institutions and organizations. The research can be framed according to the following steps- (1) Politico-economic background of North Bengal and social formation of the Rajbanshis; (2) indigenousness of the Rajbanshis; (3) Agriculture oriented Indigenous Knowledge System of Rajbanshis of North Bengal; (4)

Rajbanshi Indigenous Knowledge System in service to biodiversity management; (5) Division of labor, gender and social organizations within the traditional Rajbanshis; (6) Conceptuality on polity and economy; (7) conceptuality on super-nature; (8) Rajbanshi IKS and sustainable development.

Rationale of Approach i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. viii. ix. x. xi. xii. xiii. xiv. Choosing appropriate methodology; Investigating on open ended IK; Investigating on close ended IK; Investigating on IKS; Emphasis on mode of production and division of labor; Emphasis of social system; Emphasis of super-nature; Emphasis on communication among nature, social system and super-nature; Emphasis on agrofacts, psychofacts, sociofacts and artifacts; Emphasis on religious institution (as if religious laboratory of survival); Emphasis on performances, their symbols and inner meanings- a journey from symbol to Synchronic and diachronic studies; Overlapping of etic and emic perspectives; Research conducted on extra-scientific post-modern humanitarian ground, in an in-depth

World View and again from complex mind structure to ethno-science and folk life;

qualitative way, objectivity overruling subjectivity and least amount of biasness during researcher-informant interaction (Das Gupta, 2010c, 2011, 2012a).

Hypothesis Rajbanshi is a greater social fold and rural, folk and agrarian in nature. Its indigenous production system can contribute into biodiversity management and sustainable agriculture. Agricultural

patterns in watershed and river plains are different. Agriculture here is not singularly confined to the Rajbanshis, but open to wider multiculturalism of North Bengal (to certain extent). Agriculture is both modern and traditional-sustainable. Traditional-sustainable is fallen under IKS that shows gradual evolution.

Methodology Muchena and Williams in 1991 cited the argument of Bennett (1980) and mentioned that human components are actually analytical equivalents to environmental components and related information/knowledge in a given socionatural system. Muchena and Williams also cited Brokensha et. al., 1980, and Posey, 1983, as they had indicated to the difficulties in front of encoding in religious beliefs, rituals, ceremonies and myths highly related with the IKS. Rational and non-rational parts are inseparable here. But even then in order to gather the IKS of a given community, the researcher has no better option to decode these symbols. Das Gupta (2010c) emphasized three types of communication (formal and informal) - firstly, with people (via exchange of goods/message/women/power of word); secondly, with nature (via Traditional Knowledge System/TKS); and thirdly, with Super Nature (via performances that could be cultural/ social/ magical/ religious/ agricultural-seasonal). The network so formed maintains connectivity among agrofacts, artifacts, sociofacts and mentifacts/ psychofacts. IKS (adaptive) is generally tested in the religious laboratory of survival (religious institution out of various non-adaptive institutions of social system). Festivals, related symbols and their inner meanings are helpful in proper diagnosis of the folk mind set of the Rajbanshi agrarian rural structure with both synchronic and diachronic perspectives. Overlapping of etic and emic perspectives (from symbols to the World View and again from complex mind structure to ethnoscience and folk taxonomy) have to be studied on post-modern humanitarian ground, in a qualitative way, deep micro-level study, objectivity overruling subjectivity and least amount of biasness during researcher-informant interaction. Das Gupta (2012b) again stated that the polity could be stratified into 4 types: international polity, national polity, regional or state polity and traditional political systems. In this global era, what should be the mode of development? Options are there: a) Getting directly into the global

system through proper way or by hooks and crooks; b) (if failed), returning back to traditional or other earlier economic systems (on choice) and initiation from the beginning; c) development in a sustainable way: people would be negotiated rather than remaining isolated or integrated. In Indian perspective, most people live in rural society segregated into various agrarian rural structures. Here, the economy could be broadly classified into production oriented and trade related types; and simultaneously categorized into Traditional, Nationalized, Mixed, Macro and Global besides Micro economy and Micro-financing. In Indian Subcontinent, peoples could be grouped into certain categories on certain grounds and these are as follows- 1) Agricultural communities, caste groups and hegemony of priestly category; 2) Mega Structure builders; 3) Mega Structure destroyers; 4) Localized femininity (in general); and 5) Expanding maleness. These options are to be kept in mind before entering into any discussion regarding IKS and sustainability. Das Gupta (2012a) has cited Jorgensen (1989) who classified key informants as follows: (a) local extension agent, (b) local school headmaster, (c) credit co-operative society officials, (d) village milk co-operative society members, (e) farmers, and (f) men and women laborers. Criteria for selection of key informants are (1) good knowledge on historical background of food production and resource conservation of the study villages; (2) a minimum of ten-year experience on the production system; and (3) not being involved in other stages of the study. Das Gupta emphasized on communication among social researchers, agronomists, extentionists as following the World Bank (1990) step towards extentionist to agronomist to laboratories. The author has cited Banarjee et.al. who emphasized on exchange on IK through identification, validation, recording and documentation, storage of retrievable repositories, transfer and dissemination. It is actually a huge task and needs government and NGO collaboration (GO-VO). Rajasekaran and warren (1991) emphasized on proper Training Manual and definite Guideline for Extension Workers. Anthropologists can be extensionist or apply extentionists only through rapport establishment and impression management. But, being an anthropologist, the researcher could contribute holistically that is not possible for the extentionists, laboratories and agronomists. Funding is highly required in such agriculture related studies. Rapid Rural Appraisal is the best option here only after proper planning through training and visit method (T&V). Anthropologistcum-extensionist should choose the village market days, temple days, village-level women societies, and cooperatives. He/she has to be aware of position between farming units and

agronomists facilitated with laboratory. Anthropologists can begin as trainee or self-trainee and with time grow up as monitoring and evaluation rank where he/she can apply many more extentionists. IK is needs high degree of accuracy. So, we can add more approaches besides traditional magico-religious aspects. Approaches may therefore be magico-religious aspects, role of cash and kind, barter and reciprocity, division of labor within the same lineage or among the neighborhood, gender, exchange of services, large scale patronage, concept of property and its decadence, role of myth/custom/value/norms in non-subsistent economies, traditional power structures, traditional education system, and health. IK holders have to be aboriginal or very much close to nature or biodiversity. Indigenous Rights postulated by International labour Organization (ILO) can be another approach. It can be further extended to issues like bio-piracy, illegal knowledge transfer and intellectual property rights. But this approach is not going to utilize there. IKS can be seen from sudden happenings, microenvironment (ecology and geography), hitoricity, folk life, polity, health, education, economy, and obviously religious. Researcher has to observe, doccument and analyze (Patnaik and Prasad, 2004; Das Gupta, 2012a). Area and People: North Bengal is the northern political geography and administrative zone of West Bengal state of India. Out of total 19 districts of the state, the region constitutes only six northern to river Ganges (Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Darjeeling, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur and Malda). Maldah, North Dinajpur and South Dinajpur (collectively known as Gour Vanga) are not initially included. Mechi-Mahananda basin in sub-Himalayan Darjeeling district of North Bengal would be of prime emphasis. Baikunthopur-Dinajpur watershed (or Barindland) is there that separates TeestaTorsha river system from the former. Two different study areas selected are: 1) Villages under Phansidewa block of Siliguri sub-division of Darjeeling district, North Bengal (Terai region allied with Mahananda River Valley); 2) Nishiganj area under Mathabhanga I block and Mathabhanga sub-division of Cooch Behar district on the plains of Teesta-Torsha Valley. These areas are rich in agro-based biodiversity so

far maintained by the Rajbanshi agrarian rural structure. This research proposal is prepared in the context of pilot study in these two clusters. Tools and Techniques: Different tools are required in order to collect the data in terms of anthropology, statistics and biology. Data are going to be taken from both primary and secondary sources. Primary Data Collection: In order to gather primary and area-specific information relevant to this study; different tools could be used ion combination: a) key informants interview, d) case study, c) silent observation, d) non-participant observation, e) participant observation, f) rapid rural appraisal, g) participatory rural appraisal, k) focused group discussion, l) story narration, and m) informants. Informant has to be a personality with minimum 10-year experience. In RRA, unstructured interviews in group, key informants interview, direct observation, mapping and diagramming, case studies, biographies, local histories, time lines, ranking and scoring, short simple questionnaires, and rapid report writing are needed. It can includes some more radical activism through empowerment, respect, localization, enjoyment and inclusiveness (Das Gupta, 2012a). Secondary Data Collection: The secondary data from website, encyclopedia, books, journals, District Gazetteers, census reports of Government of India and lastly information from print media as well as electronic media are also required. Certain other techniques regarding studies on biodiversity may also be required here- biological identification, taxonomic interpretation and nomenclature of plants and animals. Data Processing and Data Analysis: The study is completely qualitative and knowledge documentation oriented. Information on IK/IKS taken with appropriate anthropological methodology (documented through T&V, RRA and M&E) could be input in computer based Decision Support System, Remote Sensing/GIS, and World-Digital-Graphic-Mental framework; however this is not the objective of present study.

Time Budgeting: Library work- 1 year and pilot study -1/2 year (done), fieldwork- 11/2 year(done), report writing and data analysis (first draft)-1(done), final draft and submission- 1 year Tentative Chapterization: Chapter I: Introduction Chapter II: Methodology to Study Indigenous Knowledge System Chapter III: Rajbanshis Chapter IV: Place and People Chapter V: Are Rajbanshis Indigenous? Chapter VI: Agriculture oriented Indigenous Knowledge System of Rajbanshis of North Bengal Chapter VII: A note on Biodiversity Chapter VIII: Division of Labour Chapter IX: Conceptualization regarding Polity and Economy- few Case Studies Chapter X: Conceptualization regarding Super Nature- few Case Studies Chapter XI: Rajbanshi Indigenous Knowledge System and Sustainable Development Chapter XII: major Findings REFERENCES Agrawal, G.P., P.K. Mishra, and R.M. Sahu. 1999. Extent and Proportion of Womens Participation in Paddy Cultivation A Study of Kymore Plateau and Satpura Hill of Madhya Pradesh. Indian Journal of Agricultural Economy, 54(3): 321-322. Azam-Ali, S. and M.Battcock. 1998. Fermented Fruits and Vegetables: A Global Perspective. FAO Agricultural Services Bulletin No. 134. Rome: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Babu, S.C., B. Rajsekaran, and D.M. Warren. 1991. Indigenous Natural Resource Management system for Sustainable Agricultural Development. Journal of International Development 3(4): 387-402. Banarjee, S., D. Basu, D. Biswas, and R. Goswami. 2006. Indigenous Knowledge Dissemination through Farmers Network: Exploring Farmer-to-Farmer Communication. In: B. Choudhuri and Politico-Economic Background of North Bengal and Social Formation of

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Signature of the Supervisor

Signature of the Candidate