Connor Hayes speaks with Prof. Felix Padel, research associate in the Centre for World Environment History at the University of Sussex, about the issue of education in the context of the adivasis of India, spanning the history of education policy in India under British colonization, following Indian independence, up until the present, the manner in which education is used to assimilate the adivasis, the parallels between the situation of the adviasis and other struggles around the world (including the Kurds and the indigenous peoples of the Americas), and the relationship between education and self-determination.

Prof. Felix Padel is currently a research associate in the Centre for World Environment History at the University of Sussex. He was previously a professor of rural management at the Indian Institute of Health Management Research and has lectured and taught at Jawaharlal Nehru University, as well as other institutions in India and elsewhere. He is the author of a number of books, including Sacrificing People: Invasions of a Tribal Landscape, and Ecology, Economy: Quest for a Socially Informed Connection.

Connor Hayes is an activist, researcher, and a student of philosophy. He was a member of the 2019 International Peace Delegation to Imrali.

For more resources on the topics discussed in the interview, please see the following:

Bhattacharjee, Kishalay. (2015). Blood on my Hands: Confessions of Staged Encounters. HarperCollins.

Dunbar-Ortiz, Roxanne. (2015). An Indigenous People’s History of the United States. Beacon Press.

Dungdung, Gladson. (2013). Whose Country is it Anyway? Untold Stories of the Indigenous Peoples of India. Adivaani.

____. (2015). Mission Saranda: A War for Natural Resources in India. Bir Buru Omapay Media & Entertainment.

Ghruye, G. S. (1943) [1963]. The Aboriginals – So Called – and Their Future [The Scheduled Tribes of India]. Routledge.

Gupta, Malvika, and Padel, Felix. (2018). ‘Confronting a pedagogy of assimilation: the evolution of large-scale schools for tribal children in India’, in Journal of the Anthropological Society of Oxford (JASO), vol.X no.2, pp.22-47, pp.22-47, available at

____. (2020). “The Travesties of India’s Tribal Boarding Schools.” Sapiens. Available at

Hamilton-Merritt, Jane. (1993). Tragic Mountains: The Hmong, the Americans, and the Secret Wars for Laos, 1942-1992. Indiana University Press.

Ocalan, Abdullah. (2020). The Sociology of Freedom. PM Press

Padel, Felix. (2009). Sacrificing People: Invasion of a Tribal Landscape. Orient Blackswan.

____, and Das, Samarendra. (2010). Out of this Earth: East India Adivasis and the Aluminium Cartel. Orient Blackswan

____, Dandekar, Ajay, and Unni, Jeemol. (2013). Ecology, Economy: Quest for a Socially Informed Connection. Orient Blackswan.

Press Trust of India. (2021). “Delhi riots: Activists Natasha Narwal, Devangana Kalita, Asif Iqbal Tanha released from Tihar jail on bail.” First Post. Available at

Uberoi, J.P.S. (1985). The Other Mind of Europe: Goethe as a Scientist. Oxford University Press India.

This interview is sponsored by the Peace in Kurdistan Campaign ( and the Campaign Against Criminalising Communities (

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