August 29th 2002 marked the birth centenary of Dr. Verrier Elwin. His life was one of continous journey and comprised many phases. Varrier Elwin came to India as Missionary seeking reparation for the ‘sins’ of Englishmen in India. He endeared himself to Gandhiji, Nehru and Sardar Patel with his commitment to serve the weaker sections of India’s masses. His interaction with them and many others influenced him to work for the welfare of the tribes of India.
During the early part, Elwin worked among the tribes of central India and the last decades of his life was spent in the north-east India. Dr. Elwin had the chance to observe tribal life from very close quarters. With an academic background in English literature and a creative mind he wrote vividly on the way of life of the Indian tribes with an uncanny vision of anthropological details and emic perspectives. His concern to safeguard the Indian tribes from adverse effect of their uncontrolled interaction with the outside world, is well known.
Dr. Elwin was associated with the Anthropological Survey of India for a brief period in the capacity of Deputy Director. The editors, Dr. B. Francis Kuli rani and Dr. Bibhash Dhar deserve compliments for bringing out the present publication entitled Verrier Elwin as remembered by his family and friends as a tribute to Dr. Elwin on the occasion of his birth centenary. The reminiscences of Elwin’s family member unfold some still unknown qualities of this great admirer of the cultures of Indian tribes.
I hope, the readers would find this volume useful.
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