Protection of Indigenous Heritage in India

  • Post category:Blog
  • Reading time:8 mins read

Protection of Indigenous Heritage

Written By:– Aayushi Singh

Meaning of Indigenous: Indigenous refers to the notion of the place- based on human ethnicity that has not migrated from its homeland. Indigenous means living and growing in the same place where they are from originally.

Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, aboriginal people, native people, they born and stay in the same place, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place.


Indigenous Heritage: Indigenous heritage is defined by the people according to their own language, tradition, and culture. If we talk about India, India’s rich in heritage because of various foreign invasions they have very different cultures. Indigenous heritage means those whose languages are spoken by people whose ancestors originally inhabited the area. Indigenous peoples understand and describe Heritage according to their own perspectives, traditions, and languages. Indigenous Heritage well being and held for all generations.

Types of Heritage:

There are mainly three types of heritage:

Cultural, Natural, and Mixed. They include hundreds of historic buildings and town sites, important archaeological sites, and works of monumental sculpture or painting.

Indigenous communities, peoples, and nations are those that, having a historical continuity with pre-invasion and pre-colonial societies that developed on their territories, consider themselves distinct from other sectors of the societies now prevailing in those territories, or parts of them.

Protections of Indigenous Heritage in India:

Article 49 of the constitution provided that the duty of the state to protect the various monuments, objects, places, which are of artistic or historic importance from any spoliation, disfigurement, destruction, which are declared by the parliament to be of national importance. security of monument – The Archeological Survey of India under the arrangement of the AMASR Act,1958 secures monuments, locales and remains of national significance by allowing two months notifications for welcoming complaints if any in such manner.

Article21 declaration provides that the indigenous people have the right to continuously make improvements in their social and economic conditions for their well- beings. The state has the duty to protect its lands and natural resources for the sustainability of its culture and traditions.

The Heritages are important assets of the country they belong to and they need to be protected from being harmed.  The Indigenous identity and life. It is a gift from the ancestors to the next generation. Indigenous heritage is defined by the people according to their own perspective, traditions, and languages, The general definition of indigenous people would be their experiences, knowledge, worldwide views, objects, kinship, practice, and places valued by indigenous people. The  Indigenous heritage of a country is an essential part of the indigenous peoples’ well-being which is being held for many generations. Indigenous heritage is a very important aspect of a country and it is important for the development of the country.

Laws that govern indigenous heritage:

There are certain rules and laws made for their protections –

  1. Article 49 of the Indian Constitution: it the duty of the state to protect the various monuments, objects, disposal, which are  declared by or are declared by parliament to be of national importance
  2. Article 51A(f) of the constitutions: the article said that it is the fundamental duty of every citizen of India to protect and preserve the rich heritage of our country
  3. Article 51A(g) of the Indian constitution: to protect and preserve the natural environment which includes forests, wildlife, lakes, rivers, and to have feelings of compassion towards them.

Statics Data

Indigenous Peoples worldwide number between 300-500 million, embody and nurture 80% of the world’s cultural and biological diversity, and occupy 20% of the world’s land surface. The Indigenous Peoples of the world are very diverse. They live in nearly all the countries on all the continents of the world and form a spectrum of humanity, ranging from traditional hunter-gatherers and subsistence farmers to legal scholars.

In some countries, Indigenous Peoples form the majority of the population; others comprise small minorities. Indigenous Peoples are concerned with preserving land, protecting language, and promoting culture. Some Indigenous Peoples strive to preserve traditional ways of life, while others seek greater participation in the current state structures. Like all cultures and civilizations, Indigenous Peoples are always adjusting and adapting to changes in the world.

Indigenous Peoples recognize their common plight and work for themself based on their respect for the earth. The United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights state that all peoples have the right of self-determination by virtue of which they “freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”.

(Part one, Article one, 1966) However, because there has been a dispute over the exact meaning of the term “peoples”, it is not clear exactly to whom “peoples” refers. Some state governments oppose the use of the term “peoples” in regards to Indigenous Peoples because they fear its association with the right of secession and independent statehood. Those states would prefer the terms “tribes” or “populations”, which do not have those associations. On the other hand, Indigenous Peoples use the term “peoples” because of its association with the inherent recognition of a distinct identity.

“Indigenous People” is a compromise between these two positions. Indigenous Peoples and their advocates find the denial of being described as “peoples” and the inherent entitlement to self-determination a form of racism and continued discrimination.

Previous Posts

Right to form association or unions: Constitutional, legislative and judicial perspective

Right to get water: the recent development and constitutional framework

The International Criminal Court as a Court – An Evaluation

Victims of crime: Restoration and Legal care under Indian Criminal Jurisprudence