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Over time, unlike the terms “aborigines” or “tribes”, the word “adivasi” has developed a connotation of past autonomy which was disrupted during the British colonial period in India and has not been restored. 8] In Nepal, the infiltration of Khas people from west to east through the Middle Hills, then the consolidation of dozens of petty kingdoms by the Shahs followed by the usurpation by the Ranas brought indigenous nationalities under orthodox Hindu rule nd then codified inferior social and political status into a corpus of law known as Muluki Ain. Although the Shah kings were restored to power in the revolution of 1950, they still governed mostly for and through high caste Bahuns, Thakuris, Chhetris and Newars.

Enfranchisement of adivasis”except Newars”seldom advanced beyond lip service. This produced grievances that were instrumental in the Nepalese Civil War, where the rank and file of guerrilla fighters were largely adivasi. Thus in Nepal, there are no historical parallels to British interference with orthodox Hindu discrimination, or was there much resembling India’s significantly effective post-Independence efforts[citation needed] to improve the lot of adivasis.

In India, opposition to usage of the term is varied, and it has been argued that the “original inhabitant” contention is based on the fact that they have no land and are therefore asking for a land reform. They argue that they have been oppressed by the “superior group” and that therefore they require and demand a reward and more specifically a land reform . [9] In Northeast India, the term adiv¤si applies only to the Tea-tribes imported from Central India during colonial times, while all tribal groups refer collectively to themselves by using the English word “tribes”.

Scheduled tribes[edit] The Constitution of India, Article 366 (25) defines Scheduled Tribes as “such tribes or tribal communities or part of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to the scheduled Tribes (STs) tor the purposes ot t Constitution”. In Article 342, the procedure to be followed for specification of a scheduled tribe is prescribed. However, it does not contain the criterion for the specification of any community as scheduled tribe.

An often used criterion is based on attributes such as: Geographical isolation – they live in cloistered, exclusive, remote and inhospitable areas such as hills and forests. Backwardness – their livelihood is based on primitive agriculture, a low-value closed economy with a low level of technology that leads to their poverty. They have low levels of literacy and health. Distinctive culture, language and religion – communities have developed their own distinctive culture, language and religion. ? Shyness of contact – they have a marginal degree of contact with other cultures and people. [10] Particularly ulnerable tribal groups[edit] The Scheduled Tribe groups who were identified as more isolated from the wider community and who maintain a distinctive cultural identity have been categorised as ‘Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups’ (PT6s) (previously known as Primitive Tribal Groups) by the Government at the Centre. So far seventy-five tribal communities have been identified as ‘particularly vulnerable tribal groups’ in different States of India.

These hunting, food-gathering, and some agricultural communities, have been identified as less acculturated tribes among the tribal population groups and in need f special programmes for their sustainable development. The tribes are awakening and demanding their rights for special reservation quota for them. [11] Geographical overview[edit] A girl of the Chenchu tribe in the Nallamala forest, Andhra Pradesh There is a substantial list of Scheduled Tribes in India recognised as tribal under the Constitution of India. Tribal people constitute 8. % of the nation’s total population, over 104 million people according to the 2011 census. One concentration lives in a belt along the Himalayas stretching through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, nd Uttarakhand in the west, to Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and Nagaland in the northeast. In the northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and Nagaland, more than 90% of the population is tribal. However, in the remaining northeast states of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, and Tripura, tribal peoples form between 20 and 30% of the population.

Another concentration lives in the hilly areas of central India (Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha and, to a lesser extent, Andhra Pradesh); in this belt, which is bounded by the Narmada River to the north and the Godavari River to the southeast, ribal peoples occupy the slopes of the region’s mountains. Other tribals, including the Santals, live in Jharkhand and West Bengal. Central Indian states have the country’s largest tribes, and, taken as a whole, roughly 75% of the total tribal population live there, although the tribal population there accounts for only around 10% of the region’s total population.

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