THE SITUATION OF TRIBALSTHE SITUATION OF TRIBALS
THE SITUATION OF THE MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES WITHTHE SITUATION OF THE MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES WITH
SPECIAL REFERENCE TO SOUTH INDIASPECIAL REFERENCE TO SOUTH INDIA
-Prof. Jaya Prakash Rao
Friends from dalit world to tribal world, tribals are the community or communities, whom the
historians have ignored. If we take of the history of mankind about 5000 yrs ago, all where
tribals, in the course of some people adapting to agriculture an activity, they got excluded
from the larger process taking place all over the world. The history of tribals has been totally
One cannot understand the problem of south Indian tribes, without understanding -----------.
Dalits are found in every village of the country. Unlike dalits tribals are confined to certain
pockets of India. If we look at the spatial distribution of tribals they are confined to 5 pockets
of India. NE state seven sisters are purely tribal states. Manipur, arunachal, mizoram,
meganlaya, nagaland. Assam, tripura and manipur also has large tribal population. NE tribal
part is not in consistent with rest of India. Mongoloid features and language is also Tibetan
related. The tribals are distributed within the countries, they are spilt between on either
borders. Tribals unrest is also there. Peace negotiations were also
Ongoing. In NE khasis speak the language of the
The second major tribal belt is Present Jarkandh, part of Orissa, Bihar and WB. North central
India tribal belt. Santahals, Mundas, etc. Austrict languages. Realted to the Australian
aborginals. Next major tribal belt is south central tribal belt.
When we come to south central tribal belt. Eastern Maha, Nother Andhra, Sourther Orissa and
Chattisgarh. Gonds – sub groups are also there.
Wester India Tribal belt – North Maha, south and North eastern Gujarat, Southeaster Rajastahn
and western part of MP.
Coming to south – AP, Karnataka and Kerala
Minor concentration of tribals in Uttaranchal and HP. They practice polygamy.
All the people of lakshadweep and primitieve group of tribals in Andaman and Nicobar.
Tribes of AP culturally and geographically forms part of south central tribal belt. They
constitute 7% of the total population. That is 7 crores population is in India of the total 30
crores tribal population in the world.
If we look historically the tribals, they were pushed to the – hilly and forested areas, what they
though are the useless lands. Fertile river plains were occupied for agriculture.
Whoever were the rulers, could not extract any taxes from the tribals. Tribals were totally an
independent entity. Whenever the kings went for hunting, they cooperated with them and also
used to gave them the gifts found in the forests.
1757 battle of Plassy takes place. Siraj-Ud-doulah, the company wants to have a piece of land.
East India company gets control over Bengal. The British don’t want to spend money of their
own, to increase their revenue for all their administrative needs, they have forced people from
plains to go to the forest areas and cultivate, they are currently the places in parts of Bihar
and Bengal area. Which is also called Rajmahal Hills – it was also called pahadi. When a large
no. of pahadis started raiding on the people arrived from plains into their area, this went on
for 10 years. The british tried to suppress the fight of pahadis. It was the first peoples
resistance. Any british were also thinking of imposing laws.
By the end of 1780s one british officer posted started to think. The british were forcing lots of
money and manpower. The laws which the companies made for the civilisans, the tribals have
not liked it. Therefore the east India company laws were not applied to the tribal areas. So
they made agreement with the chiefs of the villages. The rajmahal Hilly areas have become
the excluded area.
British began to expand into the present Jharkahan area. It has witnessed a massive tribal
uprising from 1803 to 1880 AD. British were not applied a north central tribal India, whole lot
of tribals were excluded.
Similarly the Southern Central Tribal belt had rebellions, so they were also declared as non
regulation areas. So British agreed their laws will not apply in tribal areas, so they remained
independent till independence. There were thirty rebels between 1830 and 1924.
In the north east the British rule ended at the collectorate of the Kohima and they could not
enter beyond that. In the present Arunachal Pradesh also they could not do much.
There fore tribals have been independently de-linked and they had been living independently,
with mythical sovereignty over those areas.
These rebellions were suppressed by using excessive force. The tribals who were gregarious in
their own village have become not so communicating with outside. They grew suspicious of the
outside people. For example, Koons in Orissa used to sacrifice humans, to suppress them the
British have killed several hundreds of them, which is far more than the total no of people
sacrificed by them historically.
Coorg – when the British have discovered the advantage of coffee plantation, they were
converted into slaves. One of the tribes have decided to not to have children at all, so that
they children would not suffer similarly.
In NE there are many areas s
The NE areas are declared Scheduled district act was enacted in the year 1874 AD earlier they
were calling them non regulated areas.
Because of these struggles and resistance to the British to Tanabanis, Bihar. The god has given
this land to us, the British said that the land is called chanda. The tribals retain independence
and British created certain legislative processes. Initially they were called backward areas and
agencies. In 1935 govt. of India act they have classified the tribals areas into two categories –
excluded areas and partially excluded areas. In excluded areas not administration and in
partially excluded areas light administration.
In Nilagiris and Western ghats there was sudden influx of population, so it gets excluded from
both the above categories discussed above.
In 1947 AD we got independence and the government has made marginal modifications to what
the British have charted and few more additions. Unless the constitutional protection, the
government has made special guarantees, like SCs and STs. Which gets reflected in the
constitution, reservation in the education institutions and employment. If we remove
reservations neither a single SC or ST would get into the parliament. Similarly if they would be
deprived of their employment.
For tribals they have special provision and into two categories. The areas which have no
administration are included into 6th
schedule and other tribal areas are included into 5th
These concessions given to tribals are not gift of the constitution or anything. The tribals got it
through great sacrifices.
Provisions to declare certain areas as schedule areas and Schedule tribes. The legal
terminology is SC and ST. Which are in the schedule tribe.
In Indian terminology there is not term for tribe in their language also. Adivasi, girijan etc.
Every tribe considers itself as the center of the universe and we are on the periphery.
Schedule: Governor has been given powers – notification and regulation powers. Governor
can issue a law applicable to schedule areas. A Tribal advisory council is constituted for any
regulation which has to be okayed by it. Governor can issue laws for peace and good
governance. Under the notification powers the governor is more powerful than state and the
parliament. If the laws in tribal areas are detrimental to them, he can take off those laws with
schedule areas: 10 autonomous subjects are given, upon which the autonomous dristrict
council makes laws. In other areas only state or parliament can make.
Besides constitutional provisions, there were several laws to protect from non-tribals. Inspite
of the great deal of importance was given to them, they have forgotten them. Most of the
money is spent in accessible areas, they are unable to reach the inaccessible areas.
In 1960’s there was a uprising in parts of Srikakulam, unless we do something it will speard like
wild fire in all the tribal areas. They prepared a plan called Modified area development Project
(MADA), they also used police force. Unless we take the development in a modified way there
is no way. Most of the funds come from central government and from state govt. it is nominal.
Integrated tribal development has taken plance in 1970s, Dr. Bhama dev. The tribal areas
developed but the tribals did not develop. Contractors, burocrats, arrack contractors,
teachers, traders etc went into such areas, but still the tribals remained backward.
Once the development process started, all those plans which were marginal. 80% of Inidan
forests remained in the tribal areas. Only 20% of the forests are in the non-tribal areas. 60-65%
of water resources are in tribal areas. Similarly the minerals are also located in the tribal
areas. 90% of the persons displaced because of projects are tribals now. For ex. Nilagiris.
Inspite of the development, there is no tribal area in the country without unrest in the country.
The wealth as been taken away by both state and individuals. The conflict between tribals and
the dalits is because the dalits were historically were never given land. The dalits were part of
the larger society. The entire forest belonged to the tribals, therefore there is conflict
between them. The tribal is also not able to maintain his reasource base if at all given to him.
A good adivasi is one who doesn’t resist displacement is the definition of the developed
Siluru river in Andhra Pradesh, most of the villages around that place live in darkness. In
nilagiris area also, a particular river is there at 14 places power is generated but no power is
given to them.
When the government wanted to give constitutional provisions of panchayat raj. The 73 and 74
amendments were not extended to schedule areas. The parliament would make a special
provision for those areas. Except few states all other states have extended to schedule areas
also this PR act. A case was filed in this reagerd. Buria committee was constituted, which gave
radical recommendations. Once we won the case it was felt to make all India movement. In
1996 after two years of all India struggle, and for the first time all over the India began to
demand the Buria committee recommendations.
amendment the constitutions has given / recognized the community to use its
natural resources. The communities capacities to settle disputes. In schedule areas all positions
of chairpersons would be resereved to tribals. In case wherever there are villages others the
reservation of tribals should not be less than 50%. It has given powers to GP and gram sabhas –
prevention of intoxicants producation, minor water bodies, prospect and extract minor
minerals, gram sabha is the owner of the minor forest produce. Gram sabha can regulate
money lending in schedule areas. Restore the land to the original owners from non-tribals.
Unfortunately neither the provisions of 5th
schedule or panchayat raj protections are not
applicable to the tribals of TN, Kerala, and Karnataka. We have to bring in a movement to
declare these tribals and areas into the above.
As in tripura, they have created a notional district although not contagious, should be extended
to these tribal areas. Similarly we should do for non-tribal parts of chenchu areas. In western
part they are made into bioreserves.
5 enemies of tribals
Elephants – Displacement – displacement of people
Tiger - Industrialisation - Mining projects, factories
Bear – Forest department
Fox – Revenue department
Tortoise – Tribal development department
Special to the southern tribal areas
Special facilitation for childerns education
prepare the communities to face globalisation / market economy.
Set up processing the minor forest produce / Set up marketing facilities
Question & Answer
Q: Alienation of tribals started in 1864 after first forest act?
Before the British came the entire land was owned by the community. When the East India
company started, looking the property tax. The british made tribes thieves in the forests,
byladullah mines example where officially only 8 families were displaced.
Q: Land alleniation
During tribal uprising the
The powers given to the gram sabha, is important.
Q: Total Indian population 7% are represented by tribals, any provision to withdrawn by
7% of population have been enrolled.
Regulation 1 of 17 in AP, the a non-tribal cannot sell it to only tribal / to govt. and not to any
Q: Committee from tribal people, GCC not allowing others to get the goods
The Prakasham area is not schedule area, GCC can fix floor price. GCC cannot have monopoly
Q: why more and more naxalites are seen in tribal areas
Forest places are suitable for hiding so they are found. In tribal areas there are no feudalism.
They can extract money from tribals.
To prevent the local tribals joining the naxalite movement has amended 16 aspects.
Transcript of lecture by: Dr. N. Sai Bhaskar Reddy