Skip to main content

President told: Urgently stop "intrusion" of non-tribals into tribal areas, negatively impacting scheduled areas

By Ashok Shrimali*
In an unusual move, the apex body of several tribal organizations, Adivasi Coordination Front (ACF), has demanded, in a memorandum to President Pranab Kumar Mukherjee, that he, as the constitutional head of the scheduled areas, should take urgent steps to stop what a sharp deceleration “in the numbers of scheduled tribes in the scheduled areas of India.”
Alleging that “permanent settlements of non-scheduled tribes (STs) in scheduled areas are having a negative impact on the socio-cultural practices of the tribals”, ACF, in a representation made to the President of India, has said, he should issue “directions” restricting non-STs settling down in scheduled areas.”
Insisting that surveys of settlements and habitat rights in scheduled areas and tribal villages should be made on the basis of their “local ancestral heritage and territory”, the representation, made, among others, by Amar Singh Chaudhari from Gujurat, Gajanan Brahmane from Madhya Pradesh, Nicholas Barla from Odisha and Devendranath Champai from Jharkhand, says, “the STs should be recognized as the aborigines and indigenous people of India.”
Wanting the Government of India should completely change in the administrative for the adivasi areas, the representation said, a scheduled areas administrative service commission should be formed specifically for “those who wish to render service in scheduled/tribal areas”, so that they could “learn and understand the tribals’ social, cultural and traditions and geographical situations.”
Pointing out that this commission should give preference to the tribal youths and those interested in the development of scheduled areas, the representation said, the tribal population – forming 8.6 per cent of the population of the country with a literacy rate of 59 per cent and a dropout rate of dropout rate is 70.9 per cent for children from Classes I to X – suffers from “unemployment leading to immense poverty can be directly linked to the increase in terrorism and rising membership of tribals in the ranks of Maoists and Naxals.”
Pointing out how tribals have been dispossessed from their own lands, the representation says, “During 1951-1990, 85 lakh tribals were displaced due to dams, mines, industries, wildlife sanctuaries etc., forming 40 per cent of the total displacement of 2.13 crore people against ST population percentage of 7.5 per cent.” However, it regrets, “Out of the 85 lakhs displaced, about 21 lakhs tribals were rehabilitated.”
Alleging that the Adivasi are not just being “displaced and dispossessed” from their ancestral land and territories, the representation says, they are also being deprived of their resources for survival, and all this is being done in the name development. “Often innocents are killed in fake encounters by security forces”, it says, adding, “We are termed as criminals, anti- nationals, accused falsely and put in the jails. We are harassed, extorted and treated inhuman way often by the state machineries.”
Making several proposals, the representation says, the state-level Tribes Advisory Council (TACs) should be “reconstituted, by removing the non-ST members and/or chief ministers immediately”, underlining, instead, the governors should “ function as per the advice/consultations with TAC for Schedule Areas and Tribal Areas.”
Other steps proposed include recognition of scheduled tribe languages in the eighth schedule of the Constitution, recognition of Adivasi religion separately in the national census (as per the 2011 Census the population under Sarna code 49,57,467, whereas the number of Jain religion is 44,51,753), and setting up of national, state, district, block, and village-level tribal advisory councils.
---
*Secretary-general, Mines, Minerals and People

Comments

TRENDING

Call to support IIM-Bangalore professor, censured for seeking action against Uniliver

Counterview Desk
Sections of the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) across India have strongly reacted to the decision to censure Dr Deepak Malghan, a faulty at IIM-Bangalore. Prabhir Vishnu Poruthiyil, who is faculty at IIM-Tiruchirapalli, has sought wider solidarity with Dr Malghan, saying, "The administration has censured Deepak for merely suggesting a meaningful action against Hindustan Unilever for their abysmal environmental record" by “disinviting” it for campus placement.

Actionable programme for 2019 polls amidst lynch mobs, caste violence, hate mongering

Counterview Desk
Reclaiming the Republic, a civil rights network, has released a document prepared under the chairmanship of Justice AP Shah (retired) -- and backed, among others, by Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan, bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander, economist Prabhat Patnaik, Right to transparency activist Anjali Bhardwaj and social scientist Yogendra Yadav  (click HERE for full list) -- with the "aim" of putting forth policy and legislative reforms needed to “protect” and “strengthen” the Constitutional safeguards for India’s democratic polity.

Noam Chomsky, top scholars ask NRIs to take stand on human rights violations in India

Counterview Desk
Renowned world scholars, including Noam Chomsky, James Petras, Angela Davis, Fredric Jameson, Bruno Latour, Ilan Pappe, Judith Butler, among others, have issued a statement castigating the Narendra Modi government for allegedly creating an environment of fear through arrests, intimidation and violence.

India under Modi "promoted" crony business, protected financial fraudsters, fueled bigotry

By Sandeep* and Rahul Pandey**
Narendra Modi's ascension to power was accompanied with jubilation and expectation. His supporters were expecting an end to era of corruption and initiation of good governance which was described as Achche Din. His party's adherence to idea of nationalism was believed to make India a vibrant country and guide India to be a world leader. He gave the slogan of 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas' conveying that his government was for all.
Corruption The government system is infested with corruption. A minimum of 10% is siphoned off from government schemes and projects, some of which goes back to political party in power and remaining is pocketed by various administrative, executive and political functionaries. This corruption continues and has increased. Now an additional Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) person working as Official on Special Duty or some equivalent position in every government department also has a share in this booty.
The Narendra M…

Inviting Rajapaksa to India "insult" to 1,40,000 Tamils killed by Sri Lankan army

Counterview Desk
In the context of Sri Lankan opposition leader Mahinda Rajapaksa being invited in India, about 75 human rights activists*, claiming to be concerned about rights violations during the civil war in Sri Lanka, especially in 2009, have joined together to express their dissent through a statement.

A Godse legacy? BJP rulers have "refrained" from calling Gandhi Father of the Nation

By Dr Hari Desai*
What an agony! On one hand, the entire India is celebrating the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but on the other side, so-called Hindu Mahasabha members have been found mock-enacting the killing of the Mahatma and celebrating the murder by distributing sweets!

No aadhaar, no ration? Hard blow by Gujarat govt on poor and marginalized

By Pankti Jog*
Only those who have aadhaar registration and linked it with ration card will get ration from a Public Distribution System (PDS) shop. This decision of the Gujarat government has hit very badly thousands of poor and marginalized communities of Gujarat, especially during the drought year.

Not just Indian women engineers, men too face sexual harassment at workplace: US study

By Rajiv Shah
A recent research, carried out jointly by two US-based non-profit organizations, Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and Center for WorkLife Law (WLL), based at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, has found that 45% of women engineers as against 28% of men engineers complained that it was perceived as “inappropriate when women argued at work, even when it was work-related.”

Post-advisory, Govt of India appears reluctant to ban e-cigarettes, "harmful" to kids

By Rajiv Shah
Is the Government of India dilly-dallying over the issue of banning e-cigarettes, which have been declared by anti-tobacco activists across the world as providing “an entryway to nicotine addiction”, especially among the kids? It would seem so, if the latest developments are any guide.

Poser to Modi: Why is Gujarat not fulfilling Constitutional obligations to minorities?

Counterview Desk
In an open letter, Mujahid Nafees, convener, Minority Coordination Committee (MCC), a Gujarat-based civil rights organization, has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi on infringing upon MCC activists’ constitutional right to protest. Nafees says, they had no other demands except that the Gujarat government should move towards fulfilling the constitutional obligations towards minorities and international treaties to which India is a signatory.