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

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”