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

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Modi model? "Refusal" to build Narmada's micro canals, keep Kutch dry; help industry

By Medha Patkar*
This is the latest photograph of the Kutch Branch Canal (KBC) of the Sardar Sarovar, as of April 8! What does it show, expose, and what memories do you recall? Is it dry or dead? Is it a canal or a carcass of the same?

Indian talc products contain "contaminated" asbestos structures, can cause cancer: Study

Counterview Desk
A recent study, using polarizing light microscopy, transmission electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and X-ray analysis on multiple over-the-counter Indian talc products for the presence of asbestos, has concluded that large quantities of body talc products are likely to pose a public health risk for asbestos-related diseases, especially for the cancers related to asbestos exposure.

Why are you silent on discrimination against Dalit jawans? Macwan questions Modi

By Rajiv Shah
Close on the heels of releasing his book in Gujarati, "Bhed Bharat", which lists 319 cases of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis across the country over the last five years, well-known Gujarat Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan has shot an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, telling him the reasons why he does not want vote for the BJP.

During Emergency, the ruler was extolled but Opposition wasn't punched around: Scribe

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released book, “India: The Wrong Transition”, by a top Delhi-based scribe Anand K Sahay, has quoted “journalistic circles” to say that the Indian mainstream media – with certain “honourable exceptions” – has virtually abandoned the “practice of journalism”, and  this happened following a “sting operation” that showed that “the crème de la crème of Indian journalism were only too willing, for a suitable price, to let poisonous Hindutva propaganda prevail in their news columns.”

PepsiCo warned: Withdraw cases against Gujarat farmers or face dire consequences

By Our Representative
About 200 farmers’ leaders and activists, in a letter to Dr KV Prabhu, chairperson, Protection of Plant Varieties and Farmers’ Rights Authority (PPVFRA), and Dr R C Agrawal, registrar general, PPVFRA, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, have demanded that PepsiCo immediately withdraw all the legal suits it has slapped on many potato farmers in different districts of Gujarat.

Jharkhand Adivasi lynched to death by mob "chanting" Jai Shri Ram: Fact-finding team

Counterview Desk
On April 10, 2019, Prakash Lakda, a 50-year old Adivasi of Jurmu village of Gumla’s Dumri block, was lynched to death by a mob of men from the Sahu community of neighbouring Jairagi village. Three other victims from Jurmu – Peter Kerketta, Belarius Minj and Janerius Minj – sustained severe injuries due to the beating by the mob. A fact-finding team of Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JJM), comprising of several activists and representatives of member organisations, conducted a fact-finding inquiry into the incident on April 14-15.

Bill Gates "promoting" GMO, Bt cotton, like cartels that have roots in Hitler's Germany

By Our Representative
World-renowned environmental leader and ecologist Dr Vandana Shiva has expressed concern that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft Corporation, has joined the bandwagon of “a poison cartel of three" – Monsanto and Bayer, Syngenta and ChemChina, Dow and DuPont – all of whom allegedly have “roots in Hitler’s Germany and finding chemicals to kill people”.

Investigation shows Narmada downstream "seriously" polluted. Reason: apathy, greed

By Rohit Prajapati, Krishnakant, Swati Desai*
Our investigation regarding quality of water flowing in the Narmada river downstream of the Sardar Sarovar Dam (SSD), dated April 6, 2019, between 11.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. reiterates, what is commonly known now, that the Sardar Sarovar Project (SSP) is planned without considering its impact on the downstream Narmada River stretch of 161 kilometres, its ecology, biodiversity and fishery, and lakhs of people living close to and dependent on the river directly or indirectly. This, in turn, has led to its present disastrous state.

Emergence of a rare Dalit teacher in IIT-Kanpur "disturbed" certain faculty members

By PS Krishnan, IAS (Retd)*
Dr Subrahmanyam Sadrela, a faculty member in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Kanpur since January 1, 2018, and one of the rare Dalit members of the faculty in IIT group of institutions, is facing the threat of revocation of his PhD thesis, and thereby also jeopardizing his job and career.