Indian Tribal History

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The historical records of tribals in India was first documented by the British anthropologists who used studied the tribal communities with the intension of subduing them and ruling over them. Hence it is no surprise that one of the first and to this day the most famous scholar of tribal studies is a white man known by the name Verrier Elwin. Though a large amount of time and research has been invested in studying the tribals of the different regions of India has been done, the fundamentals still remains based on the writings of Verrier Elwin. Verrier Elwin was the father of the school that believed the tribal societies are totally independent societies and live a life which is much more meaningful than the so called mainstream societies. Though…show more content…
Ghurye and then by M.N Srinivas who supported Thakkar’s ideology and by Evelyn Wood who supported Ewin’s ideology. The sad fact is that after more than half a century since the initiation of this argument we are still at square one and have not identified an alternative approach. The Draft Tribal Policy 2006 still interprets the same arguments and is still searching for an alternative that could fit in and would preserve the tribals identity, tradition and culture at the same time make available to them the benefits of the mainstream facilities of health, education and other concepts of development if they prefer to, and it should be completely left at their discretion and not be forced on them. The first signs of any serious state intervention for the welfare of the tribal communities came when the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in his foreword to Verrier Elwin’s book A philosophy for NEFA (1957)…show more content…
As most of the policies in India are still depending on the research done during the colonial times, the same can be said of the National Tribal Policy 2006. Reading through the draft, makes it very evident that the drafting committee has not involved any of the genuine tribal representatives in the policy framing, i.e. information from the Gram Sabhas in the fifth schedule areas have failed to cascade upstream through the Tribal Advisory Council (TAC), and the same about the 6th schedule areas through the autonomous councils to the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. The draft policy clearly shows that the ministry have failed in understanding the concept of tribe and have just stuck on to the layman’s stereotype notion of the word tribe or tribal, a trivially touching upon the idea of scheduling and de-scheduling tribes and the questions on the present form of reservation excluding certain tribal communities in favour of another. The approach of the ministry has been of a kind suggesting that the tribals as a group are incapable of making their own decisions and hence the govt. like a father figure comes forward to lift them out of their misery. Roy Burman in his article “DRAFT NATIONAL TRIBAL POLICY OF 2006 Creating Consternation” calls this the “paternalistic attitude” of the govt in framing the policy. A confirmation of this can be seen in the section for
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