Academic & Law Serials


Indian Journal of Social Research Vol.54 (5) (Sep - Oct, 2013) (465-473)


Philip Kamei
Research Scholar, Department of Economics, Manipur University, Imphal


The issues of tribalism have been debatable issues ever since free India. Some people feel that enough of reservation and quotas system in our country while some section were of the view that this is something that is rightful till we are able to bridge the gap of development among the general and backward classes and making everyone equal in the eyes of the constitution. Therefore in this regards, the paper seek to examine closely what are the leakages, whose rights are excluded and whose rights are included. Is it enough justification being already done to the so called scheduled tribes and are living at par with other class of people in our country? I feel time is ripe for us to study and examine especially in multi-ethnic societies where people like to go for egalitarian society and leave alone without hurting and prejudice their rightful claim. Most Indian live in villages and indeed villages life mostly mean to Schedule Tribes who are living with low per capita income, low level of employment and low level of education etc.


There are two stream of understanding of the tribal and indigenous people in India. Firstly the tribal self-understanding, secondly the ruling elite’s understand. The later is headed and guided by the country’s leaders and the anthropologists/ sociologists who belong to the high castes and upper classes and espouse modernizing models. In reality both streams of understanding deeply contradict each other. During the times of independence, there were only a handful of persons to represent the interests of the tribal and indigenous peoples. The ruling class was faced with the existence of people spread out in all parts of the country. The three main theories (Isolation, Assimilation and Integration) were proposed to face the question of the tribal. This is in fact unfinished dream and vision of the ruling elite of our country without being considered on the ground reality. Tribal are still the same as before, there are still many questions relate to tribal and its provision given in the constitution and its implementation; but yet to experience and assert fully our constitutional right to live like other people with equal opportunities and challenges in the eye of law and constitution. In such scenario time is ripe for reform and justification to be done to address the social, economic, cultural and political will of the tribal for the proper administration efficiency of our vast country. Tribal are very much backward in all walk of life be it politics, culture, social, economic and infrastructure etc.

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