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Tribal Exploitation In India

Friday - November 17, 2017 6:05 am , Category : WTN SPECIAL

By Jaya Khare 
India is home to hundreds of different tribes and indigenous ethnic communities spread across various states of the country. Tribal communities constitute about 9 per cent of our population, which comes to about 105 million people. 

They are spread mostly across the states of Odisha, Bengal, MP, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, the north eastern states, Andaman islands and also parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. These tribal groups have their own language, history, religion and cultural heritage, which are all unique in themselves and also equally vulnerable. S

Several languages and cultures have been wiped out due to the domination of principal languages and spread of other dominant groups and communities. 

Most of the tribal communities are today marginalised and limited to forests and remote corners. To protect the rights of these communities and promote their culture the Indian constitution has laid down strict rules and there is reservation in government jobs for them. 

However, most of the tribal groups are still limited to their areas and haven’t been able to be a part of the mainstream successfully due to various factors. It is only a minority which has been able to take advantage of the government benefits, while the rest are still in their primitive mould. 

Tribals, due to their relative lack of education and awareness, have been abused and exploited in various ways by interest groups for decades. They have taken advantage of their poverty and lack of resources to use them as per their will. They have lost their religion and language and yoked to the format propagated and endorsed by majority groups. 

Not only this cultural bankruptcy but the tribal people also face loss of economic independence and self-sufficiency due to the invasion of private interests in their affairs and resources. Despite several legal safeguard measures in place, on the ground the tribals don’t have the kind of independence and rights they are supposed to be having. 

Their cultural richness and indigenous beauty of homespun ethos and values have been downplayed and undermined by capitalist enterprises, which want to treat every individual as a potential customer, where relationship is only based on money. 

This has left the tribal communities feel neglected and suspicious of outside forces. Their rift and isolation from urban or ‘civilised’ society thus is wider than ever. Even their leaders who enter the political system learn the tricks to dupe and use their own people for petty familial gains. 

We need more stringent protective rights for security and prosperity of the tribal communities who are an indelible part of India’s 5,000-year-old history and heritage.-
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