Long before the Independence of India, the Tribal were fighting for their untimely existence. Those who were native to this land, today they are forced to fight for their own rights. Earlier, where the identity of the tribal was from India’s land, now their identity has been confined to water, forest, and land. It is said that tribal society has gone through a structural transformation from the mainstream to marginalized. But the truth is that the system has been scheming to kill their true identity in the name of development of the system. The tribal section is not limited to the Chhattisgarh, but their population is in the entire country and their struggle has remained the same in every state. You can understand by this example when Birsa Munda organized awareness among the tribal in Jharkhand area and was fighting against British and the country rulers. During the same period, under the leadership of Govind Guru, tribal of Rajasthan and Gujarat were fighting against Britishers. The point is that there was no communication between them, even when the battle took place in one style at the same period.
Let’s know about Tribal
The lives of tribal who make unique identities from water, forest and land and their ancient culture are very simple, which are completely dependent on the forest. Apart from urban life, they live in dense forests and most of the food is dependent on farming. Tribal have always been simple and also diligent as well. They are very hard working and even today, the tribal are very diligent, who still do not withdraw from hard work. Adivasis basically worship the nature and today their nature is being stripped from them and the forest is being illegally occupied.
If you talk about it, it is a matter of disappointment that no media person openly talks about land issues related to tribal. Today, in the era of Globalization and Industrialization, the rights of the tribal are being exploited, it is not only disappointing but their fundamental and constitutional rights are also being violated. Today, journalism is losing its existence in a true sense, which is a big misfortune. Journalism which is a ‘Mirror of the society’, is losing its identity. Also, the position of entitlement is that in many places some journalists are not given promotion because they are in a tribal cast.
The real plight of journalists in Chhattisgarh can be seen in Bastar. Journalism is not easy in Bastar, because journalists face many challenges and pressures. In addition to this, journalists are sometimes put behind bars for writing tribal real issues and facts. It can be said that the voice of tribal is a ‘Bell of Danger’. If you see how many tribal people working in government and private organizations, today the condition has quite changed because without any good approach, it is difficult to find a government or a private job. Apart from this, if we see the participation of the tribal in media houses are very less, we cannot make excuses that tribal and Dalits do not have the ability to write and speak good English, so they are not allowed to work in the media house because any mainstream news institute in India can easily testify that there is no shortage of bad journalists in India.
Why Tribal cut off from the mainstream of the society
Actually, tribals are not cut off from the society but it has been deliberately cut off from the modern society. As it is known, the tribal population lives in forests where there is abundant botanical property and there is a huge amount of natural resources which government wants to occupy in its possession. By claiming Development, the government wants to grab the land from tribal and give big business houses to them, so that they can get maximum capital.
The big leaders will say that the tribal culture should be preserved but the truth is that the tribal culture is still as advanced as it was in history, but these leaders repeatedly repeating such stories, they themselves put them in the last line of society. You will be surprised to know that part of the tribal culture is also a ‘Dance’ in which there is no audience, but the whole village dances together which represents their strong unity. It will be the courage of Adivasis who have been fighting for their existence for centuries, but till now they did not give up.
What their Constitutional Rights
In Indian Constitution, their special provisions and laws have been made for the Tribal which is as follows –
1. Article 342 – Under this article, there is a special category proposal in which social groups will come, which will be considered as Scheduled Tribes for government work.
- Article 15 (4) – It has been clarified that the steps taken in the interest of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes will not be considered in the category of discrimination on the basis of caste, species, gender etc. To prevent the division or fragmentation of tribal property.
- Article 19 (5) – Accordingly, the State may prohibit any citizen’s civil rights, such as free variance in a tribal area, making a house there or acquiring property etc.
- Article 45 – Directs the state to promote educational and economic interests of Scheduled Tribes with special care.
- Article 16 and 355 – There is a provision for reservation in Central and State level public services. Article 338 recommends the formation of a National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
- Article 339 (2) – Under this, the Central Government can exercise its executive powers to give states instructions for making plans and implementing them in the interest of Scheduled Castes.
- Article 275 (1) – It gives directions to the Center to give subsidiary assistance to States on tribal welfare schemes.
- Article 164 – According to this, there is a special provision for the protection of tribal interests in Bihar (Current Jharkhand), Madhya Pradesh (Current Chhattisgarh) and Orissa.
- Article 330, 332 and 335 – There are immediate provisions for reservation of Special Representations and seats of scheduled castes and tribes in the legislatures of the Central and State. The introduction of many policies and programs for tribal development is the overall return of these constitutional provisions.
Role of Tribal in the area of politics in Chhattisgarh
In politics, if you talk about tribal leaders, their role is very less. Tribal is used as ‘vote bank’. There is a reserved place for the tribal in politics, by this they easily get the seats of legislature and parliament, but the path ahead in politics is closed for the tribal.
You can see how many Adivasis reached high power in politics? After independence, how many tribal leaders are in the chair of Home Minister, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Finance Minister?
Tribal leaders are not allowed to do this because they are not capable, but the question is whether the politics of our country has given them an opportunity to move forward? If you only talk about tribal leaders in Chhattisgarh, here many tribal leaders are sponsored by ruling party. Adivasis involvement in political power is crucial for a strong democracy, but you will see the less participation of tribal leaders in Chhattisgarh’s political corridors. At the time of elections, the leaders first remember the tribal and the leader goes out to ask for their well-being. Recently, In Chhattisgarh, the opposition party has come to find ‘Vikas’ (Development). For years, these leaders do not care about ‘Vikas’ but when they come in the election, they leave in the journey of ‘Vikas’. The political story of the tribals of Chhattisgarh is so much that they are used only for the vote bank.
There is no doubt that the ruling power is exploiting Adivasis socially, politically and financially. India is given the status of the most powerful democracy in the world, but the reality near it is very dangerous. History has witnessed that tribal have been fighting for centuries, but they have been defeated every time and their struggle continues. The problem begins with politics under which the ruling power makes the sponsored leaders for the tribal society, who does not even know the law and constitution. Ruling government uses them as a puppet for own political benefits. If tribal leaders work as slaves of the government, how can they develop tribal society?
Today, most people do not know the history of the tribal, as well as efforts are being made to eradicate their history gradually. There is a tribal population in the forests where their terror of Naxalism too. Many times, police officers killed tribal by calling them as Naxalites and there is no voice raised for their justice. Today the tribal are fighting for their water, forest, and land, which the government and the newspaper are giving to this fight as the name of the Revolt.
Today the situation is that if any community demands their rights from the government, then most of the Indian Media Houses present their demands as rebellion. There is a very famous quote said by Vladimir Lenin, ‘A lie told often enough becomes the truth and same situation that the tribal are facing today.