Adivasi is the collective term for the indigenous peoples of mainland
Adivasi make up 8.6% of India's population, or
104 million people, according to the 2011 census, and a large
percentage of the Nepalese population. They comprise a
substantial indigenous minority of the population of
India and Nepal.
The same term
Adivasi is used for the ethnic minorities of Bangladesh
and the native
Tharu people of Nepal. The word is also used in
the same sense in Nepal, as is another word, janajati (Nepali:
जनजाति; janajāti), although the political context
differed historically under the Shah and Rana dynasties.
Adivasi societies are particularly prominent in Andhra Pradesh,
Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha,
West Bengal and some north-eastern states, and the Andaman and Nicobar
Islands. Many smaller tribal groups are quite sensitive to ecological
degradation caused by modernisation. Both commercial forestry and
intensive agriculture have proved destructive to the forests that had
endured swidden agriculture for many centuries. Adivasis in central
India have been victims of the
Salwa Judum campaign by the
Government against the Naxalite
insurgency.[better source needed]
1 Connotations of the word adivāsi
2 Geographical overview
2.1 Scheduled tribes
3 Constitutional Safeguards for STs
3.1 Educational & Cultural Safeguards
3.2 Social Safeguard
3.3 Economic Safeguards
3.4 Political Safeguards
3.5 Safeguards under Various laws
4 Particularly vulnerable tribal groups
5.1 Ancient India
5.2 Medieval India
5.3 British period
5.3.1 Participation in Indian independence movement
220.127.116.11 List of rebellions
6 Tribal classification criteria and demands
6.1 Demands for tribal classification
6.2 Endogamy, exogamy and ethnogenesis
6.3 Other criteria
7.1.2 Other tribal animist
Adivasi roots of modern Hinduism
7.2.6 Other tribals and Hinduism
7.3 Demands for a separate religious code
8 Tribal system
Adivasi (STs) Demography in India
11 Tribal languages
13 Notable Adivasis
13.1 Independence movement
13.2 Politics and social service
13.3 Art and literature
13.8 Tribal movement
15 See also
18 Further reading
19 External links
Connotations of the word adivāsi
Woman of Banni tribe in traditional attire from Gujarat
Although terms such as atavika, vanavāsi ("forest dwellers"), or
girijan ("mountain people") are also used for the tribes of India,
adivāsi carries the specific meaning of being the original and
autochthonous inhabitants of a given region. It is a modern Sanskrit
word specifically coined for that purpose in the 1930s, from ādi
'beginning, origin' and vāsin 'dweller' (itself from vas 'to dwell'),
thus literally meaning ‘original inhabitant’. Over time,
unlike the terms "aborigines" or "tribes", the word "adivasi" has
developed a connotation of past autonomy disrupted during the British
colonial period in
India and not yet having been restored. i
In India, opposition to usage of the term is varied. Critics argue
that the "original inhabitant" contention is based on the fact that
they have no land and are therefore asking for a land reform. The
adivasis argue that they have been oppressed by the "superior group"
and that they require and demand a reward, more specifically land
In Northeast India, the term adivāsi applies only to the Tea-tribes
imported from Central
India during colonial times. All tribal groups
refer collectively to themselves by using the English word "tribes".
Naga man dressed in traditional attire from Nagaland
A substantial list of Scheduled Tribes in
India are recognised as
tribal under the Constitution of India. Tribal people constitute 8.6%
of the nation's total population, over 104 million people
according to the 2011 census. One concentration lives in a belt along
the Himalayas stretching through Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh,
Uttarakhand in the west, to Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, Arunachal
Pradesh, Mizoram, Manipur, and
Nagaland in the northeast. In the
northeastern states of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, and
Nagaland, more than 90% of the population is tribal. However, in the
remaining northeast states of Assam, Manipur, Sikkim, and Tripura,
tribal peoples form between 20 and 30% of the population. Other tribal
peoples, including the Santals, live in
Jharkhand and West Bengal.
Central Indian states have the country's largest tribes, and, taken as
a whole, roughly 75% of the total tribal population live there,
although the tribal population there accounts for only around 10% of
the region's total population.
Smaller numbers of tribal people are found in
Odisha in eastern India;
Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and
Kerala in southern India; in western India
Gujarat and Rajasthan, and in the union territories of Lakshadweep
Andaman Islands and Nicobar Islands. About one percent of the
Tamil Nadu are tribal, whereas about six
Andhra Pradesh and
Karnataka are members of tribes.
The term 'Scheduled Tribes'(ST's) first appeared in the Constitution
of India. Article 366 (25) defined scheduled tribes as "such tribes or
tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal
communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for
the purposes of this constitution". Article 342, which is reproduced
below, prescribes procedure to be followed in the matter of
specification of scheduled tribes.
Constitutional Safeguards for STs
Educational & Cultural Safeguards
Art. 15(4) -
Special provisions for advancement of other backward
classes (which includes STs);
Art. 29 - Protection of Interests of Minorities (which includes STs);
Art. 46 - The State shall promote, with special care, the educational
and economic interests of the weaker sections of the people, and in
particular, of the Scheduled Castes, and the Scheduled Tribes, and
shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of
Art. 350 - Right to conserve distinct Language, Script or Culture;
Art. 350 - Instruction in Mother Tongue.
Art. 23 - Prohibition of traffic in human beings and beggar and other
similar form of forced labour
Art. 24 - Forbidding Child Labour.
Art.244 - Clause(1) Provisions of Fifth Schedule shall apply to the
administration & control of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled
Tribes in any State other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram
Tripura which are covered under Sixth Schedule, under Clause (2)
of this Article.
Art. 275 - Grants in-Aid to specified States (STs &SAs) covered
under Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution.
Art.164 (1) - Provides for Tribal Affairs Ministers in Bihar, MP and
Art. 330 - Reservation of seats for STs in Lok Sabha
Art. 337 - Reservation of seats for STs in State Legislatures
Art. 334 - 10 years period for reservation (Amended several times to
extend the period
Art. 243 - Reservation of seats in Panchayats
Art. 371 -
Special provisions in respect of NE States and Sikkim
Safeguards under Various laws
The Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities)
Act,1989 and the Rules 1995 framed there under. Bonded Labour System
(Abolition) Act 1976 (in respect of Scheduled Tribes);
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act1986;
States Acts & Regulations concerning alienation & restoration
of land belonging to STs; Forest Conservation Act 1980;
Panchayatiraj (Extension to Scheduled Areas) Act 1996;
Minimum Wages Act 1948.
Particularly vulnerable tribal groups
The Scheduled Tribe groups who were identified as more isolated from
the wider community and who maintain a distinctive cultural identity
have been categorised as 'Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups'
(PTGs) previously known as Primitive Tribal Groups) by the Government
at the Centre. So far seventy-five tribal communities have been
identified as 'particularly vulnerable tribal groups' in different
States of India. These hunting, food-gathering, and some agricultural
communities, have been identified as less acculturated tribes among
the tribal population groups and in need of special programmes for
their sustainable development. The tribes are awakening and demanding
their rights for special reservation quota for them.
Although considered uncivilised and primitive, adivasis were
usually not held to be intrinsically impure by surrounding (usually
Dravidian or Aryan) casted Hindu populations, unlike Dalits, who
were.[a] Thus, the adivasi origins of Valmiki, who composed the
Ramayana, were acknowledged, as were the origins of adivasi tribes
such as the
Garasia and Bhilala, which descended from mixed
Bhil marriages. Unlike the subjugation of the Dalits, the
adivasis often enjoyed autonomy and, depending on region, evolved
mixed hunter-gatherer and farming economies, controlling their lands
as a joint patrimony of the tribe. In some areas, securing
adivasi approval and support was considered crucial by local
rulers, and larger adivasi groups were able to sustain their
own kingdoms in central India. The Gond Rajas of Garha-Mandla and
Chanda are examples of an adivasi aristocracy that ruled in this
region, and were "not only the hereditary leaders of their Gond
subjects, but also held sway over substantial communities of
non-tribals who recognized them as their feudal lords."
The historiography of relationships between the Advasis and the rest
of the Indian society is patchy. There are references to alliances
between Ahom Kings of Brahmaputra valley and the hill Nagas  This
relative autonomy and collective ownership of adivasi land by adivasis
was severely disrupted by the advent of the Mughals in the early 16th
century. Rebellions against Mughal authority include the Bhil
Rebellion of 1632 and the Bhil-Gond Insurrection of 1643 which
were both pacified by Mughal soldiers.
From the very early days of British rule, the tribesmen resented the
British encroachments upon their tribal system. They were found
resisting or supporting their brethren of Tamar and Jhalda in
rebellion. Nor did their raja welcome the British administrative
innovations. Beginning in the 18th century, the British added to
the consolidation of feudalism in India, first under the Jagirdari
system and then under the zamindari system. Beginning with the
Permanent Settlement imposed by the British in Bengal and Bihar, which
later became the template for a deepening of feudalism throughout
India, the older social and economic system in the country began to
alter radically. Land, both forest areas belonging to adivasis
and settled farmland belonging to non-adivasi peasants, was rapidly
made the legal property of British-designated zamindars (landlords),
who in turn moved to extract the maximum economic benefit possible
from their newfound property and subjects.
Adivasi lands sometimes
experienced an influx of non-local settlers, often brought from far
away (as in the case of Muslims and Sikhs brought to Kol
territory) by the zamindars to better exploit local land, forest
and labour. Deprived of the forests and resources they
traditionally depended on and sometimes coerced to pay taxes, many
adivasis were forced to borrow at usurious rates from moneylenders,
often the zamindars themselves. When they were unable to pay,
that forced them to become bonded labourers for the zamindars.
Often, far from paying off the principal of their debt, they were
unable even to offset the compounding interest, and this was made the
justification for their children working for the zamindar after the
death of the initial borrower. In the case of the Andamanese
adivasis, long isolated from the outside world in autonomous
societies, mere contact with outsiders was often sufficient to set off
deadly epidemics in tribal populations, and it is alleged that
some sections of the British government directly attempted to destroy
Land dispossession and subjugation by British and zamindar interests
resulted in a number of adivasi revolts in the late eighteenth and
early nineteenth centuries, such as the
Santal hul (or Santhal
rebellion) of 1855–56. Although these were suppressed ruthlessly
by the governing British authority (the East
India Company prior to
1858, and the British government after 1858), partial restoration of
privileges to adivasi elites (e.g. to Mankis, the leaders of Munda
tribes) and some leniency in tax burdens resulted in relative calm,
despite continuing and widespread dispossession, from the late
nineteenth century onwards. The economic deprivation, in some
cases, triggered internal adivasi migrations within
India that would
continue for another century, including as labour for the emerging tea
plantations in Assam.
Participation in Indian independence movement
There were tribal reform and rebellion movements during the period of
the British Empire, some of which also participated in the Indian
independence movement or attacked mission posts. There were
several Adivasis in the
Indian independence movement
Indian independence movement including
Dharindhar Bhyuan, Laxman Naik, Jantya Bhil, Bangaru Devi and Rehma
List of rebellions
Main article: Tribal revolts in
India before Indian independence
During the period of British rule,
India saw the rebellions of several
backward castes, mainly tribal peoples that revolted against British
rule. These were:
Great Kuki Invasion of 1860s
Halba rebellion (1774–79)
Chakma rebellion (1776–1787)
Chuar rebellion in Bengal (1795–1800)
Bhopalpatnam Struggle (1795)
Khurda Rebellion in
Bhil rebellion (1822–1857)
Paralkot rebellion (1825)
Khond rebellion (1836)
Tarapur rebellion (1842–54)
Maria rebellion (1842–63)
First Freedom Struggle By Sidu Murmu and Kanu Murmu (1856–57)
Bhil rebellion, begun by Tantya Tope in Banswara (1858)
Koi revolt (1859)
Gond rebellion, begun by
Ramji Gond in Adilabad (1860)
Muria rebellion (1876)
Rani rebellion (1878–82)
The Kuki Uprising (1917–1919) in Manipur
Rampa Rebellion of 1879, Vizagapatnam (now Visakhapatnam district)
Rampa Rebellion (1922–1924), Visakhapatnam district
Santhal Revolt (1885–1886)
Tribal classification criteria and demands
Scarification, a traditional symbol of
Great Andamanese tribal
identity (1901 photo)
Population complexities, and the controversies surrounding ethnicity
and language in India, sometimes make the official recognition of
groups as adivasis (by way of inclusion in the Scheduled Tribes list)
political and contentious. However, regardless of their language
family affiliations, Australoid and Negrito groups that have survived
as distinct forest, mountain or island dwelling tribes in
are often classified as adivasi. The relatively autonomous
Mongoloid tribal groups of Northeastern
India (including Khasis,
Apatani and Nagas), who are mostly Austro-Asiatic or Tibeto-Burman
speakers, are also considered to be adivasis: this area comprises 7.5%
of India's land area but 20% of its adivasi population. However,
not all autonomous northeastern groups are considered adivasis; for
instance, the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Meitei of
Manipur were once
tribal but, having been settled for many centuries, are caste
It is also difficult, for a given social grouping, to definitively
decide whether it is a 'caste' or a 'tribe'. A combination of internal
social organisation, relationship with other groups,
self-classification and perception by other groups has to be taken
into account to make a categorisation, which is at best inexact and
open to doubt. These categorisations have been diffused for
thousands of years, and even ancient formulators of
caste-discriminatory legal codes (which usually only applied to
settled populations, and not adivasis) were unable to come up with
Demands for tribal classification
The additional difficulty in deciding whether a group meets the
criteria to be adivasi or not are the aspirational movements created
by the federal and state benefits, including job and educational
reservations, enjoyed by groups listed as scheduled tribes (STs).
In Manipur, Meitei commentators have pointed to the lack of scheduled
tribe status as a key economic disadvantage for Meiteis competing for
jobs against groups that are classified as scheduled tribes. In
Rajbongshi representatives have demanded scheduled tribe status
as well. In Rajasthan, the
Gujjar community has demanded ST
status, even blockading the national capital of
Delhi to press their
demand. However, the Government of
Rajasthan declined the Gujjars'
demand, stating the Gujjars are treated as upper caste and are by no
means a tribe. In several cases, these claims to tribalhood are
disputed by tribes who are already listed in the schedule and fear
economic losses if more powerful groups are recognised as scheduled
tribes; for instance, the
Rajbongshi demand faces resistance from the
Bodo tribe, and the Meena tribe has vigorously opposed Gujjar
aspirations to be recognised as a scheduled tribe.
Endogamy, exogamy and ethnogenesis
Part of the challenge is that the endogamous nature of tribes is also
conformed to by the vast majority of Hindu castes. Indeed, many
historians and anthropologists believe that caste endogamy reflects
the once-tribal origins of the various groups who now constitute the
settled Hindu castes. Another defining feature of caste Hindu
society, which is often used to contrast them with Muslim and other
social groupings, is lineage/clan (or gotra) and village
exogamy. However, these in-marriage taboos are also held
ubiquitously among tribal groups, and do not serve as reliable
differentiating markers between caste and tribe. Again,
this could be an ancient import from tribal society into settled Hindu
castes. Interestingly, tribes such as the Muslim Gujjars of
Kashmir and the Kalash of
Pakistan observe these exogamous traditions
in common with caste Hindus and non-Kashmiri adivasis, though their
surrounding Muslim populations do not.
Some anthropologists, however, draw a distinction between tribes who
have continued to be tribal and tribes that have been absorbed into
caste society in terms of the breakdown of tribal (and therefore
caste) boundaries, and the proliferation of new mixed caste groups. In
other words, ethnogenesis (the construction of new ethnic identities)
in tribes occurs through a fission process (where groups splinter-off
as new tribes, which preserves endogamy), whereas with settled castes
it usually occurs through intermixture (in violation of strict
Unlike castes, which form part of a complex and interrelated local
economic exchange system, tribes tend to form self-sufficient economic
units. For most tribal people, land-use rights traditionally derive
simply from tribal membership. Tribal society tends to the
egalitarian, with its leadership based on ties of kinship and
personality rather than on hereditary status. Tribes typically consist
of segmentary lineages whose extended families provide the basis for
social organisation and control. Tribal religion recognises no
authority outside the tribe.
Any of these criteria may not apply in specific instances. Language
does not always give an accurate indicator of tribal or caste status.
Especially in regions of mixed population, many tribal groups have
lost their original languages and simply speak local or regional
languages. In parts of Assam—an area historically divided between
warring tribes and villages—increased contact among villagers began
during the colonial period, and has accelerated since independence in
1947. A pidgin Assamese developed, whereas educated tribal members
Hindi and, in the late twentieth century, English.
Self-identification and group loyalty do not provide unfailing markers
of tribal identity either. In the case of stratified tribes, the
loyalties of clan, kin, and family may well predominate over those of
tribe. In addition, tribes cannot always be viewed as people living
apart; the degree of isolation of various tribes has varied
tremendously. The Gonds, Santals, and Bhils traditionally have
dominated the regions in which they have lived. Moreover, tribal
society is not always more egalitarian than the rest of the rural
populace; some of the larger tribes, such as the Gonds, are highly
The apparently wide fluctuation in estimates of South Asia's tribal
population through the twentieth century gives a sense of how unclear
the distinction between tribal and nontribal can be. India's 1931
census enumerated 22 million tribal people, in 1941 only
10 million were counted, but by 1961 some 30 million and in
1991 nearly 68 million tribal members were included. The
differences among the figures reflect changing census criteria and the
economic incentives individuals have to maintain or reject
classification as a tribal member.
These gyrations of census data serve to underline the complex
relationship between caste and tribe. Although, in theory, these terms
represent different ways of life and ideal types, in reality they
stand for a continuum of social groups. In areas of substantial
contact between tribes and castes, social and cultural pressures have
often tended to move tribes in the direction of becoming castes over a
period of years. Tribal peoples with ambitions for social advancement
in Indian society at large have tried to gain the classification of
caste for their tribes. On occasion, an entire tribe or part of a
tribe joined a Hindu sect and thus entered the caste system en masse.
If a specific tribe engaged in practices that Hindus deemed polluting,
the tribe's status when it was assimilated into the caste hierarchy
would be affected.
Main article: Tribal religions in India
The majority of
Hinduism and Christianity. During the
last two decades
Adivasi from Odisha, Madhya Pradesh,
converted to Protestant groups.
Adivasi beliefs vary by tribe, and are
usually different from the historical Vedic religion, with its
monistic underpinnings, Indo-European deities (who are often cognates
of ancient Iranian, Greek and Roman deities, e.g.
Mitra/Mithra/Mithras), lack of idol worship and lack of a concept of
Latin animus, -i "soul, life") is the worldview that
non-human entities (animals, plants, and inanimate objects or
phenomena) possess a spiritual essence. The Encyclopaedia of Religion
and Society estimates that 1–5% of India's population is
animist. India's government recognises that India's indigenous
subscribe to pre-Hindu animist-based religions.
Animism is used in the anthropology of religion as a term for the
belief system of some indigenous tribal peoples, especially prior
to the development of organised religion. Although each culture
has its own different mythologies and rituals, "animism" is said to
describe the most common, foundational thread of indigenous peoples'
"spiritual" or "supernatural" perspectives. The animistic perspective
is so fundamental, mundane, everyday and taken-for-granted that most
animistic indigenous people do not even have a word in their languages
that corresponds to "animism" (or even "religion"); the term is an
anthropological construct rather than one designated by the people
Main article: Donyi-Polo
Donyi-Polo is the designation given to the indigenous religions, of
animistic and shamanic type, of the Tani, from Arunachal Pradesh, in
northeastern India. The name "Donyi-Polo" means
Main article: Sanamahism
Sanamahism is the worship of Sanamahi, the eternal force/cells
responsible for the continuity of living creations. Sanamahi referred
here is not to be confused with Lainingthou Sanamahi (The Supreme
House-dwelling God of the Sanamahism). The religion has a great and
unique traditional history which has been preserved till date for
worshipping ancestors as almighty. Thus it signifies that Sanamahism
is the worship of eternal force/cells present in living creations.
Sidaba Mapu, the Creator God of Sanamahism.
Sanamahism is one of the
oldest religion of South East Asia. It originated in
Manipur and is
mainly practiced by the Meitei, Kabui,
Zeliangrong and other
communities who inhabit in Manipur, Assam, Tripura.
Main article: Sarnaism
Sarnaism or Sarna (local languages: Sarna Dhorom, meaning
"religion of the holy woods") defines the indigenous religions of the
Adivasi populations of the states of Central-East India, such as the
Munda, the Ho, the Santali, the Khuruk, and the others. The Munda, Ho,
Santhal and Oraon tribe followed the Sarna religion, where Sarna
means sacred grove. Their religion is based on the oral traditions
passed from generation-to-generation. It strongly believes in one God,
the Great Spirit.
Other tribal animist
Animist hunter gatherer Nayaka people of Nigrill's hills of South
Animism is the traditional religion of
Nicobarese people; their
religion is marked by the dominance and interplay with spirit worship,
witch doctors and animal sacrifice.
Adivasi roots of modern Hinduism
Some historians and anthropologists assert that much of what
Hinduism today is actually descended from an
amalgamation of adivasi faiths, idol worship practices and deities,
rather than the original Indo-
Aryan faith. This also
includes the sacred status of certain animals such as monkeys, cows,
fish, matsya, peacocks, cobras (nagas) and elephants and plants such
as the sacred fig (pipal),
Ocimum tenuiflorum (tulsi) and Azadirachta
indica (neem), which may once have held totemic importance for certain
A sant is an Indian holy man, and a title of a devotee or ascetic,
especially in north and east India. Generally a holy or saintly person
is referred to as a mahatma, paramahamsa, or swami, or given the
prefix Sri or Srila before their name. The term is sometimes
misrepresented in English as "Hindu saint", although "sant" is
unrelated to "saint".
Sant Buddhu Bhagat, led the Kol Insurrection (1831–1832) aimed
against tax imposed on
Mundas by Muslim rulers.
Sant Dhira or Kannappa Nayanar, one of 63 Nayanar Shaivite sants, a
hunter from whom Lord Shiva gladly accepted food offerings. It is said
that he poured water from his mouth on the Shivlingam and offered the
Lord swine flesh.
Sant Dhudhalinath, Gujarati, a 17th or 18th century devotee (P. 4, The
Story of Historic People of India-The Kolis)
Sant Ganga Narain, led the Bhumij Revolt (1832–1833) aimed against
missionaries and British colonialists.
Sant Girnari Velnathji, Gujarati of Junagadh, a 17th or 18th century
Kalicharan Brahma or Guru Brahma, a Bodo whose founded
the Brahma Dharma aimed against missionaries and colonialists. The
Brahma Dharma movement sought to unite peoples of all religions to
worship God together and survives even today.
Sant Kalu Dev, Punjab, related with Fishermen community Nishadha
Sant Kubera, ethnic Gujarati, taught for over 35 years, and had 20,000
followers in his time.
Sant Jatra Oraon, Oraon, led the Tana Bhagat Movement (1914–1919)
aimed against the missionaries and British colonialists
Sant Sri Koya Bhagat, a 17th or 18th century devotee
Sant Tantya Mama (Bhil), a
Bhil after whom a movement is named
after – the "Jananayak Tantya Bhil"
Sant Tirumangai Alvar, Kallar, composed the six Vedangas in beautiful
Tamil verse 
Saint Kalean Guru (Kalean Murmu) is the most beloved person among
Santal Tribes community who was widely popular 'Nagam Guru' Guru of
Early Histories in fourteen century by the references of their
Bhaktaraj Bhadurdas, Gujarati, a 17th or 18th century devotee
Bhakta Shabari, a
Nishadha woman who offered Shri
Rama and Shri
Laxmana her half-eaten ber fruit, which they gratefully accepted when
they were searching for Shri
Sita Devi in the forest.
Madan Bhagat, Gujarati, a 17th or 18th century devotee
Sany Kanji Swami, Gujarati, a 17th or 18th century devotee
Bhaktaraj Valram, Gujarati, a 17th or 18th century devotee
Maharshi Matanga, Matanga Bhil, Guru of Bhakta Shabari. In fact,
Chandalas are often addressed as ‘Matanga ’in passages like Varaha
Maharshi Valmiki, Kirata Bhil, composed the Ramayana. He is
considered to be an avatar in the Balmiki community.
Birsa Bhagwan or Birsa Munda, considered an avatar of Khasra Kora.
People approached him as Singbonga, the Sun god. His sect included
Christian converts. He and his clan, the Mundas, were connected
with Vaishnavite traditions as they were influenced by Sri
Chaitanya. Birsa was very close to the Panre brothers Vaishnavites.
Kirata – the form of Lord Shiva as a hunter. It is mentioned in
the Mahabharata. The Karppillikkavu Sree Mahadeva Temple, Kerala
adores Lord Shiva in this avatar and is known to be one of the oldest
surviving temples in Bharat.
Vettakkorumakan, the son of Lord Kirata.
Kaladutaka or 'Vaikunthanatha', Kallar (robber), avatar of Lord
Other tribals and Hinduism
Some Hindus believe that Indian tribals are close to the romantic
ideal of the ancient silvan culture of the Vedic people. Madhav
Sadashiv Golwalkar said:
The tribals "can be given yajñopavîta (...) They should be given
equal rights and footings in the matter of religious rights, in temple
worship, in the study of Vedas, and in general, in all our social and
religious affairs. This is the only right solution for all the
problems of casteism found nowadays in our Hindu society."
Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneswar, there are
Brahmin and Badu
(tribal) priests. The Badus have the most intimate contact with the
deity of the temple, and only they can bathe and adorn it.
The Bhils are mentioned in the Mahabharata. The
Bhil boy Ekalavya's
teacher was Drona, and he had the honour to be invited to
Yajna at Indraprastha. Indian tribals were
also part of royal armies in the
Ramayana and in the Arthashastra.
Shabari was a
Bhil woman who offered
Lakshmana jujubes when
they were searching for
Sita in the forest. Matanga, a Bhil, became a
ed against this custom.[clarification needed]
Demands for a separate religious code
Adivasi organisations have demanded that a distinct religious
code be listed for Adivasis in the 2011 census of India. The All India
Adivasi Conference was held on 1 and 2 January 2011 at Burnpur,
Asansol, West Bengal. 750 delegates were present from all parts of
India and cast their votes for Religion code as follows: Sari
Dhorom – 632, Sarna – 51, Kherwalism – 14 and
Other Religions – 03. Census of India.
Tribals are not part of the caste system, and usually constitute
egalitarian societies. Christian tribals do not automatically lose
their traditional tribal rules. T When in 1891 a missionary asked 150
Munda Christians to "inter-dine" with people of different rank, only
20 Christians did so, and many converts lost their new faith. Father
Haghenbeek concluded on this episode that these rules are not "pagan",
but a sign of "national sentiment and pride", and wrote:
"On the contrary, while proclaiming the equality of all men before
God, we now tell them: preserve your race pure, keep your customs,
refrain from eating with Lohars (blacksmiths), Turis (bamboo workers)
and other people of lower rank. To become good Christians, it
(inter-dining) is not required."
However, many scholars argue that the claim that tribals are an
egalitarian society in contrast to a caste-based society is a part of
a larger political agenda by some to maximise any differences from
tribal and urban societies. According to scholar Koenraad Elst, caste
practices and social taboos among Indian tribals date back to
"The Munda tribals not only practise tribal endogamy and commensality,
but also observe a jâti division within the tribe, buttressed by
notions of social pollution, a mythological explanation and harsh
A Munda Catholic theologian testifies: The tribals of
an endogamous tribe. They usually do not marry outside the tribal
community, because to them the tribe is sacred. The way to salvation
is the tribe. Among the Santals, it is tabooed to marry outside the
tribe or inside ones clan, just as Hindus marry inside their caste and
outside their gotra. More precisely: To protect their tribal
Santals have very stringent marriage laws. A Santal
cannot marry a non-
Santal or a member of his own clan. The former is
considered as a threat to the tribe's integrity, while the latter is
considered incestuous. Among the Ho of Chhotanagpur, the trespasses
which occasion the exclusion from the tribe without chance of appeal,
are essentially those concerning endogamy and exogamy."
Inter-dining has also been prohibited by many Indian tribal
Adivasi (STs) Demography in India
Scheduled Tribes distribution map in
India by state and union
territory according to 2011 Census.
the highest % of its population as ST (~95%), while Punjab and
Haryana had 0%.
According to the Constitution (Scheduled Castes) Orders (Amendment)
Act, 1990, Scheduled Tribe can belong to any religion. The scheduled
tribe population in
Jharkhand constitutes 26.2% of the
state. Tribals in
Jharkhand mainly follow Sarnaism, an
Chhattisgarh has also 32-25 per cent
scheduled tribe population.
Assam has 40 lakh
Adivasis. Adivasis in
India mainly follow Animism,
Tribal communities in
India are the least educationally developed.
First generation learners have to face social, psychological and
cultural barriers to get education. This has been one of the reason
for poor performance of tribal students in schools. Poor literacy
rate since independence has resulted in absence of tribals in academia
and higher education. The literacy rate for STs has gone up from 8.5%
(male – 13.8%, female – 3.2%) in 1961 to 29.6%
(male – 40.6%, female – 18.2%) in 1991 and to 40%
(male – 59%, female – 37%) in 1999–2000. States
with large proportion of STs like Mizoram,
high literacy rate while States with large number of tribals like
Madhya Pradesh, Odisha,
Andhra Pradesh have low tribal
literacy rate. Tribal students have very high drop-out rates
during school education.
Extending the system of primary education into tribal areas and
reserving places for needing them, they say, to work in the fields. On
the other hand, in those parts of the northeast where tribes have
generally been spared the wholesale onslaught of outsiders, schooling
has helped tribal people to secure political and economic benefits.
The education system there has provided a corps of highly trained
tribal members in the professions and high-ranking administrative
posts. tribal children in middle and high schools and higher education
institutions are central to government policy, but efforts to improve
a tribe's educational status have had mixed results. Recruitment of
qualified teachers and determination of the appropriate language of
instruction also remain troublesome. Commission after commission on
the "language question" has called for instruction, at least at the
primary level, in the students' native language. In some regions,
tribal children entering school must begin by learning the official
regional language, often one completely unrelated to their tribal
Many tribal schools are plagued by high drop-out rates. Children
attend for the first three to four years of primary school and gain a
smattering of knowledge, only to lapse into illiteracy later. Few who
enter continue up to the tenth grade; of those who do, few manage to
finish high school. Therefore, very few are eligible to attend
institutions of higher education, where the high rate of attrition
continues. Members of agrarian tribes like the Gonds often are
reluctant to send their children to school,
An academy for teaching and preserving
Adivasi languages and culture
was established in 1999 by the Bhasha Research and Publication Centre.
Adivasi Academy is located at Tejgadh in Gujarat.
Ho language/Munda/Santali language
Most tribes are concentrated in heavily forested areas that combine
inaccessibility with limited political or economic significance.
Historically, the economy of most tribes was subsistence agriculture
or hunting and gathering. Tribal members traded with outsiders for the
few necessities they lacked, such as salt and iron. A few local Hindu
craftsmen might provide such items as cooking utensils.
In the early 20th century, however, large areas fell into the hands of
non-tribals, on account of improved transportation and communications.
Around 1900, many regions were opened by the government to settlement
through a scheme by which inward migrants received ownership of land
free in return for cultivating it. For tribal people, however, land
was often viewed as a common resource, free to whoever needed it. By
the time tribals accepted the necessity of obtaining formal land
titles, they had lost the opportunity to lay claim to lands that might
rightfully have been considered theirs. The colonial and
post-independence regimes belatedly realised the necessity of
protecting tribals from the predations of outsiders and prohibited the
sale of tribal lands. Although an important loophole in the form of
land leases was left open, tribes made some gains in the mid-twentieth
century, and some land was returned to tribal peoples despite
obstruction by local police and land officials.
In the 1970s, tribal peoples came again under intense land pressure,
especially in central India. Migration into tribal lands increased
dramatically, as tribal people lost title to their lands in many
ways – lease, forfeiture from debts, or bribery of land
registry officials. Other non-tribals simply squatted, or even lobbied
governments to classify them as tribal to allow them to compete with
the formerly established tribes. In any case, many tribal members
became landless labourers in the 1960s and 1970s, and regions that a
few years earlier had been the exclusive domain of tribes had an
increasingly mixed population of tribals and non-tribals. Government
efforts to evict nontribal members from illegal occupation have
proceeded slowly; when evictions occur at all, those ejected are
usually members of poor, lower castes.
Improved communications, roads with motorised traffic, and more
frequent government intervention figured in the increased contact that
tribal peoples had with outsiders. Commercial highways and cash crops
frequently drew non-tribal people into remote areas. By the 1960s and
1970s, the resident nontribal shopkeeper was a permanent feature of
many tribal villages. Since shopkeepers often sell goods on credit
(demanding high interest), many tribal members have been drawn deeply
into debt or mortgaged their land. Merchants also encourage tribals to
grow cash crops (such as cotton or castor-oil plants), which increases
tribal dependence on the market for necessities. Indebtedness is so
extensive that although such transactions are illegal, traders
sometimes 'sell' their debtors to other merchants, much like
The final blow for some tribes has come when nontribals, through
political jockeying, have managed to gain legal tribal status, that
is, to be listed as a Scheduled Tribe.
Tribes in the Himalayan foothills have not been as hard-pressed by the
intrusions of non-tribal. Historically, their political status was
always distinct from the rest of India. Until the British colonial
period, there was little effective control by any of the empires
centred in peninsular India; the region was populated by autonomous
feuding tribes. The British, in efforts to protect the sensitive
northeast frontier, followed a policy dubbed the "Inner Line";
non-tribal people were allowed into the areas only with special
permission. Postindependence governments have continued the policy,
protecting the Himalayan tribes as part of the strategy to secure the
border with China.
Government policies on forest reserves have affected tribal peoples
profoundly. Government efforts to reserve forests have precipitated
armed (if futile) resistance on the part of the tribal peoples
involved. Intensive exploitation of forests has often meant allowing
outsiders to cut large areas of trees (while the original tribal
inhabitants were restricted from cutting), and ultimately replacing
mixed forests capable of sustaining tribal life with single-product
plantations. Nontribals have frequently bribed local officials to
secure effective use of reserved forest lands.
The northern tribes have thus been sheltered from the kind of
exploitation that those elsewhere in
South Asia have suffered. In
Arunachal Pradesh (formerly part of the North-East Frontier Agency),
for example, tribal members control commerce and most lower-level
administrative posts. Government construction projects in the region
have provided tribes with a significant source of cash. Some tribes
have made rapid progress through the education system (the role of
early missionaries was significant in this regard). Instruction was
begun in Assamese but was eventually changed to Hindi; by the early
1980s, English was taught at most levels. Northeastern tribal people
have thus enjoyed a certain measure of social mobility.
The continuing economic alienation and exploitation of many adivasis
was highlighted as a "systematic failure" by the Indian prime minister
Manmohan Singh in a 2009 conference of chief ministers of all 29
Indian states, where he also cited this as a major cause of the
Naxalite unrest that has affected areas such as the Red
Rani Gaidinliu – Political leader, Independence fighter
Birsa Munda – Independence Fighter
Laxman Nayak – Independence fighter, activist
Komaram Bheem – Independence fighter
Sidhu and Kanhu Murmu – Independence Fighters
Baba Tilka Majhi – Independence Fighter
Politics and social service
Kantilal Bhuria - Lok Sabha MP, Tribal Rights Activist, Former
Union Cabinet Minister of Tribal Affairs, Agriculture & Food,
Veteran Congress Leader from Madhya Pradesh.
Kishore Chandra Deo - Lok Sabha MP, Tribal Rights Activist,
Former Union Cabinet Minister of Tribal Affairs, Steel & Mines,
Tribal Chief of Kurupam, Veteran Congress Leader from Andhra Pradesh.
Vincent Pala - Lok Sabha MP, Former Union Minister of Water
Resources, Congress Leader.
Kanjibhai Patel - Politician
Lalthanhawla – Politician
Zoramthanga – Politician
Jual Oram – Politician
Ramvichar Netam – Politician
Mahendra Karma – Politician
Kartik Oraon – Politician
Neiphiu Rio – Politician
P. A. Sangma – Politician
Kariya Munda – former Deputy Speaker, 15th Lok Sabha
Harishankar Brahma – former Chief Election Commissioner of
Soni Sori – Political activist
Dayamani Barla – Journalist, activist
Tulasi Munda – Education activist
C K Janu – Social activist
Jaipal Singh – Hockey player,
Sushila Kerketta – member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India
Sarbananda Sonowal – 14th Chief Minister of Assam
Mohanbhai Sanjibhai Delkar 6 time member of the Lok Sabha of India
from Dadra and Nagar Haveli. Tribal leader of southern Part of
Gujarat, Tribal Robin Hood.
Art and literature
Ram Dayal Munda – Scholar, artist, Padma Sri awardee
Teejan Bai – Indian
Anuj Lugun – Indian polymath
Rupnath Brahma – Poet
Jangarh Singh Shyam – Artist, founder of Jangarh Kalam
Venkat Shyam – Artist
Bhajju Shyam – Artist
Temsula Ao – Poet, writer
Mamang Dai – Journalist, author, former civil servant
Armstrong Pame – IAS
Rajeev Topno – IAS
G C Murmu – IAS
MC Mary Kom – Boxer
Malavath Purna – Mountaineer
Durga Boro – Footballer
Kavita Raut – Athlete
Limba Ram – Archer
Laxmirani Majhi – Archer
Munmun Lugun – Footballer
Lal Mohan Hansda – Footballer
Sanjay Balmuchu – Footballer
Baichung Bhutia – Former captain, Indian football team
Dilip Tirkey – Former captain, Indian hockey team
Birendra Lakra – Indian hockey team
Manohar Topno – Indian hockey team
Masira Surin – Indian women's hockey team
Sunita Lakra – Indian women's hockey team
Jyoti Sunita Kullu – Former member, Indian women's hockey team
Michael Kindo - Former member, Indian men's hockey team, Arjuna
Shylo Malsawmtluanga – Footballer
Lalrindika Ralte – Footballer
Jeje Lalpekhlua – Footballer
Albert Ekka – Param Vir Chakra, Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Rani Durgavati – Gond Queen
Angami Zapu Phizo
Lako Bodra – Varang Kshiti script creator, writer, activist
Valmiki – Composer of Ramayana
Pandit Raghunath Murmu – Chiki script creator, writer, activist
Mohanbhai Sanjibhai Delkar -Tribal Leader
Some portraits of adivasi people.
Young Baiga women
Kutia Kondh tribe in Odisha.
Adivasi Children of Gujarat
Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram
C. K. Janu
Kumar Suresh Singh
Indian tribal belt
Jarawa people (Andaman Islands)
List of Scheduled Tribes in India
Tribal religions in India
Eklavya Model Residential School
^  ... Although regarded by some British scholars as inferior to
caste Hindus, the status of "adivasis" in practice most often
paralleled that of the Hindus ... In areas where they accounted for a
large proportion of the population, adivasis often wielded
considerable ritual and political power, being involved in investiture
of various kings and rulers throughout central
India there were numerous "adivasi" kingdoms, some of which
survived from medieval times to the nineteenth century ...
^ Lok Sabha Debates ser.10 Jun 41–42 1995 v.42 no.41-42, Lok Sabha
Secretariat, Parliament of India, 1995, retrieved 2008-11-25, ...
Adivasis are the aborigines of
^ Minocheher Rustom Masani; Ramaswamy Srinivasan (1985). Freedom and
Dissent: Essays in Honour of Minoo Masani on His Eightieth Birthday.
Democratic Research Service. Retrieved 2008-11-25. The Adivasis are
the original inhabitants of India. That is what
Adivasi means: the
original inhabitant. They were the people who were there before the
Dravidians. The tribals are the Gonds, the Bhils, the Murias, the
Nagas and a hundred more.
^ Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (1968), The Selected Works of Mahatma
Gandhi : Satyagraha in South Africa, Navajivan Publishing House,
retrieved 2008-11-25, ... The Adivasis are the original inhabitants
^ 2011 Census Primary Census Abstract
^ "Scheduled Tribes at 8.6 per cent".
^ "8.6% for ST".
^ Acharya, Deepak and Shrivastava Anshu (2008): Indigenous Herbal
Medicines: Tribal Formulations and Traditional Herbal Practices,
Aavishkar Publishers Distributor, Jaipur- India.
ISBN 978-81-7910-252-7. pp 440
^ Salwa Judum
^ "Bringing rural realities on stage in urban India – The
Hindu". thehindu.com. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
^ "Asian Centre for Human Rights". achrweb.org. Retrieved
^ Elst, Koenraad: (2001)
^ a b c d Robert Harrison Barnes; Andrew Gray; Benedict Kingsbury
Indigenous peoples of Asia, Association for Asian Studies,
ISBN 0-924304-14-6, retrieved 2008-11-25, The Concept of the
Adivāsi: According to the political activists who coined the word in
the 1930s, the "adivāsis" are the original inhabitants of the Indian
^ "Adivasi, n. and adj." OED Online. Oxford University Press, June
2017. Web. 10 September 2017.
^ Louise Waite (2006), Embodied Working Lives: Work and
Maharashtra, India, Lexington Books, ISBN 0-7391-0876-X,
retrieved 2008-11-25, The scheduled tribes themselves tend to refer to
their ethnic grouping as adivāsis, which means 'original inhabitant.'
Hardiman continues to argue that the term adivāsi is preferable in
India as it evokes a shared history of relative freedom in precolonial
^ Govind Sadashiv Ghurye (1980), The Scheduled Tribes of India,
Transaction Publishers, ISBN 0-87855-692-3, retrieved 2008-11-25,
I have stated above, while ascertaining the general attitude of Mr.
Jaipal Singh to tribal problems, his insistence on the term 'Adivāsi'
being used for Schedule Tribes... Sir, myself I claim to an Adivāsi
and an original inhabitant of the country as Mr.
Jaipal Singh pal... a
pseudo-ethno-historical substantiation for the term 'Adivāsi'.
^ New Book: Anthropology of Primitive Tribes in India
^ a b Aloysius Irudayam; Jayshree P. Mangubhai;
Reconstruction; Development Project (2004), Adivasis Speak Out:
Atrocities Against Adivasis in Tamil Nadu, Books for Change,
ISBN 81-87380-78-0, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... uncivilised ...
These forests and land territories assume a territorial identity
precisely because they are the extension of the Adivasis' collective
^ C.R. Bijoy, Core Committee of the All
India Coordinating Forum of
Adivasis/Indigenous Peoples (February 2003), "The Adivasis of
India – A History of Discrimination, Conflict, and Resistance",
PUCL Bulletin, People's Union for Civil Liberties, India, retrieved
2008-11-25, ... Adivasis are not, as a general rule, regarded as
unclean by caste Hindus in the same way as Dalits are. But they
continue to face prejudice (as lesser humans), they are socially
distanced and often face violence from society ...
^ a b Thakorlal Bharabhai Naik (1956), The Bhils: A Study, Bharatiya
Adimjati Sevak Sangh, retrieved 2008-11-25, ... Valmiki, from whose
pen this great epic had its birth, was himself a
Bhil named Valia,
according to the traditional accounts of his life ...
^ Edward Balfour (1885), The Cyclopædia of
India and of Eastern and
Southern Asia, Bernard Quaritch, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... In Mewar,
the Grasia is of mixed
Rajput descent, paying tribute to the
Rana of Udaipur ...
^ R.K. Sinha (1995), The
Bhilala of Malwa, Anthropological survey of
India, ISBN 978-81-85579-08-5, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... the
Bhilala are commonly considered to be a mixed group who sprung from
the marriage alliances of the immigrant male Rajputs and the Bhil
women of the central
^ a b R. Singh (2000), Tribal Beliefs, Practices and Insurrections,
Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., ISBN 81-261-0504-6, retrieved
2008-11-26, ... The Munda Parha was known as 'Manki', while his Oraon
counterpart was called 'Parha Raja.' The lands these adivasis occupied
were regarded to be the village's patrimony ... The Gond rajas of
Chanda and Garha Mandla were not only the hereditary leaders of their
Gond subjects, but also held sway over substantial communities of
non-tribals who recognized them as their feudal lords ...
^ Milind Gunaji (2005), Offbeat Tracks in Maharashtra: A Travel Guide,
Popular Prakashan, ISBN 81-7154-669-2, retrieved 2008-11-26, ...
The Navegaon is one of the forests in
Maharashtra where the natives of
this land still live and earn their livelihood by carrying out age old
activities like hunting, gathering forest produce and ancient methods
of farming. Beyond the Kamkazari lake is the Dhaavalghat, which is
home to adivasis. They also have a temple here, the shrine of Lord
^ Surajit Sinha, Centre for Studies in Social Sciences (1987), Tribal
polities and state systems in pre-colonial eastern and north eastern
India, K.P. Bagchi & Co., ISBN 81-7074-014-2, retrieved
2008-11-26, ... The way in which and the extent to which tribal
support had been crucial in establishing a royal dynasty have been
made quite clear ... tribal loyalty, help and support were essential
in establishing a ruling family ...
^ Hugh Chisholm (1910), The Encyclopædia Britannica, The
Encyclopædia Britannica Co., retrieved 2008-11-26, ... The 16th
century saw the establishment of a powerful Gond kingdom by Sangram
Sah, who succeeded in 1480 as the 47th of the petty Gond rajas of
Garha-Mandla, and extended his dominions to include Saugor and Damoh
on the Vindhyan plateau, Jubbulpore and Narsinghpur in the Nerbudda
valley, and Seoni on the Satpura highlands ...
^ PUCL Bulletin, February 2003
^ P. 27 Madhya Pradesh: Shajapur By
Madhya Pradesh (India)
^ P. 219 Calcutta Review By University of Calcutta, 1964
^ a b Piya Chatterjee (2001), A Time for Tea: Women, Labor, and
Post/colonial Politics on an Indian Plantation, Duke University Press,
ISBN 0-8223-2674-4, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Among the Munda,
customary forms of land tenure known as khuntkatti stipulated that
land belonged communally to the village, and customary rights of
cultivation, branched from corporate ownership. Because of Mughal
incursions, non-Jharkhandis began to dominate the agrarian landscape,
and the finely wrought system of customary sharing of labor, produce
and occupancy began to crumble. The process of dispossession and land
alienation, in motion since the mid-eighteenth century, was given
impetus by British policies that established both zamindari and
ryotwari systems of land revenue administration. Colonial efforts
toward efficient revenue collection hinged on determining legally who
had proprietal rights to the land ...
^ a b Ulrich van der Heyden; Holger Stoecker (2005), Mission und macht
im Wandel politischer Orientierungen: Europäische
Missionsgesellschaften in politischen Spannungsfeldern in Afrika und
Asien zwischen 1800 und 1945, Franz Steiner Verlag,
ISBN 3-515-08423-1, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... The permanent
settlement Act had an adverse effect upon the fate of the Adivasis
for, "the land which the aboriginals had rested from the jungle and
cultivated as free men from generation was, by a stroke of pen,
declared to be the property of the Raja (king) and the Jagirdars." The
alien became the Zamindars (Landlords) while the sons of the soil got
reduced to mere tenants. Now, it was the turn of the
Jagirdars-turned-Zamindars who further started leasing out land to the
newcomers, who again started encroaching
Adivasi land. The land
grabbing thus went on unabated. By the year 1832 about 6,411 Adivasi
villages were alienated in this process ...
^ O.P. Ralhan (2002), Encyclopaedia of Political Parties, Anmol
Publications Pvt. Ltd., ISBN 81-7488-865-9, retrieved 2008-11-26,
Permanent Settlement was 'nothing short of the confiscation of
raiyat lands in favor of the zamindars.' ... Marx says '... in Bengal
as in Madras and Bombay, under the zamindari as under the ryotwari,
the raiyats who form 11/12ths of the whole Indian population have been
wretchedly pauperised.' To this may be added the inroads made by the
Company's Government upon the village community of the tribals (the
Santhals, Kols, Khasias etc.) ... There was a wholesale destruction of
'the national tradition.' Marx observes: 'England has broken down the
entire framework of Indian society ...
^ Govind Kelkar; Dev Nathan (1991), Gender and Tribe: Women, Land and
Forests in Jharkhand, Kali for Women, ISBN 1-85649-035-1,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ... of the features of the adivasi land systems.
These laws also showed that British colonial rule had passed on to a
new stage of exploitation ... Forests were the property of the
zamindar or the state ...
^ a b William Wilson Hunter; Hermann Michael Kisch; Andrew Wallace
Mackie; Charles James O'Donnell; Herbert Hope Risley (1877), A
Statistical Account of Bengal, Trübner, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... The
Kol insurrection of 1831, though, no doubt, only the bursting forth of
a fire that had long been smouldering, was fanned into flame by the
following episode:- The brother of the Maharaja, who was holder of one
of the maintenance grants which comprised Sonpur, a pargana in the
southern portion of the estate, gave farms of some of the villages
over the heads of the Mankis and Mundas, to certain Muhammadans, Sikhs
and others, who has obtained his favour ... not only was the Manki
dispossessed, but two of his sisters were seduced or ravished by these
hated foreigners ... one of them ..., it was said, had abducted and
dishonoured the Munda's wife ...
^ Radhakanta Barik (2006), Land and
Caste Politics in Bihar, Shipra
Publications, ISBN 81-7541-305-0, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... As
usually the zamindars were the moneylenders, they could pressurize the
tenants to concede to high rent ...
^ Shashank Shekhar Sinha (2005), Restless Mothers and Turbulent
Daughters: Situating Tribes in Gender Studies, Stree,
ISBN 81-85604-73-8, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... In addition, many
tribals were forced to pay private taxes ... ...
^ a b Economic and Political Weekly, No.6-8, V.9, Sameeksha Trust,
1974, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... The Adivasis spend their life-times
working for the landlord-moneylenders and, in some cases, even their
children are forced to work for considerable parts of their lives to
pay off debts ...
Sita Venkateswar (2004), Development and Ethnocide: Colonial
Practices in the Andaman Islands, IWGIA, ISBN 87-91563-04-6, ...
As I have suggested previously, it is probable that some disease was
introduced among the coastal groups by Lieutenant Colebrooke and
Blair's first settlement in 1789, resulting in a marked reduction of
their population. The four years that the British occupied their
initial site on the south-east of South Andaman were sufficient to
have decimated the coastal populations of the groups referred to as
Jarawa by the Aka-bea-da ...
^ Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza; Francesco Cavalli-Sforza (1995), The
Great Human Diasporas: The History of Diversity and Evolution, Basic
Books, ISBN 0-201-44231-0, ... Contact with whites, and the
British in particular, has virtually destroyed them. Illness, alcohol,
and the will of the colonials all played their part; the British
governor of the time mentions in his diary that he received
instructions to destroy them with alcohol and opium. He succeeded
completely with one group. The others reacted violently ...
^ Paramjit S. Judge (1992), Insurrection to Agitation: The Naxalite
Movement in Punjab, Popular Prakashan, ISBN 81-7154-527-0,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ... The Santhal insurrection in 1855–56 was a
consequence of the establishment of the permanent Zamindari Settlement
introduced by the British in 1793 as a result of which the Santhals
had been dispossesed of the land that they had been cultivating for
centuries. Zamindars, moneylenders, traders and government officials
exploited them ruthlessly. The consequence was a violent revolt by the
Santhals which could only be suppressed by the army ...
^ The Indian Journal of Social Work, v.59, Department of Publications,
Tata Institute of Social Sciences, 1956, retrieved 2008-11-26, ...
Revolts rose with unfailing regularity and were suppressed with
treachery, brute force, tact, cooption and some reforms ...
^ Roy Moxham (2003), Tea, Carroll & Graf Publishers,
ISBN 0-7867-1227-9, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... many of the
labourers came from Chota Nagpur District ... home to the Adivasis,
the most popular workers with the planters – the '1st class
jungley.' As one of the planters, David Crole, observed: 'planters, in
a rough and ready way, judge the worth of a coolie by the darkness of
the skin.' In the last two decades of the nineteenth century 350,000
coolies went from Chota Nagpur to
^ HEUZE, Gérard: Où Va l’Inde Moderne? L’Harmattan, Paris 1993.
A. Tirkey: "Evangelization among the Uraons", Indian Missiological
Review, June 1997, esp. p. 30-32. Elst 2001
^ Page 63 Tagore Without Illusions by Hitendra Mitra
^ Sameeksha Trust, P. 1229 Economic and Political Weekly
^ P. 4 "Freedom Movement in Khurda" Archived 29 November 2007 at the
Wayback Machine. Dr. Atul Chandra Pradhan
^ P. 111 The Freedom Struggle in Hyderabad: A Connected Account By
Hyderabad (India : State)
^ Tribal struggle of Singhbhum
^ P. 32 Social and Political Awakening Among the Tribals of Rajasthan
By Gopi Nath Sharma
^ P. 420 Who's who of Freedom Struggle in
Andhra Pradesh By Sarojini
^ James Minahan and
Leonard W. Doob (1996), Nations Without States: A
Historical Dictionary of Contemporary National Movements, Greenwood
Press, ISBN 0-313-28354-0, retrieved 2008-11-25, ... The Adivasi
tribes encompass the pre-Dravidian holdovers from ancient India
^ Sarina Singh; Joe Bindloss; Paul Clammer; Janine Eberle (2005),
India, Lonely Planet, ISBN 1-74059-694-3, retrieved 2008-11-25,
... Although the northeast states make up just 7.5% of the
geographical area of India, the region is home to 20% of India's
Adivasis (tribal people). The following are the main tribes ... Nagas
... Monpas ... Apatani & Adi ... Khasi ...
^ a b Moirangthem Kirti Singh (1988), Religion and Culture of Manipur,
Manas Publications, ISBN 81-7049-021-9, retrieved 2008-11-26, ...
The Meiteis began to think that root cause of their present unrest was
their contact with the Mayangs, the outsider from the rest of
matters of trade, commerce, religious belief and the designation of
the Meiteis as caste Hindus in the Constitution of India. The policy
of reservations for the scheduled castes and tribes in key posts began
to play havoc ...
^ Man, v.7, Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and
Ireland, 1972, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Nor, for that matter, does a
traits approach to drawing distinctions between tribe and caste lead
to any meaningful interpretation of social or civilizational
processes. Social boundaries must be defined in each case (community
or regional society) with reference to the modes of social
classification, on the one hand, and processes of social interaction,
on the other. It is in their inability to relate these two aspects of
the social phenomenon through a model of social reality that most
behavioural exercises come to grief ...
^ Debiprasad Chattopadhyaya (1959), Lōkayata: A Study in Ancient
Indian Materialism, People's Publishing House, retrieved 2008-11-26,
... Even the authors of our traditional law-codes and other works did
not know whether to call a particular group of backward people a caste
or a tribe ...
^ Robert Goldmann; A. Jeyaratnam Wilson (1984), From Independence to
Statehood: Managing Ethnic Conflict in Five African and Asian States,
Pinter, ISBN 0-86187-354-8, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Because the
question of what groups are to be given preferences is
constitutionally and politically open, the demand for preferences
becomes a device for political mobilisation. Politicians can mobilise
members of their caste, religious or linguistic community around the
demand for inclusion on the list of those to be given preferences ...
As preferences were extended to backward castes, and as more benefits
were given to scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, the 'forward'
castes have ...
^ a b Col. Ved Prakash (2006), Encyclopaedia of North-east India, Vol#
2, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors, ISBN 81-269-0704-5,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ... An angry mob of Koch-Rajbongshis (KRs)
ransacked 4-8-03 the BJP office, Guwahati, demanding ST status for the
KRs ... the KRs have been demanding the ST status for long, and the
Bodos are stoutly opposed to it ...
^ "Gujjars enforce blockade;
Delhi tense", The Times of India, 29 May
2008, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Gujjars on Thursday blocked road and
rail traffic in the capital and adjoining areas as part of their 'NCR
rasta roko' agitation ... The NCR agitation, called by All India
Gujjar Mahasabha, is in support of the community's demand for
Scheduled Tribe status in
^ "rajasthan-government-denies-st-status-to-gujjars", merinews
^ "What the Meena-
Gujjar conflict is about", Rediff, 1 June 2007,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ...
Rajasthan is sitting on a potential caste
war between the Gujjars and
Meenas with the former demanding their
entry into the Schedule Tribes list while the
Meenas are looking to
keep their turf intact by resisting any tampering with the ST quota
^ Mamta Rajawat (2003), Scheduled Castes in India: a Comprehensive
Study, Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., ISBN 81-261-1339-1,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ... endogamy is basic to the morphology of caste
but for its origin and sustenance one has to see beyond ... D.D.
Kosambi says that the fusion of tribal elements into society at large
lies at the foundation of the caste system; Irfan Habib concurs,
suggesting that when tribal people were absorbed they brought with
them their endogamous customs ...
^ a b Mohammad Abbas Khan (2005), Social Development in Twenty First
Century, Anmol Publications Pvt. Ltd., ISBN 81-261-2130-0,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ... in North India, high caste Hindus regard the
village as an exogamous unit. Girls born within the village are called
'village daughters' and they do not cover their faces before local
men, whereas girls who come into the village by marriage do so ...
With Christians and Muslims, the elementary or nuclear family is the
exogamous unit. Outside of it marriages are possible ... Lineage
exogamy also exists among the Muslim Gujjars of Jammu and Kashmir
^ Richard V. Weekes (1984), Muslim Peoples: A World Ethnographic
Survey, Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-24640-8, retrieved
2008-11-26, ... The preference for in-marriage produces the
reticulated kinship system characteristic of Punjabi Muslim society,
as opposed to Hindu lineage exogamy and preference for marriage
outside one's natal village ...
^ Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi (2004), South Asian Culture: An
Anthropological Perspective, Oriental Publishers & Distributors,
retrieved 2008-11-26, ... The tribal communities, by and large, also
practise clan exogamy, which means marrying outside the totemic
division of a tribe ...
^ Georg Pfeffer (1982), Status and Affinity in Middle India, F.
Steiner, ISBN 3-515-03913-9, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Elwin
documents the strict observance of this rule: Out of 300 marriages
recorded, not a single one broke the rule of village exogamy ...
^ Rajendra K. Sharma (2004), Indian Society, Institutions and Change:
Institutions and Change, Atlantic Publishers & Distributors,
ISBN 81-7156-665-0, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Among many Indian
tribes it is the recognized custom to marry outside the village. This
restriction is prevalent in the Munda and other tribes of Chhota
Madhya Pradesh ... the Naga tribe of
Assam is divided into
Khels. Khel is the name given to the residents of the particular
place, and people of one Khel cannot marry each other ...
^ John Vincent Ferreira (1965), Totemism in India, Oxford University
Press, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... there is every reason to believe that
the inspiration leading to the formation of exogamous gotras came from
the aborigines ...
^ Monika Böck; Aparna Rao (2000), Culture, Creation, and Procreation:
Concepts of Kinship in South Asian Practice, Berghahn Books,
ISBN 1-57181-912-6, retrieved 2008-11-26, ... Kalasha kinship is
indeed orchestrated through a rigorous system of patrilineal descent
defined by lineage exogamy ... Lineage exogamy thus distinguishes
Kalasha descent groups as discretely bounded corporations, in contrast
to the nonexogamous 'sliding lineages' (Bacon 1956) of surrounding
^ Thomas R. Trautmann (1997), Aryans and British India, University of
California Press, ISBN 0-520-20546-4, retrieved 2008-11-26,
...The radiating, segmentary character of the underlying genealogical
figure requires that the specifications be unilineal ... we have in
the Dharmasastra doctrine of jatis a theory of ethnogenesis through
intermixture or marriage of persons of different varnas, and secondary
and tertiary intermixtures of the original ones, leading to a
multitude of units, rather than the radiating segmentary structure of
ethnogenesis by fission or descent ...
^ Todd Scudiere (1997), Aspects of Death and Bereavement Among Indian
Hindus and American Christians: A Survey and Cross-cultural
Comparison, University of Wisconsin – Madison, retrieved
2008-11-25, ... the Vedic
Aryan was not particularly eager to enter
heaven, he was too much this-worldly oriented. A notion of
reincarnation was not introduced until later. However, there was a
concept of a universal force – an idea of an underlying
monistic reality that was later called Brahman ...
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Indigenous people 'worst-off world
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^ Hicks, David (2010). Ritual and Belief: Readings in the Anthropology
of Religion (3 ed.). Rowman Altamira. p. 359. Tylor's notion of
animism—for him the first religion—included the assumption that
early Homo sapiens had invested animals and plants with
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^ Rikam, 2005. p. 117
^ Mibang, Chaudhuri, 2004. p. 47
^ Dalmia, Sadana, 2012. pp. 44–45
^ Minahan, 2012. p. 236
^ Sachchidananda, 1980. p. 235
^ Srivastava, 2007.
^ "ST panel for independent religion status to Sarna".
articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
^ The Encyclopedia of Religion and Nature: K – Z. 2. Thoemmes
Continuum. 2005. p. 82. ISBN 9781843711384. Retrieved
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^ S.G. Sardesai (1986), Progress and Conservatism in Ancient India,
People's Publishing House, retrieved 2008-11-25, ... The centre of Rig
Vedic religion was the Yajna, the sacrificial fire. ... There is no
Atma, no Brahma, no Moksha, no idol worship in the Rig Veda ...
^ a b Shiv Kumar Tiwari (2002), Tribal Roots of Hinduism, Sarup &
Sons, ISBN 81-7625-299-9, retrieved 2008-12-12
Kumar Suresh Singh (1985), Tribal Society in India: An
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Shiva was a "tribal deity" to begin with and forest-dwelling
communities, including those who have ceased to be tribals and those
who are tribals today ...
^ a b c d e f (P. 4, The Story of Historic People of India-The Kolis)
^ P. 269 Brāhmanism and Hindūism, Or, Religious Thought and
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Arthashastra 9:2:13-20, Penguin edition, p. 685. Elst
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Library of Congress
Library of Congress document: "India: A country study".
Federal Research Division. Tribes.
Tribal Heritage of India, by Shyama Charan Dube, Indian Institute of
Advanced Study, Indian Council of Social Science Research,
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India. ISBN 9788186471036
Russell, R. V., The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of
India, London, 1916.
Elst, Koenraad. Who is a Hindu? (2001) ISBN 81-85990-74-3
Raj, Aditya & Papia Raj (2004) "Linguistic Deculturation and the
Importance of Popular Education among the Gonds in India" Adult
Education and Development 62: 55–61
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Tribal Movements in India, by Kumar Suresh Singh. Published by
Tribal Society in India: An Anthropo-historical Perspective, by Kumar
Suresh Singh. Published by Manohar, 1985.
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