Read this short paragraph on Indian Scheduled Tribes !
Following independence, the policy of protection and development for the population identified as Tribe has been made into a Constitutional obligation.
A list of tribes was adopted for this purpose. In 1950, this list contained 212 names which was modified by successive Presidential orders.
In 1971, the list contained 527 names. The people who have been listed in the Constitution and mentioned in successive Presidential orders are called Scheduled Tribes. The Constitution, however, does not provide a definition of Tribe.
According to the Imperial Gazetteer, “A tribe is a collection of families bearing a common name, speaking a common dialect, occupying or professing to occupy a common territory and is not usually endogamous, though originally it might have been so.
According to Majumdar, , ” A tribe is a collection of families bearing a common name, members of which occupy the same language and observe certain taboos regarding marriage, profession or occupation and have developed a well – assessed system of reciprocity and mutuality of obligations.
A tribe is a social group of simple kind, the members of which lives in a common geographical area and speaks a common dialect.
There are millions of people who are designated as tribals. These people are spread throughout the country.
The tribes of India are at different levels of socio – economic development. Majumdar has given the economic grading of the tribal population of India in the following manner. First, there are tribes who have hunting and collection of forest produce as the main occupation. There are tribes who follow shifting cultivation, lumbering and manufacturing. There are other tribes who are settled agriculturalists and who keep poultry, cattle and do weaving, spinning and pottery.
We also find difference of cultural levels among different tribes. For example, we have tribes who are under the influence of urban or rural culture and are on way to the loss of tribal culture.