Paragraph on Tribal Population of India


Paragraph on Tribal Population of India!

The tribes are the autochthonous people of the land who are believed to be the earliest settlers in the Indian Peninsula.

They are generally called adivasis, implying original inhabitants. The ancient and medieval literature mentions a large number of tribes living in India.


Before the introduction of the caste system during the Brahminic Age, people were divided into various tribes. A tribe was a homogeneous and self contained unit without any hierarchical discrimination.

The study of tribal population suffers from serious anomalies as there is no clear cut and scientific criteria for this purpose. For example, the Gonds are a Scheduled Tribe in Madhya Pradesh, but a Scheduled Caste in Uttar Pradesh.


This problem of anomalies is further aggravated in the case of transhumant groups like the Gujjars of north-western India. A Gujjar Bakarwal Kafila when pasturing in Hamachal Pradesh during summer belongs to the scheduled category and the same group loses this status in its winter pastures on the Jammu plains.

However, under Article 342 of the Constitution of India, certain tribes have been specified as Scheduled Tribes. Article 342 provides for specification of tribes or tribal communities which are deemed to be for the purposes of the Constitution the Scheduled Tribes and relation to that State or Union territory. In pursuance of these provisions the lists of Scheduled Tribes are notified for each State or Union territory and are valid only within the jurisdiction of the State or Union territory and not outside.

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