Should the state intervene with the culture of some important tribal communities of India?

Should the state intervene with the culture of some important tribal communities of India?

A tribal community is a social group that lived before the development or outside of a state.

The tribal belt of North-West India includes Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The tribal belt of Central India stretches from Gujarat to Assam covering Jharkhand, Chattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh.

Intervention of a state with the culture of some important tribal communities has a few positive as well as some negative effects.

Positive effects:

- Intervention of the State can bring about an overall development to a tribal community.

- The State can use the existing methods and customs to preserve their cultural identity.

- In Jharkhand, the state has decided to include Santhali (a tribal language) into the mainstream of education.

- The involvement of the State can help increase the standard of living of the tribal people.

- A State can help restore the natural resources and beauty of the forests, where the tribal folks dwell in.

Negative effects:

- There will be loss of habitat due to deforestation if industrialization and development are encouraged.

- The tribal people are poor and simple. If the government interferes, they may be asked to migrate to the cities. This would disturb their mindset.

- The development work in the tribal areas will force them to give up their lands.

- Mainstream education will be forcefully imposed on them. They find it difficult to cope with an entirely different environment.

Facts and figures

- India has recognized a total of 645 Scheduled Tribes.

- Birsa Munda, who was a freedom fighter during the Indian Independence Movement was from the Munda tribe of Jharkhand.

- The word “Bishnoi” means 29. It involves 20 Hindu and 9 Muslim principles. They became popular during the Chipko Movement of Uttarakhand.
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  • RE: Should the state intervene with the culture of some important tribal communities of India? -Deepa Kaushik (03/17/15)
  • Intervening with the culture should be for their betterment and not for the own profit of the Government. If the Government aims to retain the richness of the culture and incorporate the good values and virtues into the whole state, it would be the actual profit of the intervention.

    Intervention with the culture should also aim towards helping the tribal people with a civilised outlook. To be more accurate, the term civilization does not refer to the modern and status conscious outlook that the present era understands; instead by civilization the government should progress towards teaching them the basic health and hygiene which could provide them a better, clean and healthy environment.

    Education does not only mean the bookish teachings. The tribal people should be educated of the happenings of factual world, the real world out of their small centre. They should be taught the common language to communicate and understand the happenings in the practical world. Intervening with their culture should help in providing them a better standard of living.

    Again, the better standard should be the one that they prefer to have. Nothing should be forced upon those poor people who are unaware of the forgeries and falsity prevailing in the world. They should not be forced to leave their habitat and dragged to the cities without their whole-hearted consent. Every culture has some good values. If at all the State Government want to intervene with the culture of the tribal people, instead of continuous fault finding and depicting their lacuna, they should ideally try to search for the good values in their custom and make them aware to the rest of the world.