<SiteLock

Is Government against Tribal development?

 

Bodhi Ramteke

bodhi ramtekeIn the caste based social system of the country, tribals are also a big exploited class. In 70 years of independence, their constitutional needs do not seems to have been met. I am of the opinion that the tribals have a different lifestyle and culture and it should be cherished and preserved. But depriving them of the development ensured by the Constitution in the name of preserving culture is utterly reprehensible.

Statements like: tribals who live in the forests and mountains are very happy in their own life despite lack of facilities, are made. But the question is, has the government taken any efforts to make them aware about their right to such facilities? Until and unless they know that electricity, roads, education, internet, health services are their right, then the only option before them is to live a happy life without any expectations.

The way a citizen in the capital of the country can live enjoy all those entitlements, the last man in the forest, in the mountains, should get the same facilities. Only then can we claim the existence of term 'Equality'.

Some laws are made when there is no need for them, but other laws are not made even when there is a need. The same thing happened with the Forest Rights Act. It is unfortunate that this law came into existence in 2006, a long time after independence, when people had to agitate for enforcement of the law. It's been 14 years since the law came into existence but the speed of implementation is very slow. Lakhs of community and individual claims on forest rights are still pending. The motto of the act is to preserve or to hand over the traditional tribal lands to the tribals who are living there for decades. Instead of fulfilling the motto of the act, the government is proposing mining projects in that same traditional forests. All these things can called as planned exploitation of tribals by the system.

Only while proposing mining projects government promises employment. It can be clearly seen that government talks about our development only when they see their own benefit. Why doesn't the government talk about education from which we are kept deprived for so many years? We will solve our employment problem ourselves if you guarantee quality education. But these things are not considered in the process of planned exploitation.

The question also arises: when the government wants to talk about the development of the tribals, then why only Sharma, Verma, Mittal, Ambani and such high caste, wealthy established people are given mining licences? Why doesn't the government want us to be the ruling class? This is because their ultimate aim is to keep the social structure as it is, where we should always remain at the lowest level and they should continue to exploit us.

This mentality has remained with the post-independence ruling class.
The ruling class is not just the politically governing class. It means the class which has control over cultural, educational, political, medical, business and all other fields on the basis of their 'caste'.

Non-profit organizations or social organizations are needed for development work but the upper castes form the ruling class in that field too. As it can be clearly seen in the rural and tribal areas, that in the name of tribal and rural development, social organizations of the upper castes have been created, which don't even let others work in those areas. However, it is not clear what development has been achieved these organisations in the tribal areas by taking money from the government and common people for many decades.

It is a matter of admiration that a lot of research has been done in the field of medicine in a tribal-dominated district like Gadchiroli, but have the social organizations working in the medical field demanded that a government medical college be started for the tribal students of Gadchiroli? No. Providing health services through institutions and organizations is a temporary interention but educating the tribals and making them doctors is a permanent solution.

Even today, the requirement of 33% forest cover in the state is being fulfilled only in the tribal majority areas. It is true that Jal, Jungle, Jameen (Water, Forest, Land) are part of tribal life, but does government want the tribal just to continue to fulfill the requirement of forest cover for the state instead of talking about quality education and other facilities? Today the government needs to realise that it is the tribals' right to get quality education and other facilities along with the preservation and conservation of their culture and traditional forests.

Recently, we received the very shocking report about tribal scholarships from Integrated Tribal Department, Kalwan, Nashik district, through RTI. In 2018-19, 8 crore 46 lakhs were sanctioned for scholarships but only 2 crore 74 lakhs were spent on students. While 4692 applications were received in 2020-2021, it is very unfortunate that not a single rupee has been allocated in this academic year.

The total provision and expenditure of Post Matric Scholarships during 2015-2020 was almost the same i.e. Rs. 62 crore. Only Rs 10-15 crore has been increased in this five year period. On the one hand, the Tribal Training and Research Department that is holding its Golden Jubilee. On the other hand, the total number of beneficiaries is only 22093. Then the question arises: where exactly did the money go under the name of tribals? Why there is no discussion about their quality education?

There are issues of their hostels, there are issues of holistic development, but if the funds sanctioned for it are being swallowed by government itself, then there is no hesitation to say that the ruling class is pushing the tribal community backward.

~~~

 

Bodhi Sham Ramteke is from Chamorshi, Gadchiroli. He is a final year law student at ILS Law College, Pune. He is a recipient of Samata Fellowship of CORO India and is working with HR Activist Adv. Asim Sarode, Pune.

Other Related Articles

A Tribute to a liberated AdiDravida Christian
Tuesday, 19 October 2021
 D. Albert, S.J. [JC Anthony was born in colonial India into an impoverished AdiDravida family. His father was a cook in the British cantonment. He worked in the Indian Air Force of independent... Read More...
Buddha and caste system
Wednesday, 13 October 2021
  Bhikku U. Dhammaratana There are some writers who try to depict the Buddha, the Enlightened One, as the teacher of Nibbana who had nothing to do with the affairs of the contemporary society.... Read More...
How mainstream feminism has failed Dalit women
Tuesday, 12 October 2021
  Anamika Kumari As long as there is casteism in this country, no other '-ism' would ever stand a chance to flourish. This country follows the rule of 'brahminism' and thus follows every other... Read More...
'Great boast, little roast': DSE and Bahujan students
Friday, 08 October 2021
Preeti Koli and Ritika Koli Dr. B.R. Ambedkar said: "Turn in any direction you like, caste is the monster that crosses your path. You cannot have political reform; you cannot have economic reform... Read More...
Pariyerum Perumal: On the caste reality of South Tamil Nadu
Wednesday, 06 October 2021
  Deivendra Kumar A Indian cinema, born under the clutches of imperialism, had undoubtedly maintained the space or difference between the elites and the marginalised. In recent years, the... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Casteism in City Colleges and Classrooms
Saturday, 29 May 2021
Aarushi Punia It is a common myth perpetrated by upper caste faculty, students, politicians, and media that caste superiority and casteism is exercised amongst uneducated people in the villages, and... Read More...
Conceiving a New Public: Ambedkar on Universities
Saturday, 26 June 2021
Asha Singh & Nidhin Donald Dr. B.R. Ambedkar conceptualizes education as a ‘vital need’ which helps us fight notions of ‘inescapable fate’ or ‘ascriptions of caste or religion’. He... Read More...
Dr. B.R. Ambedkar - From Denunciation of the Vedas to the Negation of Karl Marx and Surrender to Nāstika Buddhism
Sunday, 16 May 2021
Dr Aniruddha Babar “Buddha would never allow violence, but the communists do. No doubt the communists get quick results because when you adopt the means of annihilating a man, they do not remain to... Read More...
Caste management through feminism in India
Friday, 06 August 2021
Kanika S There was a time some 5-6 years ago when feminism tried to undermine Dr Ambedkar by pointing out that he carried a penis.1 Now he is just as fantastically a carrier of feminist ideals... Read More...
A portrait of the casteist as a young influencer
Monday, 12 July 2021
Shy of inquiry into privilege, social media posts flaunt antiquated attitudes to caste, reservations Rahi Gaikwad We are all to some extent the prisoners of our upbringing.-PD James (Death in Holy... Read More...