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Yojana Summary July 2022


Chapter 1. Scheduled Tribes Policies


Context

Indigenous peoples are well-known for their sociocultural traditions and close ties to nature throughout the world. They rely on nature for their everyday needs and only use sustainably extracted natural resources, creating deep links between nature and culture. They tend to worship nature and reside nearby.

 

Typical Tribal Society Features

 

Indian tribal groups: Indigenous people make up 6.2% of the global population. In its “Declaration on the Right of Indigenous People” from 2007, the UN recognised the rights of indigenous people. The socioeconomic and political traditions of the Indigenous people are unique. They make up 8.6% of the population in India. India’s tribal regions are mainly found in the country’s northeast, central region, and in the forested regions of the eastern and western Ghats.

 

Religious convictions: Compared to other communities, tribal societies have a unique connection to the environment. They easily relate to the natural world. Tribal experts have provided evidence of their inseparability from nature in body, mind, and soul. Although it may be common in some civilizations as a result of preachers’ promotion, organised religion is mostly nonexistent.

 

Community: Tribal people exhibit coexistence, amity, and empathy toward other living things at the same time. For centuries, they have not altered their way of life. Unlike urbanised societies, who are more focused on resource use, we can witness respect for flora and animals in their daily lives.

 

Economy: Unlike urban cultures, where growth and development serve as the cornerstones of socioeconomic life, tribals place a strong emphasis on communal living or communal subsistence as well as the concept of “sharing.” These tribal societies exhibit some degree of social stability since they share food, land, and forest resources in addition to seeds, work, difficulty, tragedies, and hazards associated with living in mountains and woods.

 

Accumulation of money is discouraged in tribal societies, since the idea of private property is largely nonexistent. The goals of tribal existence are sustainability and simplicity.

 

Redressing grievances: Despite being portrayed as ferocious creatures with a wide array of archaic weaponry, tribal people typically show restraint and settle disagreements by withdrawal. The indigenous people rarely invade other people’s property. Instead, they have historically been the targets of encroachment on their own territories. In general, they shun fighting and retreat in the face of violence.

 

A list of potential constitutional protections for tribes

 

Scheduled Tribes have always held socio-political autonomy over their own affairs, according to historical analysis. The tribal society’s pre-existing structure of property ownership, forest rights, and criminal justice, however, was upset by British authority. In order to prevent this meddling, the post-independence constituent assembly gave indigenous people particular protections and gave them the authority to manage their own affairs.

 

  • Educational safeguards are protected by Articles 15(4) and 29.
  • Employment protections: Articles 16(4) and 320 (4)
  • Article 19: Territorial safeguards; Article 23: Bonded labour is abolished; Article 46: Protection from social injustice and all forms of exploitation
 
Political Protections
  • Articles 330 and 332 provide for the reservation of seats for ST in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies.
  • Article 164: Appointment of the Minister in Charge of Tribal Welfare
  • Articles 371, 371(A), and 371 of the Constitution contain special provisions for Nagaland, Assam, and Manipur (B)
Developmental Protections
  • Promoting the economic and educational interests of Scheduled Tribes is outlined in Articles 46 and 75, which also provide grants from the federal government to the states for the welfare of Scheduled Tribes and improve the level of administration in Scheduled Areas. Article 15 also makes special provisions for the advancement of any socially and educationally disadvantaged classes of citizens as well as for the Scheduled Tribes. The Constitution (89th Amendment) Act of 2003 gave rise to it. The Constitution’s Article 338A grants the NCST, a constitutional body, its authority.
  • Scheduled Tribes’ problems: The National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSC) previously looked at Scheduled Tribes’ problems (STs). A separate commission was nevertheless established since it was recognised that STs’ issues were distinct from SCs’.
  • A chairperson, vice-chairperson, and three members who are appointed for terms of three years each make up the NCST’s structure. The three members hold the level of Secretary to the Government of India, while the chairperson holds the rank of Union Cabinet Minister, the vice-chairperson holds the rank of Minister of State.
  • Functions: The Commission examines the rights, planning procedures, and constitutional and legal protections pertaining to the socioeconomic development of STs. It also examines issues like shifting cultivation, minor forest produce, tribal rights to water and mineral resources, tribal livelihoods, aid for and rehabilitation of displaced tribal members, land alienation, and the implementation of laws like the PESA Act of 1996 for the welfare of tribal members.
  • Powers: The NCST has the same legal authority as a civil court, including the right to summon witnesses, accept affidavit-based evidence, request public records, and find and produce any documents connected to an investigation or inquiry into a subject involving tribal welfare.

 

Tribal-related behaviours

The primary goal of the Forest Rights Act of 2006 (FRA, 2006) is to provide tribes that live in forests more control. The statute acknowledges and grants tribe members who have lived in these forests for many generations, but whose rights could not be documented, their forest rights. It offers a framework for documenting the forest rights granted to tribal members and the type of proof needed to support such recognition in regards to forest land.

 

The 1955 Protection of Civil Rights Act: The goal of the legislation is to eradicate the idea of “untouchability” from Indian society. It outlines penalties for promoting or engaging in untouchability in any way.

 

1989’s SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act It aims to stop crimes or atrocities against people who belong to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes from being committed. Additionally, it establishes Special Courts for the trial of such offences as well as for the assistance and rehabilitation of their victims.

 

Act of 1996 entitled “Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas)” The Indian government passed PESA, or the 73rd amendment to the Indian Constitution, to include the “Scheduled areas” that are not protected by the Panchayati Raj. State legislatures have the authority to enact laws pertaining to the expansion of Part IX of the Constitution’s provisions to the Fifth Schedule Areas under the Act’s requirements.

 

Sub-Tribal Plan

 

Special assistance is required: The vast majority of Scheduled Tribes continue to have low rates of literacy and to live in poverty. In addition, they are diseased and undernourished. They are also susceptible to being uprooted. The tribals continue to be at the bottom of the socio-economic development ladder despite numerous attempts at the constitutional, legislative, and programme levels. These initiatives need to be redesigned, reframed, and put into action with the intention of producing results.

 

Indian Sub-Plan: The Indian government implemented this plan or strategy to guarantee the socioeconomic advancement of the nation’s tribal population. The Tribal Sub-Plan (TSP) intends to close the socio-economic development gap between Schedule Tribes (STs) and the general population in a time-bound manner. It is a component of a State’s or Union Territory’s yearly plan.

 

Objectives: The TSP’s objectives are as follows:

  • should stop exploiting tribal people and allow for the development of distant tribal places.
  • to lower the level of poverty and unemployment among the tribal people.
  • to offer protection from all forms of abuse and tyranny on a physical and financial level.
  • through providing proper health and educational services, to improve the quality of life for tribal people.

 

Important characteristics: TSP provides funding to concerned ministries in the federal government, the states, and the UTs. The Ministry of Finance determines the share of central ministries in TSP. On the other hand, state governments receive funding based on the percentage of ST residents in each state. Only states with a tribal population below 60% are eligible for TSP. Tribal Sub Plan funds are non-lapsable and cannot be transferred to any other head.

TSP monitoring: In accordance with the framework and methodology created by NITI Aayog, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs (MoTA) is responsible for TSP monitoring.

 

Particular Tribal Groups at Risk (PVTGs)

 

Scheduled Tribes (STs) are indigenous, isolated racial and ethnic groupings with a unique culture. The majority of the Schedule tribes are illiterate and economically underdeveloped. Some of these tribes, meanwhile, are more oppressed than others.

 

The Indian government has designated these tribes as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG). It should be noted that the constitution makes no reference to PVTG, and that STs are only classified as PVTGs for administrative reasons. The use of pre-agriculture level technologies, static or declining population, extremely low literacy, and subsistence-level economies are some examples of factors that are used to identify PVTGs.

 

The past of PVTGs: The Dhebar Commission (1960–1961) found that tribal tribes differed in their levels of socioeconomic development. Acting on the Dhebar Commission findings, the government recognised 52 tribal groups as PTGs in 1975 and classified them as a different category. More tribal groupings were later added to the list in 1993, bringing the total to 75 PTGs. PTGs were changed to Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups in 2006. (PVTGs).

 

Primary PVTGs

With a population of more than 4 lakhs, the Saharia tribe of Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan is the largest PVTG. The Sentinelese have the smallest population size among the PVTGs, with fewer than 50 people still living.

 

Siddi: Siddis, who are famous for performing the Dhamal dance, are found in several Indian states, but particularly in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, and Kerala.

 

Padhar: They are primarily found in Gujarat State. They reside in “Kuba” homes, which are composed of clay, grass, and wood.

They are also Gujarati PVTGs, primarily residing in the Surat region, according to Kotwalia. They are renowned for their work with bamboo. Bamboo is regarded as kalpavriksha by them. In Hindu mythology, a tree known as Kalpavriksha grants all wishes.

 

Kathodis in Gujarat consider themselves to be the descendants of the Hindu god Hanuman. They go by the name Katkari as well. They were in the business of preparing catechu, hence the name.

 

Mankedia: These hunters and gatherers are from Odisha and are semi-nomadic. In metropolitan regions, they practise the profession of monkey catching. They are therefore particularly sought after in locations where monkeys are a threat.

 

Irula: They are a tribe found in South India’s Nilgiri region. Their primary jobs involve collecting honey from beehives and trapping snakes, rats, and other varmints. In order to combat the threat of invasive Burmese pythons in Florida, the state of Florida (USA) hired some members of the Irula community. They converse in an Irula language that is connected to Tamil.

They are hunters in the Andhra Pradesh Nallamala jungle, according to Chenchu. They stay in makeshift huts. Penta or gudem is the name of their settlement. They converse in the Dravidian language family through the chenchu language. Mahua liquor is produced and consumed regularly.

 

Conclusion

One of the most exposed groups in the nation is PVTGs. They are victims of historical injustice, which includes land alienation and other forms of outsider exploitation. Therefore, action must be taken to give these tribal groups more influence. The autonomy of the tribes must be respected while taking such action, and affirmative measures must be adopted while taking into account their distinctiveness.

 
Practice Issue

Q) Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs): What Are They? Despite the existence of numerous social programmes for STs, talk about the need for the establishment of a distinct category among the tribal people.

 

UPSC Previous Years Questions:
  • Performance of welfare schemes that are implemented for vulnerable sections is not so effective due to absence of their awareness and active involvement at all stages of policy process. Discuss. (GS2: 2019)
  • Whether National Commission for Scheduled Castes (NCSCJ) can enforce the implementation of constitutional reservation for the Scheduled Castes in the religious minority institutions? Examine. (GS2: 2019)

Chapter 2. Sports in Tribal Dominated Areas


 

Context:

India recently displayed a respectable performance in sporting events, including the Paralympics and the Olympics in Tokyo.

 

Many of the top athletes come from areas with a predominance of tribal people, like Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Haryana, and the North Eastern States, among others. They suffer from both unfriendly terrain and subpar sporting facilities.

 

Tribals’ Contribution to Sports

Major Sports: In nearly every sport, the tribal people have excelled. However, hockey and archery have shown off their talent the most. Despite the government’s clarification in an RTI that India has no national sports, from 1928 through 1956, India dominated world hockey in six straight Olympic Games. Tribal players have contributed particularly to this dominance:

 

The team led by Jaipal Singh Munda captured India’s first Olympic gold.

Another Olympic gold medallist who significantly impacted hockey is Sylvanus Dung Dung. In fact, he was also the men hockey team’s coach when they took home the bronze medal at the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

 

Birendra Lakra hails from Sundergarh, an area in Odisha where tribal people predominate. He was a member of the Asian Games gold-winning hockey squad.

 

From Simdega, Jharkhand, came the hockey player Michael Kindo. In addition to being a member of the three-time medal-winning hockey world cup team, he won an Olympic medal in 1972. Simdega is referred to as Jharkhand’s hockey capital due to its contributions to sports.

 

Nikki Pradhan: She competed for the women’s hockey team in the Tokyo Olympics 2021, which came close to winning the bronze.

 

Dilip Tirkey is an ex-Indian hockey captain who hails from the state of Odisha. He competed in three Olympics for India. He was a member of the squads that took home gold at the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1998 and silver in Busan in 2002. He received the Arjuna and Padma shri honours. In 2012, he also joined the Rajya Sabha.

 

Sumati Kumari: She is a Jharkhand-born hockey player. In the AFC Women’s Asia Cup and other international competitions, she represented India.

 

Participation in other games As was already mentioned, tribals have helped India advance in sports like archery. Some of the participants are:

 

One of the best archers in the world is Deepika Kumari. She has received the Arjuna and Padma Shri awards. At the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, London in 2012, and Tokyo in 2021, she represented her nation.

 

Famous Jharkhand-born archer Sanjeeva Kumar Singh. As a player, he received the Arjuna Award, and as the coach of the Archery team, he received the Dronacharya Award.

 

Supriti Kachhap: She is from the Jharkhand town of Gumla. She is one of India’s newest athletes.

Football players from Gumla, Jharkhand, are Kartik Oraon, Mamta, and Barkha. The group participated in the Khelo India Games.

 

Indian sports initiatives

 

Khelo India: To provide for the early identification of sporting talent, the central government established “Khelo India” games at the high school and collegiate levels. A chance for the young athletes to leave their imprint on the national stage, these are all athletic events held in India.

 

Olympic Target Podium Scheme (TOPS): This is a programme to find future medal winners and give them funding, training, and facilities so that India’s performance in the Olympics medal count is in line with the abilities of its athletes.

 

National University of Sports The government has authorised the opening of numerous national sports universities to promote sports culture in the nation. For instance, Manipur now has India’s first sports university. In a similar vein, PM Modi opened Meerut district’s first sports university in Uttar Pradesh.

 

Sports regulations: Many states, like Haryana, have made specific efforts to set up facilities for sports at the district level. Similar to this, governments like Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Odisha have developed sports plans to encourage sports in schools and to offer sufficient sports opportunities in areas where tribal people predominate.

 

Sports-related issues in tribal areas

Tribal areas are among the most impoverished in India. For kids, choosing sports as a career is tough due to a lack of employment opportunities and high-quality education. Their continued concentration on providing for their families is impeding the development of their careers.

 

Infrastructure: Tribal areas lack the necessary play places, sports stadiums, equipment, coaches, and medical facilities. This translates to a lack of interest on the part of pupils, which causes good talent to be lost due to a lack of opportunities.

 

Language barriers prevent national coaches and training personnel from communicating with the tribal athletes in their native tongue. As a result, young athletes frequently don’t feel comfortable during their training.

 

The bone structure of the tribal peoples differs. They must therefore use specialised machinery created with consideration for their unique physical needs if they are to function at their best. Lack of research and study in this area, however, causes the tribal people to be lacking and reduces their prospects of excelling in athletics.

 

Conclusion

Numerous tribal athletes from India have competed for their country abroad. As a result, the Union and State governments’ efforts to find sporting talent in tribal areas are going in the correct way. Sports are a significant part of tribal culture. They must receive the right instruction, cutting-edge tools, and other infrastructure facilities. Additionally, if people are able to interact with indigenous people, athletics may be a means of integrating them into society.

 

Practice Issue

Q) Talk about how Indian sports have developed thanks to members of scheduled tribes. Analyze any problems they ran into throughout the preparation phase.

 

UPSC PYQs

  • Do government’s schemes for up-lifting vulnerable and backward communities by protecting required social resources for them, lead to their exclusion in establishing businesses in urban economics? (GS2 – 2014)
  • The Central Government frequently complains on the poor performance of the State Governments in eradicating suffering of the vulnerable sections of the society. Restructuring of Centrally sponsored schemes across the sectors for ameliorating the cause of vulnerable sections of population aims at providing flexibility to the States in better implementation. Critically evaluate. (GS2 – 2013)

Chapter 3. Indigenous Culture


Every tribe in the nation possesses a certain quality that distinguishes it. We must first abandon the arrogance of thinking tribes to be backward, according to former vice president M. Venkaiah Naidu. We must respect the rich and vibrant cultural traditions of each tribe.

 

Gonds

The largest tribal group in India is the Gonds. Gond monarchs have dominated their territory for ages while upholding their culture and way of life. No indigenous Indian population has acquired more significance on the political arena over the course of the last centuries than the collection of tribes known as the Gond, according to famous Austrian ethnologist Christoph von Haimendrof.

 

The vibrant social system of the Gonds is thought to have been created by their chief preceptor Pahandi Pari Kupar Lingo. Gonds have 2250 paadi and 750 paadings (clans) (totems). Castes such as Pardhans, Ojhas, Nagarchis, Dholis, Raj Gonds, Khatola Gonds, Madia Gonds, Dhur Gonds, Dadve Gonds, Mokashi Gonds, Gaita Gonds, and Koyas are among the caste divisions in the Gond society. Distinct Gond communities share rituals and beliefs despite having different names.

 

Parent and kid members make up the Gond family. In Gond society, it is the smallest social group. The daughter joins her husband’s family after getting married. It is patrilocal and patrilineal in the Gond society. The term “patrilineal” refers to a system in which male family members are used to determine ancestry. Patrilocal refers to the bride relocating to the bridegroom’s home after the wedding.

 

Relationships of kinship are significant because they determine the customs, rights, and responsibilities of a family member and member of society. Clans or Paris are groups of families. The clan has a single name that is shared by all members. They can link their ancestry to one another.

 

Patriarchal Society: The Gond culture is patriarchal. Women take care of the home, rear children, and work in agriculture. Women cannot take part in rituals even though they are involved in decision-making.

 

Gonds only wed other Gonds from their own tribe. Parallel cousin marriages and cross-cousin marriages are both common. Love marriages are permitted with the family’s approval. Widows are able to remarry. A person known as a Doshi or Baiga officiates during marriages.

 

Many Gond tribes, including the Raj Gonds, have adapted the Hindu marriage system as a result of the impact of Hindu rituals.

 

Training: Every Gond village has a hostel for young people called a Ghotul. These youth dormitories serve to educate both young boys and girls.

 

At night, the village’s youth congregate inside the youth dormitory, where they interact, play, and learn. Senior members mentor newer recruits by telling anecdotes from their experiences. Inside the ghotul, hunting and fishing techniques are also taught.

 

Gonds practise an animistic form of religion. They revere both animals and flora. Ancestral spirits are revered as sacrosanct. Animal sacrifice is a common part of Gond religious rituals, including the offering of buffalo, cows, pigs, goats, and birds. They think that sickness is brought on by the curse of spirits, and that if they make sacrifices, the spirits will assist them in curing illness.

 

Rituals: They value both positive and negative omen. Both the burial and cremation systems are employed for final rites. The ritualist is referred to as a Pujar, Bhagat, Baiga, Gunia, or Panda.

 

Language: Gonds speak Gondi, a language that is a part of the Dravidian language family. Many Hindi words are employed in the Gondi language as a result of cross-cultural interaction.

 

Food: Rice that has been boiled and millet broth make up a typical Gondi dinner. Gonds eat meat and other non-vegetarian foods, however it is banned to slaughter totems or sacred animals. Gonds enjoy foods produced with mahua, including alcoholic beverages. Mahua liquor is consumed as a celebratory beverage during festivities and gatherings of the community.

 

Males dress in dhotis, vests, shawls, and turbans, and they also accessorise with silver bangles, earrings, and necklocks. Women dress in saris that are belted and accessorised with jewellery. Tattoos are popular among Gonds. They hold the view that tattoos survive death and appease the gods in heaven.

 

Gond folk songs are both seasonal and sporadic in nature. The songs are based on typical Gond life observations and narratives. Karma, Ri-na, Ri-lo, Re-la, Sela-Danda (stick), Mandari, Hulki, Suwa, and other dances are among the most popular. During singing and dancing, many musical instruments are played, including drums, kikir, flutes, and cymbals.

 

Paintings: Gonds are masters of floral design and wall paintings. Animal and plant figures, as well as geometric motifs, are used in the designs. These murals are painted on building walls to entice lucky spirits within. These patterns are frequently used to embellish household objects.

 

Festivals: Gonds take part in both regional and Hindu celebrations. The majority of the celebrations honour the harvest. The entire village joins in on the celebration of the festivals with the community. Akhari, Jiwati, Pola, Diwali, Nawo tindana, Dussera, and Phag are among the celebrations (or Shimga).

 

Impact of External Influence Modernization, westernisation, and sanskritization are powerful influences that are transforming Gond society quickly. Hindu holidays are now widely observed by the Gonds. Family, kinship, and marital institutions have begun to adopt modern social norms. Despite these changes, the Gonds have largely maintained the distinctiveness of their ceremonies and value system.

 

Rajasthani Kalbelia

The Kalbelia are an indigenous group that inhabits parts of Rajasthan. Although some people think that Kalbelia have genealogical ties to the Romans, who had mostly travelled and settled down in America and Europe decades ago, others say that Kalbelia trace their heritage to Navnath yogis, who are nomadic yogis who travel from place to place.

 

Kalbelias make their living by luring snakes. The words “Kal” and “belia,” which both signify friendship, are the roots of the word “Kalbelia.” Kalbelia thus describes a person who has developed a close relationship with death. Venomous cobras that could be fatal were captured by Kalbelia.

 

Culture: Kalbelia have a rich culture that is passed down orally from one generation to the next. They are well-known for their dancing, music, and handicrafts, including ethnic jewellery and needlework. Women dress in black gowns with patterns in vivid colours.

 

Kalbelia are well-known for their dancing. The dance is performed by both women and men from the community, with the males playing pungi or been and dafli and the ladies dancing. The moves of a Kalbelia dancer mimic cobra snakes. The song is mostly based on Hindu myths about Lord Krishna dancing over a snake known as Kaliya.

 

UNESCO has designated the Kalbelia dance as an Intangible Cultural Heritage because of its dynamic performance and bright music. It has also appeared in a large number of Bollywood films. Some of the community’s artists who have achieved international acclaim include Kalunath Kalbelia, Appanath Kalbelia, Asha Sapera, Suwa Devi, and Samda Sapera.

 

Issues: The Kalbelia community is underrepresented in society and in education. Due to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972’s prohibition on snake enchanting, the group now relies solely on dance and crafts for subsistence.

 

The Arunachalean Adis

Adis: The Adis are an Arunachal Pradesh native group. spoken in Sino Tibetan. Adi signifies top of a hill. The Adi can trace their ancestry to northerners who immigrated to Arunachal.

 

Adis practise the Donyi polo worship tradition and revere nature. They completely rely on nature to meet all of their essential needs. They revere nature as their source of life and defend it against destruction.

 

Building: Adis are skilled hut builders. On stilts, they erect rectangular huts. Adis build their homes out of plant materials including bamboo, wood, and cane leaves. Bamboo is used to construct the floor. The house is built to allow for ventilation and natural light. Traditional rice beer is served to mark the completion of the dwelling.

 

Arunachal Tangsas

Tangsa: In the Changlang district of Arunachal Pradesh, in the Noa-dihing river valley of the Patkai highlands, lives the Tangsa community.

 

Culinary Tradition: The Tangsas are renowned for their extensive cultural legacy, particularly in the areas of food preparation and preservation. They cook rice, meat, and fish with bamboo on a regular basis. For food and other necessities of everyday living, they use several varieties of indigenous bamboo, its leaves, and other goods derived from the region’s biodiversity.

 

Tangsa Tea: Bamboo tea is the specialty of the Tangsa people. Although the British introduced tea plantations to India, historical documents show that the Tangsas and Singpo community was already familiar with tea production before the British arrived.

 

Tea is made by the Tangsas by gathering tea leaves from community fields and drying them over fire. In a tube made from recent bamboo, these leaves are roasted. The bamboo tube is split open to extract the dried tea when the leaves wilt. These dried leaves are combined with water in bamboo tubes to make tea. Tea is a common beverage among Tangsas because they think it has therapeutic benefits.

 

North East Rajbongshi

Rajbongshi: The Rajbongshi are an indigenous tribe from India’s north-eastern states of West Bengal, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, and Meghalaya. They are primarily concentrated in West Bengal’s Dinapur district. The term “Rajbongshi” means “royal community.”

 

They can trace their origins back to the historic Koch kingdom. They contend that Rajbongshi formerly controlled the regions they currently call home but lost control owing to British land policy. Agriculture is Rajbongshi’s main line of work.

 

Rajbongshi practise animism, which is the worship of nature. They think that things found in nature have souls. Additionally, they worship the goddess Chandi and carry out rites to please her. The Rajbongshi uphold local biodiversity and responsibly utilise local resources as a result of their religious convictions.

 

Culture: They have a strong cultural heritage that includes many different art forms, including dance and music. They have a distinctive language that is written in its own script, making it different and one of a kind. Rajbongshi perform the Gomira dance, also known as the Mukha nach, together with songs performed in the region’s language.

 

The villagers hold dancing performances during the Chaitra-Ashad month (July to September).

 

The dance is performed while wearing a wooden mask over the face. The masks represent the performer’s submission to the role and are a symbol of their unification with the character they are portraying. Local artists created these masks.

 

Dance: The dance begins with a Vandana song performance, which has songs praising the goddess Chandi. Before beginning the show, the dancers ask Chandi for his blessing. In the performance, many instruments like drums, dhaks, shehnais, and metal gongs are employed. The clothes have vivid colours that match the persona being performed in the dance. Rajbongshi also make a living by doing gomira dance.

 

Folk drama: Rajbongshi perform Khon, a type of folk drama. Unscripted dramas are known as khon, which translates to “moment” in the indigenous tongue. They are regional folktales that are delivered in a comedic and satiric manner. Dialogues, traditional melodies, and dancing are all part of the Khon performance. The Ramayana and Mahabharata are the subjects of the folk songs of Khon.

 

Craft: The ladies of Rajbongshi make jute mat, or “Dhokra” as it is known locally. Local farms provide the jute, which is then hand-processed to separate the fibres for Dhokra. Back-strapped looms are used to weave the separated jute fibres at home.

One of the main means of support for Rajbongshi families is the sale of these jute mats. The mats were previously offered at local markets, but due to urban consumers’ demand, they are now sold in cities with modified designs.

 

Conclusion

Arts, crafts, music, and dancing are some of the distinctive characteristics that distinguish tribal societies. The preservation of natural and cultural legacy, as well as understanding and achieving the harmony between man, nature, and culture, all depend on indigenous traditional wisdom.

 

Tribal living exemplifies the sustainability and harmony with nature of the ancient way of life. In order to comprehend the significance of sustainability, it is necessary to retrace the forgotten traditions.

 

Practice Issue

Q) Describe briefly how metropolitan populations might learn from the manner of life of tribes like the Gonds and Kalbelia, particularly in the context of environmental sustainability.

 

UPSC PYQs

  • Why are the tribals in India referred to as the Scheduled Tribes? Indicate the major provisions enshrined in the Constitution of India for their upliftment. (GS1 – 2016)
  • Describe any four cultural elements of diversity in India and rate their relative significance in building a national identity. (GS1 – 2015)

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