IGRMS: Noah's Ark

Dr. Kalyan Chakravarty

    The question is not the extent to which a museum should be involved in social or economic issues faced by the communities, or whether it is only a community museum which should be so involved, but whether, any museum can afford to survive in India, or anywhere else in the world, without reorienting its outlook for serving the living museum of the country, and its true curators - the living communities. The livelihood or social issues are not divorced in India from issues of the artistic or scientific expression of communities, which the museums have to gear themselves up to address simultaneously. The museums in India need to transform into community museums by not only re-contextualizing their collection in the backdrop of Indian cultures and communities, but by going out into their midst, to relocate this collection as a dynamic element in the recollection of their life enhancing traditions, for the shaping of their economy and society.

    In fact, it is the psychological and infrastructural block in bridging the hiatus between the art in the museum and the repository and curator of this art in the living museum of the country, and the inability of the museum to attract the communities to its collections or activities, that constitutes the biggest challenge for a museum in India. Most of the museums in the country have been unable to break out of the colonial mental mould, and transcend their current role of being old curiosity shops. The Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya or the National Museum of Mankind has been trying to reverse this process in a modest way by introducing a new museum movement in the country, in which the country itself is seen as the true museum, and the so-called community museum becomes a memory bank and a catalytic Research and Development agent for harnessing the material and incorporeal culture of the communities to galvanizing the process of planning and development.

    The mission of the Manav Sangrahalaya should be read in the background of history of Museums in the last two hundred years in the world, in which they have been created, more often than not, as monuments to the cultural genocide of communities, and have been associated with the promotion of the image of victorious, totalitarian or military regimes. In military dictatorships in Uruguay or Brazil, the older Museums were closed or starved of funds, while huge museums were created in Hitler’s Germany or Stalin’s USSR as monuments to military might. In these museums, the mere physical survival of rather than any intrinsic value in dominant cultures gave legitimacy to their false representation of subjugated communities. Even after acquiring political independence, most of the urbanized and technified communities in the independent countries accepted this museum philosophy, and went on treating museums as mirrors of their historical telos to objectify and represent rural communities on vestigial anthropological curiosities, as superseded beginnings, in their march to economic progress. These dominant communities tended to equated their own interests and plans with national interests and plans, and to subject the variety and complexity of local knowledge systems and traditions to homogenizing, simplifying, universalizing postulates of knowledge. The museums were developed as charnel houses, littered with the debris of destruction wrought among rural communities by the global village communities, riding on the wave of technical, industrial and information revolution. They continued working, consciously or unconsciously, as soporific propaganda machines for lulling the communities into accepting their slow, non catastrophic ecological or biological extinction. At their worst, the museums thus became teleological agents of the destruction of the communities. At best, they were developed as places for aesthetic contemplation of the past divorced from its context, or, for sad but resigned reflection on the loss of ethnographic identities, which were interesting, but were rightly doomed to die.

    In fact, it is the study of material culture as a concrete cultural product, or specimen, divorced from the study of the total culture of communities, or from their specific temporal and spatial context, that has been responsible for this growing museumization of the communities, and for the conversion of living cultural landscapes into cabinets of curiosities, ethnological museums, and finally, into community, environment or eco museums. Very few of these museums are concerned with the recognition or revitalization of traditions, bridging society and art. Mostly, they continue to be refinements of the older appropriative museums, with grudging concessions to regional sentiments. It is true that some museums, like those of the Pacific Islanders of Vanuatu or of the Maoris of New Zealand, have been trying, in recent years, to reassert their customs and traditions, to reorganize the script and selection of objects, and, to substitute a custodial for the older memorial role vis-a-vis their collections. New Museology has also attempted the task of whittling down the distance between the viewers and the objects viewed, and has induced a change from the univocal story of conquering people told by themselves, to a new manner of storytelling, synthetic of different cultural voices of the suppressed communities of Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Exhibitions about the Holocaust, internment of Japanese Americans in US prison camps in World War II, the violence and fear surrounding the civil rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s, injustices done by USA in Vietnam and Latin America, have now come to the History Museum of the United States, correcting their celebratory nature. Simultaneously, a movement for restitution and return of cultural properties to original custodians has begun in the Americas, Australia and in Japan. However, it is not only necessary to restitute and recontextulaise the objects, and reorient their textual narrations, but also to generate initiatives for the replenishment and recycling of traditions represented by such objects. This is not being done.

    The paramount need and urgency of going beyond these limited initiatives, within museum premises, to involvement in the self renewal initiatives of communities, has to be understood by the museums today. It has to be understood by them that the identity of Indian folk and tribal communities in rural areas, like the identity of pre colonial communities of Australia or New Zealand, has hinged on the theory and practice of co-evolutionary interdependence of human communities with other organic and inorganic communities of the earth; on a pantheistic sense of permeation of all forms with common life and vibration; on the acceptance of the dynamic rhythm, colour, tone and hue of nature, in song, dance, costume, subsistence technologies; on a union of art with life, of beauty with utility; on community rather than individual rights and obligations; and finally, on a great diversification of the life base, in trophic patterns, in the use of nature’s resources, or in responses to different agro climatic environments. Museums in India have to realize that the disadvantaged rural communities, that are the curators of the in situ museums of their habitats, are not outside the pale of Indian history, which is not the exclusive domain of the industrialized, urbanized people. Instead, Indian history is itself the history of the pre colonial Indian people living in the vast rural hinterland. The question of survival of the identity of rural communities is also the question of the survival of Indian identity, which may yet provide valuable lessons for saving the human race from itself, and for protecting the museums in India from losing their relevance.

    It was the British who were primarily responsible for initiating the process of musemization of communities in India by opening up community habitats to courts, jails, banks, roads, missionaries, followed by parasites and scroungers including money lenders, shopkeepers, forest contractors and officious civil servants. However, the British had confined themselves to indirect rule through local intermediaries. After independence, this seemingly laissez faire policy has given way to an interventionist policy of development. A democratically elected majority, guided by what Karl Pooper called ‘the high tide of prophecy, and the sense of an inexorable process in history’, is set on the rational reordering of the physical and ideological world of the communities, for reducing it to an artificial existence within the walls of museums. In this process of forced alienation of rural communities from their own traditions, the relatively stable world inhabited by them earlier has become part of a larger world in which all factors have become mobile; in which monetary and legal transactions have assumed precedence over barter and oral agreement; and the communities have become objects of quantifiable targets of expenditure, which have often ignored the quality of their life, local values and customs.

    In introducing folk and tribal communities to the process of planned development, planners in India have often tended to ignore the inter regional variations among them in terms of their resource mobilization capacity, population and resource base, and treated them as a homogenous group. The treatment of communities as a homogenous group has been unfortunate because, the great and little traditions, the plural and encapsulated society, the homogenous, uni-ethic tribe and the heterogeneous multiethnic caste, the obtruded and natural modes of production coexist in every community habitat. As a result, the developmental assistance has widened the gulf and intensified exploitative relations among these communities. The museums have stood by, ignoring or gleefully reflecting the results of such homogenizing development. They have continued to enrich their collections, divorcing the community art from community life, while new technological and industrial museums have come in, to display uncritically, and even eulogistically, the products of globalization, rather than its process.

    India must retain the living museum of its heterogeneous, complex, living community system, in which different human groups are able to grow synergistically rather than in competition, and combine for productive purpose. It must create museums to mirror and sustain these communities and groups. Just as the multiple and complex nutritional property in poly-culture cannot be transferred to transgenic crops, so the individual beauty and vitality of the different Indian communities cannot be transferred into a uni-cultural group of people, or into a mono-cultural museum. Today, the interdependence of the rural Indian communities with the diversity of ecosystems and species, must be seen by community museums as valuable and worth preserving per se, to exclude reliance on any particular life or resource forms, so that disease or disturbance of the ecology and resource base in one part, is not translated into a distruction of all other parts. The eco conservation practices of the Indian rural communities, which are in consonance with the natural self regenerating processes of nature, need not be shored up through in situ museums against the unprecedented and destructive intervention of the biosphere people, which has been leading "not only to the death of species, but to an end of birth". Museums in India cannot adopt the ostrich-like policy of turning their back on the fact that a biological, genetic, molecular and cultural reductionism, and a growing monoculture of crops, trees, organisms, life and the mind, has been introduced in India in the wake of external and internal colonization, that this has gone hand in hand with the domestication of the Indian community habitats, which were living museums earlier, into museums of objects, or that the Indian identity, which is, ultimately, a plurality of egalitarian "tribal" or stratified "caste" identities, is being submerged under the uniform homogenized identity.

    The Manav Sangrahalaya has been created in the backdrop of and in response to this context of the fast changing cultural landscape of India. It is dedicated to developing strategies for protecting these eco-sphere communities, living in close relationship with their eco-niches, from the biosphere people, who keep on prospecting, exploiting and switching from one eco-niche to another to maximize profit. It celebrates the truth that the folk and tribal communities of rural India possess the ability to recognize, codify, classify, present their knowledge and harness it to harvesting nature, through eco-specific, regional models of development without destruction; that the right to environmental self determination of such communities should not be overridden by concepts of overriding national or international interest, or terra nullius; and that, the Museum is only an agency for assisting them in the recollection and replenishment of their life enhancing knowledge and traditions. The Manav Sangrahalaya does not aim at exhibiting physical artifacts, as mere specimens of languishing, vanishing or dead cultures. Rather, it seeks to project, preserve, invigorate and present valuable elements of living cultures and build protective ramparts around endangered ones. It does not suggest that a physically or culturally moribund community is, of necessity, a community which deserves to die and find a niche in a Museum. Instead, it questions the aberrations, violations, deviations and disorders within dominant communities, which may have survived because of aggressive patterns of conduct, which have nothing to do with their validity for human well-being or survival. Hence, this Museum does not raise the question as to whether the many small "backward" communities need to be exhibited as a peripheral and vanishing presence. Instead, it poses the question whether the dominant community or the human race itself is not fast becoming a peripheral presence, doomed to extinction, by ignoring values cherished and transmitted by the ‘backward’ communities. It tries to take small steps towards forestalling this by galvanizing and disseminating the vital and valuable elements of human culture, which may be dormant as much in indigenous, subordinate and ‘marginal’ communities, as in dominant and ‘advanced’ communities.

    What distinguishes the Museum of Mankind at Bhopal from other open air museums of the world, therefore, is the fact that this Museum considers itself as a dynamic instrument for preserving community habitats, their bio-cultural diversity, bio-conservation strategies, knowledge and skills. It considers ex situ conservation through display or storage, collection and documentation as an unavoidable and evil necessity, and as a very insignificant contribution to its primary objective of in situ salvage and revitalization. It looks at the country as the living museum, and conservation of the untold and untapped heritage created by human beings through creative interactions with the human and non human communities in nature as a far superior objective to that of mere passive display of heritage objects in museum galleries, conceived like mortician’s parlors or transit shed godowns. The Museum has been trying, therefore, through pilot projects, to identify and highlight those elements of community life-ways in rural hinterlands, which can be adopted with advantage by urban communities, that have been cut off by the commodification, technification and industrialization, from the variety, complexity and flexibility of such life ways.

    The Museum is trying, simultaneously, to act as a Research and Development Agency to catalyze government funding into alternative channels, away from the mega developmental models of mining, ranching, irrigation, land-development. It has been trying to demonstrate that, rural architecture made of perishable material is often more energy efficient, durable, functionally viable and aesthetically appropriate in a particular context than urban architecture of concrete, glass and steel. It has been suggesting that indigenous water management systems, hugging the lie and slope of the land and respecting the catchments and water-veins in village, are better capable of capturing the water resource in nature than mega dam projects, which destroy more sources than they generate. It has been pointed out that 95% of the herbs we dismiss as weeds, out of ignorance of their functions, are being used traditionally by communities for their own health care; and that, we should use this community knowledge only with prior informed consent of and compensation to the community. Location specific, cost effective solutions, which are human capital using and material capital generating, and, are also non-polluting and ecology respecting, are advocated and advertised by the Museum for adaption and propagation. In this way, the Museum combats the notion that only the big is beautiful, and points out that, whatever is aggressively advertised as the slickest, the smartest, the quickest solution, may not be the best from the point of view of human survival, wellbeing and bounty.

    The Museum at Bhopal does not consider the past alone as its preserve, the Indian tribal or prehistoric man as its only concern, or the indigenous traditional knowledge systems as the only areas of its investigation. It has concerned itself seriously with issues of scientific research and investigation, with a bearing on community well being, with different areas of ethno-sciences, with interface between contemporary and traditional architecture, with urban and country planning, in and ex situ preservation of germ-plasm in minor forest timber produce, viable patterns of water and physical resource sharing and their impact on cultural patterns in the Himalayan system, and, with measures to deal with ecological degradation. It has looked beyond the Indian frontiers and organized programs to explore the identity and difference of Indian communities in the context of other communities of the globe, in South, Southeast, Near, Far East and Central Asia, and even in Europe, among the Roma communities, which have migrated there, carrying many facets of nomadic culture and language from India. It has participated in World congresses on Archaeology, Ethno-biology, Musicology, Rock Art, Museography, Eco-tourism, Biodiversity, Indigenous Knowledge Systems and Cultural Diversity, Conservation, Globalization and Translation, in order to establish common platforms of intra and inter-community dialogue, technology transfer, and collaboration for community-regarding action, combining Ecology, Equity, Economics and Employment. It has devoted itself to presentations with a scientific temper, which does not regard all science as western or all western knowledge as scientific, which is consecrated to the appreciation and exploration of the processes rather than products of science, which looks at the ethics, implications, future of science rather than at its push-button magical explosions of light and sound, and investigates its ultimate impact rather than its front end innovations. Its model is not the Epcot centre of USA, which seeks to build the Environmental Prototype Community of Tomorrow with virtual reality models. It believes that beyond the magic and glitter of such reality, there lies a sharper, a more sinister and tragic reality of doom and disaster, which may well overtake mankind unless it revises its ways.

    The Museum’s field programs hinge on the assumption that the true communities in the country and the world are being replaced by what have been called false communities or, false associations. The human community is trying to destroy its interdependence with other biological and non-biological communities in an eco-house in which there was, even 200 years earlier, a homeostatic balance maintained by a process of bio-geo-chemical cycling and recycling in nature. By destroying this balance through his own thoughtless actions, the human being has accelerated the rate of extinction of all such communities to 40 thousand times more than the background rate of such extinction in the entire biological history of the earth plant. The Museum of Mankind, therefore, tries in humble ways to point out and combat the slow relentless advance of this destruction. It is trying to point out that the Museum need not develop as a fossil park, but develop and publicize the lesson that man may find himself in such a park, unless he is careful. It visualizes its role as that of Noah’s ark, in which the best and the finest in human civilization and non-human nature can find its place in close congregation and association. The museum is a celebration of the truth that identity and difference are the obverse and reverse of the same coin, that ‘each portion of matter is conceivable as a garden full of plants, as a pond full of fishes. But each branch of the plant, each member of the animal, each drop of the humours, is also such a garden or such a pond’. (Leibnitz, in Monadology).

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Tribal Development in Orissa: A Critical Appraisal

Dr. Bijay Kumar Behera

Ecological Constraints
Planning from Above
Overloading of Multifaceted Schemes
Lack of Dedicated Personnel
Lack of Follow-up Action
Increase In Exploitation
Constraints of Educational Development
Growing Inter-tribal Stratification
Passivity and Hostility to Development

    The main problems of tribes of Orissa are indebtedness, low literacy level, malnutrition, poverty, disease and exploitation etc. There are 62 Scheduled Tribes in Orissa, who constitute 22.45 per cent of Orissa’s total population. Though the total population of Orissa is only 3.8 per cent of country's population, its Scheduled Tribe population constitutes 11.46 per cent of India's tribal population.

    The tribes of Orissa are not in the same plane in the techno-economic parameter. On the basis of subsistence economy Orlssa tribes may be classified into three broad categories, such as. Food Gatherers and Hunters, Shifting cultivators, and Settled agriculturists The food gatherers mainly live by hunting, fishing and gathering different kinds of roots, tubers, flowers and leaves from the forest. The best examples of such tribal communities in Orissa are the Birhors and Hill Kharia. The shifting cultivators constitute an important section of the tribal population in Orissa. Many tribal communities like the Bonda, the Saora, the Kondh, the Juang, the Bhuiyan, the Koya and the Gadaba primarily depend on shifting cultivation. The settled agricultural tribes are the Santal, the Gonds, the Binjhals, the Oraon, the Mirdha, the Bhumij and the Bathudi. It may be pointed out that the tribes practising shifting cultivation supplement their economy by food gathering and hunting. Many of the tribes of Orissa also practise shifting cultivation along with settled agriculture.

    The British Government advocated for a policy of complete isolation followed by a policy of exclusion or partial exclusion of the tribal areas. They thought that the task of administration in interior and mountainous tribal areas was difficult and un-awarding. So they followed an approach of 'Leave them alone' towards the tribal communities. Some officers of the British Government believed that the tribal were better and happier in their own society and environment. So they advocated that there was no need to interfere in tribal life-style by extending British administration in these areas. But in the later part of British rule some steps were taken for the development of the tribal. In 1938 a Committee known as partially Excluded Area Enquiry Committee was set up by the State Government of Orissa to enquire into the condition of backward classes especially of tribal and to suggest measures for their improvement. The Committee functioned under the Chairmanship of A. V. Thakar popularly known as Thakar Bapa and submitted its report in 1940. In accordance with the recommendation of the Committee and in order to give concentrated attention to the problems of tribal and other backward classes, a separate Department was formed in 1948. A Chief Welfare Officer was appointed as the executive head under this Department and he was assisted by Zonal and Sub-Zonal Officers to look into the execution of development schemes in the field. The Tribal and Rural Welfare Department started functioning from 1950. Some important functions of this Department are to study the problems of Scheduled Tribe (S.T.) and Scheduled Castes (S.C.) communities in the state and formulate special schemes for their welfare. The other main work of this Department is to ensure that all the Departments to the tribal and backward classes in their development activities give proper weightage. It is the duty of the State Government to safeguard the rights and interest of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Caste and develop them to the level of general population of the society. In article 46 under the Directive Principles of State Policy in Part IV of Indian Constitution, it has been mentioned that "The State shall promote with special care the Educational and Economic interest of the weaker sections of the people, and in particular, of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation."

    After attainment of Independence the Government of Orissa is trying its best for the improvement of socio-economic condition of the tribes by implementing development schemes through its different agencies and institutions, such as, Tribal Development Block, Gram Panchayats, Integrated Tribal Development Agencies, Large-sized Agricultural Multi-purpose Co-operative Societies, Ashram schools etc. The main objectives of the development schemes of the government are to raise the productivity levels of the tribal, development of human resources and upgrading of education, elimination of exploitation in the field of alienation of land, money lending etc and to develop adequate infrastructure. Taking into consideration the emphasis, efforts and amount of money spend for the development of tribal, I feel the process of development has not completely succeeded in curbing the problems of the tribal of Orissa. On the basis of my empirical research, conducted on some major tribes of Orissa like the Santhal and Bathudi of Mayurbhanj district, the Juang of Keonjhar district, the Oraon, the Bhuiyan and the Kharia of Sundargarh district, the Kondh of Phulbani district, the Gadaba, the Koya and the Paroja of Koraput district and Saora of Ganjam district, I discuss below in short, some major constraints or hindrances standing on the way of development of the tribes of Orissa.

Ecological Constraints:

    Most of the tribal villages in Orissa are located in inaccessible hills and forests. So there is lack of facilities like roads and transport throughout the year. Due to this reason there is great difficulty for the development workers and other officials to perform their duties adequately.

Planning from Above


    At the time of planning and implementation of the development schemes, the tribal problems are not correctly perceived and identified. But the development schemes are imposed from above and they do not always reflect relevance to the needs of the local people. The tribal of Orissa as stated earlier are at different stages of economy ranging from hunting and food gathering to modern wetland agriculture. Even the socio-economic conditions of individual tribes differ from one area to another. Different types of development schemes are required for each of these economic categories taking into account the environment and their capacity to withstand the imposed change. The development schemes, which are to be implemented, are formulated either in the national capital Delhi or in the state capital. The people for whom the schemes are implemented are not at all consulted.

Overloading of Multifaceted Schemes:

    Different departments of the government at the same time implement a number of development schemes. Sometime the same scheme is undertaken by different agencies of the Government, which creates confusion among the tribal. It is very difficult for the simple tribal to understand the purpose of the same work undertaken by different governmental agencies.

Lack of Dedicated Personnel


    It is necessary for the extension and other officials working in tribal areas to be sincere, honest and dedicated. It has been noted that most of the officials working in tribal areas take their posting very lightly. As a matter of fact, many of these officials are sent to tribal areas on punishment. Most of the officials spend their time leisurely without bothering much about the proper implementation of the scheme and the socio-economic development of the tribal. Corruption of different nature is also rampant among the personnel working in tribal areas.

Lack of Follow-up Action


    The government constructs and provides facilities like Minor Irrigation Projects, tube-wells, school buildings etc. for the benefit of the tribal. In most of the cases it has been found out that either these are not functioning or damaged. No prompt repair work is undertaken. To illustrate this point in many tribal areas of Orissa the government supplied high-breed variety of cows to the tribal on subsidy basis. But no provision was made for regular supply of proper fodder for these cows. The tribal had no other alternative than to send these animals for grazing to the open fields and forest. Without proper fodder these high-breed animals suffered from different types of diseases and many of these animals died. So the tribal had to bear heavy losses due to the death of these costly animals. Incomplete planning is not only harmful but has an adverse effect on the people.

Increase In Exploitation


    The implementation of different governmental schemes in tribal areas has even led to greater exploitation. The activities of contractors, moneylenders, non-tribal traders’ etc have increased considerably in the tribal area of Orissa. As per example the Large-sized Agricultural Multi-Purpose Co-operative Societies (LAMPS) provides different types of credit to the tribal. Most of the tribal are unaware of these credit facilities. It has been found out that the non-tribal avail these credit facilities in the name of the tribal. I have also noted that the essential items like controlled cloth, Kerosene oil, Sugar etc., which are kept in the Fair Price shop of the LAMPS, are mainly purchased by Block Officials, teachers of schools and other non-tribal. Many a times the tribal are denied to purchase these items, even if these are available in the Fair Price Shop of the LAMPS.

Constraints of Educational Development:

    Before independence, the scope for education of tribal boys and girls was very limited. But after the establishment of number of Ashram Schools and Kanyashram Schools, one can find educated tribal boys and girls in the interior parts of Orissa. According to my findings, the government scheme to impart education to the tribal through Ashram schools is of great success. But there are many constraints for the educational development of the tribal. The main constraints of tribal education are (a) Location of Schools (b) Contents of Education (c) Improper teaching technique (d) Dropouts in Schools (e) Parental indifference to Education (f) Medium of instruction (g) untrained and lack of dedicated teachers.

Growing Inter-tribal Stratification


    The tribal who are economically better off and educated are taking full advantage of the development programmes of the government. But the needy and poor tribal are either unaware or are not considered for the benefits due to various reasons. The development schemes widen the gap between the rich and poor tribal thus increasing inter-tribal stratification.

Passivity and Hostility to Development


    The implementation of different development programmes has also registered adverse effects on social and cultural life of the tribal. The tribal are becoming individualistic, which has created jealousy and disagreement within the family. No longer they can afford to lead an easy-going life but required to work harder than before for their livelihood. Due to these reasons a sense of hostility has cropped up in their mind. They have lost faith in these programmes of the government. According to many tribal there is no improvement in their life-style due to these governmental schemes. The lengthy procedures and length of time taken for implementation of the schemes, harassment by government officials’ etc. has made them disinterested to the development programmes.

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Jharkhand Development and Aspirations of the Tribals

Dr. P. DashSharma

Methodology of Study
Policy Implications


    In 1980 I edited a book entitled "The Passing Scene in Chotanagpur" which was published by a local publisher of Ranchi. It was the first publication of Sarat Chandra Roy Institute of Anthropological Studies to commemorate Sarat Chandra Roy, the Father of Indian Anthropology. I wrote thus in the Preface of the book "Sitting here at the desk between the tall windows of the study room of late Sarat Chandra Roy at his spacious Church Road house, I am wondering how to introduce this book, which I conceived about a year back. The portrait of Sarat Chandra Roy hanging on the back wall of my desk, giving me a feeling, that my activities in this room are being keenly observed by the one who in the flesh moved in this very room some thirty-eight years back."

    It was a fine evening in the month of February 1979 sitting in this room, relaxing after my day's library work and discussing with Miss Mira Roy [youngest daughter of late S.C.Roy ] about the uncertain future of this great collection of about four thousand book [ it must have crossed more than six thousand by this time], that I started thinking seriously to develop a memorial institute to preserve the works of this great scholar. In the middle of April 1979 I decided to publish a book in memory of Sarat Chandra Roy. In the third week of April I decided to publish a book in memory of Sarat Chandra Roy. In the third week of April 1979 I had to be away from Ranchi for a field study at Netarhat [154 km west of Ranchi. It is a plateau covered with thick forests and situated at a height of 3,700 feet. Generally people visit this place to enjoy its breathtaking sunrise and sunset It is a tribal dominated area.] on either side for six weeks working among the Kisan and the Birjia of Netarhat plateau. It is in this field that I developed the title "The Passing Scene in Chotanagpur" for this memorial volume. My observations and experience which I had during my travel from Ranchi to Netarhat through Gumla road after crossing the Ratu block tell me and which I can recollect now, give the impression with extensive paddy fields, corn fields, touching the horizon, sometime lined with distant hill ranges, and with scattered small huts thatched with dried straw, or roofed with red mud tiles (khapra) here and there and occasionally clustered huts close to the bus stands or near the developing urban centres and some khalihans [paddy thrashing and winnowing area] near the corner of the paddy fields. This landscape is still visible when one moves away from Ranchi towards Gumla, or towards Tatanagar or Khunti region. Nothing much has changed in the countryside even after quarter of a century from my first visit to Netarhat in the year 1975.

    The State of Jharkhand was created after bifurcating Bihar, a long cherished dream of the tribals of the area which came to reality on 15th November 2000, for which they struggled hard tenaciously through peaceful agitation for about sixty years. Formation of the State of Jharkhand [the youngest state of the country] could happen only under a non-Congress government at the Centre. Recently the Jharkhand Government celebrated its 3rd Anniversary as Establishment Day on 15th November 2003. And as it happens in such political celebrations, it was all rhetoric, dreamy assurances and make-believe promises to the common man of Jharkhand. The Hindustan Times supplement on Jharkhand 3rd anniversary is boldly lined with interesting catchy headings. Some of them are as follows:

"Welfare State my priority"—The Chief Minister, Shri Arjun Munda

    Shri Arjun Munda writes, "I believe in Bhagidari (partnership). In tribal State like Jharkhand, the tribals need to have 'equitable participation' in the development process. The tribals should not be used for their lands and discarded thereafter. They should be made partners in the enterprise set up on their land. By 2020 I aim to ensure their Bhagidari"

"Open doors to development"

— Shri G.Krishnan,

    Former Chief secretary of Jharkhand  Krishnan writes " When Jharkhand became the youngest State of the country … it had the most industrially advanced cities in its fold and above all it had people with a vibrant tribal culture. … It also had very high percentage of its people below poverty line, one of the lowest literacy rates in the country, probably the lowest literacy rate among the tribal female population. It had very high incidence of Malaria, a very large segment of population suffering from malnutrition and a very high infant mortality rate. The problem of shortage of drinking war too was acute during the height of summer. "

    The State Development Report which was commissioned by the Planning Commission with assistance of the State Government and prepared by XLRI was a step to take care of these problems. Development would basically mean improving the quality of life of the people. Essentially it would mean reducing the percentage of people living below poverty line to a very low figure, much lower than the national average.

"Development index zero"—

says Stephen Marandi, Leader of the Opposition

    "Three years have gone by since the formation of the State but the government has sadly missed out on all aspects of development. The age-old feelings of brotherhood , which existed amongst the people of the State has become the first casualty and today great animosity can be seen amongst all sections of the society.

    A Hindustan Times correspondent cited a report on 19 November " State precariously placed". "An overview of the population, health and social development scenario of Jharkhand presented by UNFPA advisor Dr Almas Ali and Dr B.P.Thiangarajan, Joint Director, Population Foundation of India have argued on the basis of strong data base that " perhaps no other state in India is as adversely placed in the context of development as Jharkhand, notwithstanding its immense industrial and mineral potential".

    The report says that the root cause of overall poor health status of Jharkhand is poverty —both income and human related, social deprivation, low literacy rate, specially among the females, and structural inequalities in terms of class, caste and sex. Thus, most of the disease burden in Jharkhand is directly or indirectly attributed to poverty. The other causes of ill health are education levels, awareness levels, low-level of social investment on health, geographical inaccessibility and not so efficient functioning of the government health machinery.

Nutritional Status of Jharkhand

  • 1 in 9 children dies in first year of life

  • 1 in 3 dies before the age of 5 years

  • Girls are more likely to be stunted and boys waisted

  • 54% of children under 3 years are underweight, 49% stunted; 25% waisted

  • Just 26% children aged 6-9 months receive breast milk and mushy food

  • Only 6.5 % children is fully vaccinated

  • 32% children was never vaccinated

  • 2 out of 5 women are undernourished

  • Anaemia in young children is 70%

  • Anaemia in women is as high as 72.5%

  • 40% women has chronic energy deficiency

Unhealthy Figures in Health Report of Jharkhand





Health Sub-Centre




Primary Health Centre




Community Centres




Sub-Division Hospital




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    According to the Government of India guidelines there should be 7260 health sub-centres in the rural areas but there are only 4462 sub-centres. Unfortunately the erstwhile Bihar government built only 37 referral hospitals in the 37 blocks and ignored the other blocks. Worst still for the 44 statutory and 108 census towns there should have been 1740 health posts for the urban areas. Against this not a single health post was created by the erstwhile Bihar government or for that matter the present government during the last year. In a recently conducted study it has been found that the total number of non-diet beds in the State are 3366 in the government health-care system. Similarly in the diet category, there are 6735 beds. In the matter of availability of doctors from the MBBS, allopathic stream there is one doctor for 21,520 people.

    We can understand from these figures the state of development in the State of Jharkhand, as the health status being a reflection of the socio-economic development of a state. The two-day conference [17-18 November, 2003] on " Population Stabilisation, Health and Social Development in Jharkhand" was recently concluded at Ranchi where the experts, policy makers and the planners arrived at a consensus that massive efforts are needed to uplift health services in Jharkhand. The experts were unanimous that best results in the field of health could only be achieved through the combined efforts of Government and NGO, in view of the poor health facility in the State.

    A very large area of the State has been declared a malaria zone by the World Health Organization and hundreds die of it each year. The steps taken by the government to redress this problem have hardly produced the results they were supposed to. Even after three years the people of the State are forced to drink polluted water. Officials who are totally insensitive to the aspirations of the tribals of the State today occupy important posts. The dreams of Birsa Munda, Sidhu-Kanu , Jaipal Singh, Kartik Oraon and the countless who had sacrificed their lives during the Jharkhand movement are being trampled.

    We understand the reasons of the ire of the leader of the opposition Shri Stephen Marandi, which he voiced through his article presented on the occasion of the third anniversary of the State. However, the aspirations of the tribals are very high though the development scenario is not very encouraging in Jharkhand.

    Though the government records suggest a very poor over all picture of the development process in the rural areas of Jharkhand, however, we find something encouraging is happening among the tribes of Chotanagpur, particularly among the youths of the major tribal groups of the present time.

    We find that the impacts of Hinduism and Christianity have a radical effect on the life and culture of the tribes of Chotanagpur. Though the transforming effect is a slow process, however, it has gradually helped the tribes in developing an inner strength to perceive the realities of the present day situations which have lead to a new kind of social and economic mobility among the educated tribals of Jharkhand. Under the rapidly changing situations during the last few decades which have led to social disruption, conflict, tension and frustration among the tribal peoples of Chotanagpur, a gradual change is now being perceived among the elite who are in search of new identity of self which covers an entire spectrum of educated youths, professionals —- like doctors, lawyers, contractors, teachers and also the tribal school children. For the understanding of the new identity among the tribals of Jharkhand a study was initiated on the aspirations of the educated tribal youths of Ranchi and their parents. This study on the aspiration of the tribal youths is basically a study on the social and economic mobility of the tribals of Jharkhand. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship in terms of urbanism and the individual modernity and aspirations of the educated tribal youths of Ranchi. Stress has been given specifically to study the aspirations of the students and the jobholders who are residing at Ranchi city. For comparative study some rural samples have also been covered.


    The data collected for the present study on the aspirations of the tribals of Ranchi have been done by interviewing the different categories of the tribals through structured schedules. The study has been specifically designed to cover the tribal students up to the level of the university and those who are in various jobs and services after completing their studies.

    It has been assumed hypothetically that the aspirations of the students and the jobholders would be different. So the hypothesis that the students have different aspirations than the jobholders has been tested in this study through comparative study.

    The methodology followed for studying the aspirations of the educated tribals of Ranchi was interviewing the different categories of the tribals through open ended structured schedules. In the present study more attention was given to the student group which covers about 79.22% of the total sample size(N= 154). The details of the sample collected for the different categories of the tribal groups for the present study are as follows:


  • High School Students (St. Paul’s School, Ranchi city) Sample size 32
  • High School Students ( Project High School- Jonha, Angara) Sample size 43 (Rural sample)
  • College students (Gossner College, Ranchi) Sample size 24
  • University students(P.G.Departments, Ranchi University) Sample size 23
  • Total = 122


School Teachers

  • (Gossner Middle School, Bethesda Girls High School,
  • Elizabeth Girls High School ) Sample size 10
  • College Lecturers (Gossner College ) Sample size 05
  • Government Servants ( A.G.Office / H.E.C.) Sample size 10
  • Total = 25


  • Medical doctors ( Ranchi city) Sample size 03
  • Engineers and technical persons (H.E.C.) Sample size 04
  • Total = 07

Total sample for the present study: Total = 154

Sample size and characteristics of the data collected

    The data have been collected during the months of June to September 2001. In the course of the data collection for the aspiration study among the tribals it was realised that stress should be given more on the student’s sample, as the students are in the process of education and are with dynamism (the emphasis given in the project title). Whereas the jobholders (government servants) and the professionals are already settled in their life and thus have less of dynamism in them as revealed from their answers. This general statement has been tested through the data analysis of the sample collected.

    The students in the process of getting formal education are aspiring for their jobs and security, hence large number of student sample ( about 80% of the total sample) has been collected for the aspiration study.

    For policy planning and policy implication of the aspiration study, the youth and the student groups were found to be the most important sample group for general study, vocational study, entrepreneurship and skill training programmes, hence maximum sample has been covered for this group. Further, for comparative study of the high school students of Ranchi with the high school students of rural area , samples from the high school students from Jonha of Angara block of Ranchi district have also been covered in this study.

    The sample for the present study covering 154 tribal individuals showing the representation of the different tribal groups are as follows:


   The stratified sample of 154 tribal individuals as represented by students, jobholders and professionals have been covered for the present study from Ranchi city. The predominant tribal population in Ranchi city is of the Oraon which is largely represented among the student sample and among those tribals who are in service.

Aspirations of the students

    The aspirations of the school students of Ranchi is very high, as most of them are aspiring for government jobs, banking service, medical and engineering services, while a few are aspiring for business. The most striking feature observed among the students who are studying in rural school is that most of them are not aware of the problems of the professional services, yet they have expressed preferences for jobs and services other than government service. This possibly reflects that rural students are not much exposed to the scope, opportunities and the problems for the jobs and professional courses under the prevailing situations in underdeveloped areas of Chotanagpur.

    The various categories of aspirations of the college students and the educational and occupational levels of their parents indicate that the tribal college students are more aware of the present day job opportunities than their parental generation. It is also observed that the aspiration levels among the college students are changing as they are more exposed in the competitive world of job preferences as compared to the younger group of students represented by the school.

    The study reveals that more than 52% of the tribal students of Ranchi University have expressed aspirations which are of very specific nature, while about 48% of the university students have not expressed their aspirations specifically, probably this is because of their lack of confidence in them. Though about 50% of the students who do not have any specific job preference, however, are aspiring for good financial position and status in the society.

Aspirations of the educated tribals in service:

    The present study reveals that about 72% of the tribals in service at Ranchi belong to the Oraon tribe. The analysis of the different types of jobholders gives interesting results. The three different types of jobholders are giving basically two distinct types of their aspirations. The government servants and the professionals are aspiring for higher salary and status in their jobs and present occupation, while those tribals who are engaged in the teaching profession are mostly aspiring and are interested in the education of their children and social welfare work among the fellow tribals. The self-centred nature of the government servants and the professionals is found to be missing among the teachers of the tribal community. This is a very interesting situation revealed in this study.


    The study on the aspirations of the educated tribals of Ranchi has important policy implications. This study has been specifically taken up among the educated tribals of Ranchi so as to understand the nature of their aspirations, their desire, their ambitions in life. This is a cross-sectional study of the educated tribals of Ranchi. Though the sample size(152 educated tribals) is not very large, nevertheless, some clear picture emerges from this study which has been spelt out in the foregoing chapters. This cross-sectional study also reveals the occupational changes and the aspirations of two generations; that is of the students and their parents on one hand; and the tribals who are in service( average age above 40 years) and their parents. Thus it reflects the tribal occupational and educational changes and their aspirations.

The future planning and programmes in tribal dominated areas in Chotanagpur must address the following:

1. The rural tribal students who are not much exposed to the scope, opportunity and the problems associated with the jobs and professional courses under the prevailing situations in the rural areas, need our most attention for building awareness among them and the rural development programmes in which they can participate and share the responsibilities.

2. There is need for vigorous drive to educate the tribal women students and the lesser known tribal communities about their rights and privileges and the various development programmes initiated for them in the rural areas by the government and the non-government organisations.

3. The self-centred nature of the government servants and the professionals are found missing among the teaching tribal community. This is a very important finding of the study as the educated- tribals who are teachers must be encouraged to involve themselves in development programmes particularly in the rural areas or in their ancestral villages as they are also interested in welfare works apart from teaching. This involvement of the educated tribals is very much desired so as to encourage the younger tribal groups for confidence building and educating the tribal adolescents and the youths of rural areas.

4.Government and the NGOs have to think hard to identify the various job opportunities, vocational studies and various skill training programmes which can be extended to the tribal youths of the rural areas for developing their confidence and image building, and at the same time to evolve some mechanism for them for their earning while learning, which will ultimately help them to identify the systems for generating incremental income for their sustainability.

Photograph Source :  


References :

Hanging of Laxman Naik: A Tribal Gandhite

Birendra Nayak

Laxman Naik (Lakhan Naik, Lakshman Naik) belonged to a remote tribal area Tentuliguma of Malkanagiri subdivision in Koraput district. He was born on 22 November 1899 into Bhumia tribe .Like his father Laxman was also appointed by the King of Jaypore as Mustadar to collect rent and deposit it with Royal officials. For his position, he commanded respect of the fellow villagers as the head man and guardian. He could have led a comfortable life as his father. He was quite popular amongst the people for his simplicity and humility. The officials and the King had all praise for Laxman. He was a Good Samaritan who could never stand people in distress. He used his knowledge of traditional medicine to cure the ailing patients and distributed medicinal herbs amongst the needy people. As the headman, he was involved in various welfare measures in the villages like construction of village roads, digging drains and even providing off season employment to the villagers in such projects. He made all efforts to see the economic well being of the tribals of his region. He also saw to it that the community life of the tribals become more enjoyable. He therefore encouraged more and more entertainment programmes being performed by the tribals. Laxman turned his village Tentuliagumma into an ideal village.
During freedom movement, he was enthused by patriotism. He came in contact with the Congress leaders of Koraput district and attended a camp of Congress workers in Nuagaon of Jaypore. He familiarized himself with the Gandhian thought and moved from place to place to organize the activities of freedom movement. These activities included resistance to the repression by the officials, resistance to illegitimate collection of rent, resistance to the practice of forced labour. He also organised picketing in front of liquor shops taught them to be fearless, raised an emotive aspiration in people for a free India while spreading the message of independence. He always mediated to resolve conflict as people had confidence in him. During the movement, he went around dissuading people from cooperating with the government or its officials, pleaded with them not to pay war tax, not to help in war, not to obey the government rules, etc.
In thought and action, he was a peace loving, nonviolent, simple and humble man. He was never tired of traveling into distance areas through jungles and mountainous terrain to conduct meetings and to spread the message of independence. He never had any weakness for honour. Neither he ever aspired to become a leader and to assume the power of authority. He considered himself as a dedicated and loyal worker committed to the cause. He therefore was extremely popular. But the moneylenders, the rich, the businessman, the government employees who found their interest or designs being frustrated were biting their lips in rage against this simple, humble and fearless man.




The siege of Matili police station was a part of the 1942 August Revolt. Matili was then under Malkangiri Tahasil.On 21st August 1942, people from neighbouring villages moved towards Matili in streams. They were flaunting congress flag and chanting Ramdhun and in intervals raising the slogan 'victory to Mahatma Gandhi". Patriotism was in full display. It was about half past nine in the morning when about one thousand people had assembled in an open space near the market place. Laxman briefly described the agenda of the day. That they would proceed to Matili police station and hold meeting in front of it.They would hoist the Congress flag on the top of the police station. They would squat until their arrest .He instructed every body not to resort to any violence even under the provocation by the police. March started. Laxman led the procession with the Congress tricolour flag in the hand. Anticipating such gathering an elaborate police arrangement had been made. So before the procession led by Laxman could reach the police station, on the way it was intercepted by police and was forced to return to the market place again. In the market place Laxman again addressed to the gathering explaining them the meaning of independence and how it would lead to the abolition of the practice of bonded labour and would mean everything , the villages, forests and fields, the police station, revenue office etc., belonged to them. They again proceeded towards the police station but only to face this time the armed police personnel at the entrance of the police station. Being face to face, a minor scuffle ensued between the demonstrators and the police personnel. The demonstrators committed to their resolution of not resorting to any violence did not hit back the police though the police had already had lathicharged the demonstrators. Laxman was dragged by the police and was mercilessly beaten. His moustache was burnt. The demonstrators were at their wits end. Their beloved leader Laxman Naik was being tortured. The sight was unbearable to the demonstrators. They tried to force their way into the Police Station. At this stage police opened fire Yet the Congress workers held to their ground, they could not be frightened. In stead two persons from the procession tried to hoist the flag atop the police station but were shot dead by the police. They were Linga Bhumia and Nakul Madkami. Many more died in the police firing along with them died the forest guard G. Ramayya, an opium addict who was on the day of firing was not in his senses and therefore had strayed into the crowd at the receiving end of the firing. But Ramayya's death was seized by the administration as a unique opportunity to implicate Laxman as murderer of Ramayya. The administration succeeded. A votary of nonviolence and himself at the time of firing lying unconscious, Laxman Naik was held as prime accused. He was sentenced to death by Sessions Court. In between his death sentence by the sessions court and appeal against it lying in the High Court, Laxman had written a letter to one Mr. Radha Charan Das, Advocate wherein he pleaded his innocence. He wrote:

"Dear Sir,

I have been sentenced to death on the charge of murdering G. Ramayya, a forest guard of Jeypore Estate. Even though innocent, I am now under the penalty of death as a victim of the malafide intentions of the Police. I have been working as a sincere Congress worker for the last so many years. I look upon Mahatma Gandhi as my ideal and his principle of non-violence as the supreme vow of my life. I have always been very careful so as not to deviate from this path of non-violence under any circumstances. That day after I had spoken on the resolves of independence, a large number of people, in defiance of the Police order, stood peacefully in front of the Police Station to court arrest. Ramayya was really killed in the inhuman and senseless firing which the Police opened on the innocent people. I had been struck with lathis and bayoneted in the face before the Police opened firing. I lay unconscious as a result of this Police torture. In these circumstances it was utterly impossible on my part to be able to attack and kill Ramayya. I am innocent before God and also in my conscience. I now look upon you as my only saviour. I have already filed my appeal in the honourable High Court. I would request you to kindly keep touch with me and furnish all relevant information to my counsellor in the High Court after examining the necessary documents.

Yours faithfully,

Lakshman Naik

(Convict No. 661)."

But all such appeals and pleadings failed. The High Court confirmed the death sentence. It became inevitable that a believer of nonviolence had to meet the violence of power.

In Berhampur jail Laxman Naik was hanged to death. It was Monday, 29 March 1943.

Manmohan chaudhuri, veteran freedom fighter and son of Gopabandhu Chaudhuri who was in Berhampur jail at the time of Laxman Nayak’s hanging, describes the night before the hanging in his autobiography (in Oriya) Kasturi Mruga Sama as follows:


Laxman Naik was confined to the cell meant for prisoners sentenced to death.

The appeal in the High Court did not succeed. The day of hanging was fixed to be 29th March 1943. on the previous day, the Jailer conducted a search of all the wards, lest there might be weapons in any ward. Even the implements of the carpenters were taken away. All the wards were locked; prisoners stayed in the locked rooms. Scarcely one would have slept in that night. It was a night of bad dreams. The educated cultured people would kill one of our compatriots cold-blooded and we would be helpless witnesses to it; we were revolting inside. But what was the way out; the violence that had over taken the nation and its people was manifesting in naked form.

May be to revolt would have occurred to some. Later, somewhere, in a meeting of workers Nabakrushna Choudhury broke down while recalling the hanging of Laxman Naik and said, "We are all cowards. We should have tried to save Laxman Naik". Such attempt would never have succeeded but it would have been a protest and an expression of the concern of agitated souls. It would have served as a burning example and as a source of inspiration for the future generation. But this did not happen. Instead, they suppressed their anger and anguish and resolved to root out the rulers who had killed Laxman Naik. The elder brother of Lenin was sentenced to death on the charges of attempt to murder the Czar. Lenin, in protest, did not lay his life. He resolved to root out the Czar rule and to establish a new society. He more or less succeeded.

But how long we could remember the feelings of that night? How far we could take the resolve of that black night? We got Swaraj- the power of self-rule. Those who were witness to that black night, many of them turned out to be blood suckers for the people whom Laxman represented. Ramnathan, who had pronounced the death sentence without any reliable evidence against Laxman Naik, but at the behest of the orders from the top, later became the blue eyed boy of the Congress Government of Independent India.

The day before hanging, Laxman Naik wanted to meet Sadashiv Tripathy, a Cogress Leader of Koraput district. Sadashiv was taken to Laxman. Laxman said to him," Sir, I am leaving. Are we really going to get the power of self-rule, the Swaraj? Will people live in peace?" Sadashiva replied in a choked voice," Oh! Surely. Should there be any doubt about it?" Laxman Naik said, " Victory to Mahatma Gandhi".

Throughout the night we were hunted by scaring thoughts, the details leading to his hanging were crossing the mind. Every small sound was enough to break our sleep. Was 4.00AM struck? That was the hour scheduled for Laxman’s hanging. Before that Laxman would be given bath. Then his hands would be tied behind and he would be led by four warders almost running towards scaffold. He would be made to stand on the platform. A longish cap would cover his head. There would be present surrounding him the officials of the district administration, police superintendent, civil surgeon, jail superintendent, jailer, two external witnesses, jail doctor, police constables, warder etc. Then the noose would be dropped to be tightened around his neck. All care would have been taken as per the jail manual such that hanging did not fail Laxman. At the schedule moment the jail superintendent would wave a handkerchief for the hangman to operate the handle. The hangman would obey the order. The noose around Laxman’s neck would shrink till the neck bone broke and Laxman hanged to death.

The hangman in Berhampur jail was the jailer himself, one Mr. Rao. In jails under Madras Presidency Law provided the jailer as executioner. As Berhampur was earlier in Madras Presidency, this practice was in vogue in Berhampur jail. Mr. Rao would be executing Laxman Naik for which he would be rewarded with twenty-five or thirty rupees, a bottle of wine and one day holiday for consuming alcohol.

We all got up from sleep at about 3.00AM, sat for prayer. Some political prisoners were in the cell adjacent to Laxman’s cell. After some time a feeble voice was heard from that cell. Then Baidyanath in our cell raised the slogan ‘ Inquilab Zindabad". The slogan echoed in the entire jail. The slogan went on being endlessly repeated carrying all anguish, all anxieties, and all the tears as if the entire jail was crying. The scaffold was hardly 50 cubits from the gate of our ward. We could hear the sound of a fall. The slogan was however continuing. My father in choked voice said, " Why again? He can’t hear any more.

The Case Details:

Laxman Naik was arrested on the charges of leading a gherao of the Mathili Police Station on 21.8.1942 that led to the death of a forest guard Rageya. The case registered against him and his 53 other compatriots bore the Case No.58/1942. They were first tried in the Court of the Deputy Magistrate Somanath Mishra and were found guilty of the charges and the case was transferred to the Sessions Court in September 1942. They were brought from Jaypore jail to Koraput Jail. After two months hearing the Additional Sessions Judge V.Ramanathan passed the judgment on 13.11,1942 as follows:

  • In the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Koraput

  • Sessions Case No.18 of 1942

  • The 13th day of November 1942

  • King Emperor (Mathili P.S. Case No.58 of 1942)------------Complainant

  • Lokhan Naiko and 53 others---------------------Accused

  • Case Committed by Sri Somanath Mishra

  • Treasury Deputy Magistrate, Koraput

  • Present: (Judge) V.Ramanathan, Esquire, I.C.S

  • Additional Sessions Judge, Koraput.

Findings of the Judge:

Accused No.1 is found guilty u/s 302 I.P.C, 147 I.P.C. u/s.5 D.I.Rule 35 D.I.Rules.

Accused No.2-10, 12-17, 19, 22-54 are found guilty u/s 302 I.P.C read with section 149 I.P.C., 147 I.P.C., and under rule 35 D.I.Rules. Accused Nos.11, 18,20 and 21 not found guilty.

Sentence or Order:

Accused No.1 Shrri Lokhan Naiko is convicted under Section 302 I.P.C and sentenced to death subject to confirmation by the Hon'ble High Court. He is also convicted under Section 147 I.P.C. of committing a prejudicial act under Rule 38(5)D.I. Rule and of approaching the Police Station Mathili with intent to damage it under Rule 35 Defense of India Rules and is convicted of these offence and no separate sentence is passed.

Accused Nos. 2-10, 12-17, 19, 22-54 are convicted under Section 302 I.P.C read with 149 I.P.C and each sentenced to transportation for life. They are convicted u/s 147 I.P.C and each sentenced to R.I. for 2(two) years. They are also convicted u/s 35 of the Defence India Rules and sentenced to R.I. for seven years each. All the above sentences will run concurrently.

Accused Nos. 11, 18, 20, 21 are found guilty of the charges tried against them and acquitted to the same and they are directed to be set at liberty unless they are required to answer any other charges.

(Rao Saheb A. Appalaswamy Naidu, Public Prosecutor, Koraput District, Jaypore conducted the prosecution and Shri R. Jagannadha Rao, advocate Jaypore defended the accused persons having been engaged by the Crown)

Laxman Naik was sentenced to death whereas 49 of his compatriots were awarded life imprisonment and the rest four.

Photograph Source : as in References

References :

  • Lakshman Naik A Study in Tribal Patriotism by Nihar Ranjan Patnaik, Academy of Tribal Dialects and Culture, 1992

  • Dhuli Matira Santha (in Oriya), by Gopinath Mohanty, 1983

  • Kasturi Mrugasama (in Oriya) by Manmohan Chaudhury

ISSN: 2249 3433


The word tribe is variously used in literature to denote a community on the basis of homogeneity. Originally many autochthonous communities who were identified by similar culture, social organisation and governance, living away from the main stream life of a country, were mentioned as tribe by their colonial rulers and Western scholars. Many such communities have moved towards the mainstream lifestyle so that they may no longer be identified as secluded, underdeveloped people with queer customs. This has happened to all areas of the world where tribal communities live. Still, many tribal communities lead their lives in very primitive ways devoid of the techno-economic glamour of contemporary civilization. These communities are labeled as "Primitive Tribal Groups". Indian Government has identified such tribal groups to give special attention to their development, whereas in the Indian Constitution all the tribal groups are recognized as "scheduled tribes".


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Professor S.K.Ghoshmaulik
Retd Professor of Anthropology, Utkal University is the Editor of this e-zine

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