Nature Talk

     In common parlance, tribals are viewed as illiterate, ignorant, superstitious people, living a primitive way of life. They live in hilly forest, away from bustling urban life and are very poor. Indeed, they are poor in terms of fiscal economy. Those who have spent a long time with primitive tribes in their own habitat might agree that they do not know begging money. These people are self-sufficient in their self-domain. Currency had little value, as they curved out their own niche in the immediate eco-system. From house holding to food finding to medical treatment, the tribal villagers depended on their own mechanism of survival admits natural environment. Each tribal community follows their own traditional methods in maintaining social, religious and other cultural practices. These practices keep these group identities, which they do not want to sacrifice.

    In developing country like India, special program of development are formulated and implemented. Efficacy of these programmes is debated by scholars in academic seminars, where the tribal villagers are not included. Many persons from tribal families have received higher education and are in various government positions. Some of such persons are political leaders or in policy framing and implementing bodies or in teaching, research and administrative activities. In spite of participation of tribal people, desirable achievements are far from reality.

    Those people live in remote villages are now dependent on fiscal economy as they are deprived of their natural resources. Their self-sufficiency is lost. Many tribal and semi-tribal (these are artificial categorization) people, set out for cash earning activities in the tea gardens, mines or city construction areas. There these people become marginal citizen of the poorest rank and imbibe all vices of so called civilized people. The political religious social activities thrive on these people. The anthropologists build their academic careers and the economist go on prescribing ‘development pills’. In turn these people living in Shanties and Colonies are also replacing their traditional rituals, festivals, songs and dances with ‘modern’ cinema-tottered items.

    The wave of modernization is sweeping over the entire country through the electronic media. The dazzle of glamour is blinding the eyes from classical education. Instead of emboldening their own culture, our tribal people are diluting their tradition. Here they invite poverty into their own social and economic life. The future is to be seen.

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