Nature Talk

    Some section of Indian population live under disadvantageous condition mainly because their traditional method of earning became obsolete and uneconomical in present context. When vast majority of people acquired various skills to reap the benefit of modern economy, these people remained cut off from the stream of change in national economy. Reasons are various, from indifference of the administrators or other neighboring  people to uplift these ignorant groups from redundant ways of earning to sheer reluctance by the people themselves. Those who remained in the inaccessible hilly forest for many generations clinging to forest dependent economy remained ignorant about the modern technology that caused changes in the economy  outside of their territory. 

    In many parts of India, the forest dwellers were exposed to Western culture through the Catholic Missionaries, tea planters, mine owners, etc. and imbibed the technology of joining the mainstream of development mainly through formal education. The areas where modern education did not penetrate the people, obviously, could not get exposed to the changes that the modern technology brought about.

    Since independence Government has been taking measures to educate such people whose interest have been protected by the constitution. Some Ethnic groups have been marked as "Tribe" and some as "caste" protected under constitutional schedules. Whatever label is put, these people remained in same socio-economic condition in similar eco-zones.

    In spite of  efforts by various agencies, these people continue to remain backward. Government has rigidly guarded the entry of persons from this category into legislative bodies, educational institutions and government services. Those who have been benefited from these offers have improved their personal lives and those of their descendants. But vast majority of people belonging to the protected communities is still groping in the darkness of ignorance, ill health and poverty.

    Half century of experiment to develop the deprived section of Indian citizen leaves a question to the intellectuals who frame policies for the nation. Whether simply providing facilities and protection from competition with other people can create an urge for development? Whether simply being born in an ethnic community can make one eligible for protected facilities? This type of community-specific Constitutional facilities, initially introduced with benevolent motive, is now being utilized for gaining political power and material wealth. The legally recognized descendancy of children born out of parents of tribal and non-tribal categories is too complicated. Probably it is time to review the efficacy of existing provisions in order to hand out a better way of development of deprived communities (Scheduled Tribe and Scheduled Cast) of India.


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