Tribals still unsafe in the wild

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 27 May 2018 10:44:12


 

By Anshuman Bhargava,


Most of the tribal faces, no matter how talented they are, still don’t get a fair opportunity to make it big on the national scene. Nor their path of struggle is any easy. Over seven decades after Independence they are still jostling to find a footing of equality


The tribals hold all the possibilities and potential but despite laws allowing them quota and easy access to the corridors of opportunity and privilege, only a few really get out of their situation and break into the upper echelons


hough politically motivated demands are raised from certain quarters from time to time to end reservation in jobs and education, it is a fact often understated that the tribal communities in India are still backward and exploited.
Most of the tribal faces, no matter how talented they are, still don’t get a fair opportunity to make it big on the national scene. Nor their path of struggle is any easy. Over seven decades after Independence they are still jostling to find a footing of equality.


Mafia, businessmen, politicians, babus, money-lenders and local goons, all have bigger or smaller roles in exploiting tribals and keeping them oppressed.


Such a situation serves their multiple business and political interests. If they open their mouths in protest or rise together in opposition, several issues will come out in the open and several heads will roll. It is thus, always a political strategy to show them the goodies, and keep them humble and complying.


The tribal leaders are facilitated and kept in good humour, which ensures that the community men under him won’t ever raise a voice in reverence and expectation of good things to happen. The tribal leaders are lost in the charm of power and money and forget their own men. The poor tribals continue to suffer.


Their jungles are ravaged, their natural habits and habitats are molded and destroyed to suit modern needs, and their natural resources on which their livelihoods depend are plundered systematically to serve business needs.


The tribals end up being labourers in mines and industries where they are flogged and worked up like horses and paid a pittance. We see a handful of privileged tribals in high positions in the cities and think all tribals are having a gala time under the various protective laws that favour their growth. But the reality is must disorienting.


The simple and unlettered tribals in deep rural and remote forest pockets don’t even know the law, let alone fighting in the court of law.
Their simplicity and ignorance are taken advantage of and huge profits are made by vested interests at the cost of their prosperity.


The tribals hold all the possibilities and potential but despite laws allowing them quota and easy access to the corridors of opportunity and privilege, only a few really get out of their situation and break into the upper echelons.
It takes a lot of effort and courage for a deprived boy from a deep Bastar forest to enter a reputed college in a capital city and leap ahead from there.


The world is never kind to anyone for his simplicity. And we all know the situation of education, health and infrastructure facilities in such remote and isolated pockets of the country where everyday living is an immense struggle full of uncertainties.


The laws are in place but till the time every tribal is empowered enough to know the law and utilise the same for their benefit, exploitation will go on.


And the business of exploitation is kept afloat precisely to safeguard against the possibility of tribals getting empowered. As long as they are impoverished and left in the dark, there are always ample prospects to make hay by using them as tools.


Vinay Amber, a social worker, who has worked for years in Chhada tribal area of district Dindori says, “In the name of development tribals are being exploited and tribals are not safe. Many Mafia businessmen are buying their properties at very low prices. They are being made to suffer in the very habitat where they have lived from ages.”