Tribal Culture is the Mother of Civilisation

Tribal Culture is the Mother of Civilisation

Tribal culture is the ancient ,accepted and followed as mother of “civilisation”. When the society imbibed the civilisation and enlarged their settlements in larger area the adaptation and assimilation of ancient culture has brought in new dimension of civilisation. The merger and acquisition of modern corporate philosophy of multicultural corporations has got the genesis from this habit of humanity. The areas and population of left out mapping of settlement maintained the same rudiments of ancient Tribal culture. It is a must for any part of the world under Nation states to protect it as the DNA of their ancestry. The so called modern society is also proud of its ability to keep the certain area of the Nation state as Tribal area or autonomous Tribal territory.

Indian National Congress Champion of Tribal Identity:
This concept of sustained Tribal Autonomy by recognising and conferring special status was accepted as principal approach of Indian National Congress. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru emphasised this in his writings and speeches. His daughter Indra Gandhi followed and acted upon the principle laid by the Dr Ambedkar and constituent Assembly Members while drafting the constitution of India. Rajiv Gandhi made it possible by giving autonomous status of control, Management and inclusive development by conferring rights of Administration by Tribal Society. Congress Government made laws of Parliament.

Smt Sonia Gandhi’s Initiative for Historic Legislations:

Smt Sonia Gandhi made an Act of Parliament conferring rights over the Natural resources to the individual, family and society ownership of such rights through the Parliamentary actions and enactments. They are as follows :

The Scheduled Tribes and other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA);

The Provision of the Panchayats (Extension to the Scheduled Areas) Act, 1996;

Minor Forest Produce Act 2005; and

the Tribal Sub-Plan Strategy are focused on the socio-economic empowerment of STs.

The Land Acquisition Bill, which has been renamed as The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and resettlement Act 2012.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi has accused the Narendra Modi government of reducing budgetary allocations for tribal development and actively working to dilute their land rights.

In a statement on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People, Ms. Gandhi said the government must adopt the recommendations of the Virginius Xaxa Committee, which had been set up in 2013 to assess the socio-economic status of tribal people in India.

‘Serious threat’
The committee had recommended changes in law to ensure land rights and greater control over resources for tribal people.

“The government’s plan to dilute environmental governance and tribal land rights is a serious threat to the welfare of Adivasis,” she said.

Ms. Gandhi said it was “important that the medical fraternity and governmental institutions recognise the unique health care challenges of our tribal population and make appropriate investments in related research and development”.

The Congress president drew attention to what she termed “the special bond between India’s 104-million strong Adivasi population and the Congress”.

She said tribal welfare and development had been intrinsic to the ethos of the Congress.

India is pioneer in domestic legislation of International conventions.

India is pioneer in domestic legislation of International conventions.

Within the international legal framework for the protection of the rights of indigenous peoples, the ILO has adopted two legally binding international instruments that specifically address indigenous and tribal peoples:

The Indigenous and Tribal Populations Convention, 1957 (No. 107).

Convention No. 107 is no longer open for ratification, but remains in force for 18 countries.

The Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989 (No. 169).

Convention No. 169 has been ratified by 20 countries. It covers a wide range of issues, including land rights, access to natural resources, health, education, vocational training, conditions of employment and contacts across borders. The fundamental principles of the Convention are that indigenous and tribal peoples should be consulted and fully participate at all levels of decision-making processes that concern them.

UN Support :

UN support the Government of India’s efforts towards greater inclusion of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the development process. India is a signatory of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly at its 61st session on 13 September 2007. The declaration sets an important standard for the treatment of indigenous people and is a significant tool towards eliminating human rights violations against indigenous people and assisting them in combating discrimination and marginalisation. In this regard, India has also ratified core conventions and governance conventions including the Forced Labour Convention (No.29) , Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (No.105), Equal Remuneration Convention (No.100) and Discrimination (Employment Occupation) Convention (No.111)Three priority conventions ratified by India are Labour Inspection Convention (No.81), Employment Policy Convention (No.122) and Tripartite Consultations (International Labour Standards) (No.144). Challenges being faced by India on ratification and promotion of fundamental and governance ILO Conventions are due to non-conformity with national laws and lack of technical assistance.

The United Nations is supporting India and the Government of India’s inclusive growth agenda as articulated in the 12th Five Year Plan, and promotes ratification and adherence to these conventions through creating awareness, building capacities of the constituents, advocacy, training and technical cooperation.

Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
About Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes
Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs) are among the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups in India. With its focus on ‘faster, sustainable and more inclusive growth’ the 12th Five Year Plan highlights that concerns of the poor, the Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities, differently abled and other marginalised groups must be addressed for growth to be inclusive.
Securing rights to forest produce enhances and sustain livelihood and economic security.

BJP Government ‘s anti Tribal Approach:

The followings report is published in “Business standard ” date 31 March 2015 by Mr Nitin Sethi

India has told the World Bank that it is not ‘comfortable’ with mandatory need for free, informed and prior consent of tribals who are displaced for projects funded by the Bank. The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s submission to the Bank comes at a time when it is working to do away with the need for consent from tribals, while handing over their traditional forests to industry.

India’s position was stated to the World Bank during consultations held on the latter’s Safeguard Policies & Proposed Environmental and Social Framework. This document, once finalised, would become the policy the Bank follows while lending to countries for specific projects.

The NDA government told the World Bank that India has domestic laws and rules that protect tribal rights, including the powers of consent “in some cases” and the Bank should rely on such domestic regulations instead of imposing its own conditions. But, domestically, the NDA government is on the verge of passing executive orders that would do away with the veto powers of tribals that protect their forestlands in most cases.

At present, the Forest Rights Act requires governments to seek the prior informed consent of gram sabhas (village councils) of tribals when their traditional forestlands are to be given over to industry or other development projects. Since June 2014, the government has been working to dilute these provisions though it’s been opposed by the tribal affairs ministry tooth and nail.

The need for consent while using tribal people’s non-forest lands is available only in the limited Schedule V and VI areas under the land ordinance and does not extend to all tribal lands in the country.

The Indian submission to the World Bank says the proposed Bank policy “prohibits forced evictions of indigenous peoples. This standard mandates that in three specific circumstances free, informed and prior consent is needed before proceeding with a project affecting indigenous people. We are not comfortable with this provision.”

The NDA government justified this saying, “Domestic laws of acquisition and protection of such communities already provide for adequate safeguards, including consent before acquisition can take place in certain cases. The Bank thus needs to rely on such domestic laws/guidelines where the domestic laws rules etc. take care of such issues.”

It added, “The proposed clauses like free, prior and informed consent (replacing consultation process) can lead to legal complications, delays, increase in costs and delay in project execution.”

Consultations are non-binding in nature but prior informed consent gives tribals veto powers over the use of their lands.

Reacting to this submission, Aruna Chandrashekhar, Amnesty India’s Business and Human Rights Researcher, said, “This further contributes to a disturbing trend of the government’s unwillingness to even listen to its citizens’ concerns on decisions affecting their lands and resources. Along with recent attempts to bypass the Forest Rights Act for a variety of different projects, its current position on respecting the free, prior, informed consent of adivasi communities is a distinct reversal from its decision on the Niyamgiri mine in 2013.” Amnesty has been tracking the debate on the World Bank safeguards and environmental policy.

India has demanded that the Bank’s lending policy should not be intrusive setting up long-term inspections and environmental supervision of projects that go beyond and are more onerous than the requirements of domestic law. “The engagement of the World

Bank should be in the spirit of partnership, and should be non-intrusive,” it has said.

“Besides the creating an intrusive regime, such conditionalities imposed on loans from the Bank create an imbalance in the way environmental and sustainability norms are imposed globally. Most of the Bank’s borrowers are developing countries, we must remember,” said a senior government official, who was part of the consultations for preparing India’s reply. “The policy should not become a backdoor route to impose additional and more onerous targets on developing countries. The lending must be in adherence to domestic laws of each country,” he added.

India has also opposed strict standards and monitoring of greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption of projects for which the country borrows from the Bank.

One can very easily understand that how the best programmes proposed by Indian National Congress is de- railed now. Now it is our duty to bring awareness to the stack holders, States and Union Government to implement the Laws and reach the Tribal population to empower them .
As the Chairman of Parliament Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances , Law and Justice , our committee is working on “Synchronisation of Tribal Laws into regular System of Law” will further bring Executive, legislative and Judicial reform for enforcing the Constitutional Provision in Part IX and Schedule 5 and 6 . The real implantation of laws are the only course of remedy in democracy. The civilisation and modernity should address necessity of this obligation to the people .

Dr E. M . Sudarsana Natchiappan.

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