Transcript of proceedings: Building a Platform for Dialogue between Different Agencies for Tribal Development
Forests Rights Displacement Land Alienation Naxalite Environment
In India, there has been a lot of growth, lot of development, but not, unfortunately, for tribals. One finds that on all indicators, whether it is poverty or health and nutrition or education, that they have been far behind other groups. Even as compared to dalits, we find that they are not doing as well. Therefore, what are those factors and what needs to be done? Of course, the history of decades, if not centuries, of oppression of tribals, their total exclusion, we have very wrong policies, unfortunately, in forests, in displacement, in land alienation, and those issues have still not been sorted out completely this was focus on two issues. One is that the Government departments, both at the State level and at the Government of India level, is very weak and they do not monitor a large number of problems, whether it is land alienation or displacement or lack of rehabilitation or poor governance etc. All these issues are left to the respective Ministries. So, they are not being monitored and these departments are very weak, posting in Tribal Development is considered to be a punishment posting, no one likes to go there, etc. etc. Therefore, that is one side where governance itself has been very weak unfortunately, even from the side of tribals, if you compare tribals with other groups, what happens is, in India, whenever any group has a problem, they agitate. They would take out a procession, whether it is Gujjars who want to be included in the Scheduled Tribes list, whether it is the Jats who want to be given affirmative response, or whatever be the issue, we find that people would then agitate, they would take out a procession, they would, maybe, gherao the Collector, maybe, there will be some violence, etc.