Adivasi (editor: indigenous people, original inhabitants) communities have been historically marginalised and oppressed by the dominant communities and interests that exploit tribal lands, resources, minerals, and forests. The neo-liberal policies and schemes implemented by the State are leading to further Marginalisation of tribals. The onslaught on their civil, political, social, economic, and cultural rights has been continuing without any halt and these patterns perpetuate extreme form of deprivation in many ways. Their customary rights over natural resources such as forests, cultural identity, traditional knowledge including intellectual property rights, cultural heritage and traditional wisdom have been continuously put at stake due to the current developmental paradigm of globalisation, liberalization and privatization. Forced eviction and land alienation the two critical facets of tribal rights violations have to be addressed with gravity.
The draft National Policy on Tribals Flawed Fundamentally
Since Independence, for the first time in India’s history, Government has come up with the draft national policy on Tribals. Even though it is a welcome step, its lacunas and ambiguity in addressing systemic issues concerning Adivasi should be addressed comprehensively.
The draft national policy does not organically link with any other current policy, programme and legal formulation and framework and it largely remains as a stand-alone piece. Many other legal as well as policy frameworks such as the 5th and 6th Schedules to the Constitution, PESA Act (Panchayats Extension to Scheduled Areas Act), Forest Conservation Act of 1980, the Wild Life Protection Act of 1972 and the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 are not taken into consideration while framing this policy draft. As the Asian Centre of Human Rights puts it “harmonization of all the policies and programmes and laws concerning the indigenous and tribal peoples should be the focus of a.