Tribals are still targeted by laws that reek of British Raj prejudice

Arghya Sengupta & Aditya Prasanna Bhattacharya

Jaipal Singh Munda was a remarkable man. A skilled orator, an Oxford graduate, Olympian and gold medallist in hockey, Munda was a passionate advocate for tribal rights in the Indian Constituent Assembly. The atmosphere in the Assembly was hostile to tribals.

Ambedkar, adopting the borrowed language of eugenics, had earlier said of tribals: “Thirteen million people living in the midst of civilisation are still in a savage state, and are leading the life of hereditary criminals!” He was opposed to any reservation for tribal persons in legislatures because he felt that “they had not developed any political sense to make best use of their political opportunities.”

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Views expressed above are the author’s own.


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