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Gujarat govt constitutes a five-member commission to protect the rights of tribal

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    16th Jul, 2020

Gujarat government constituted a five-member commission to decide rightful beneficiaries of Rabari, Bharwad, and Charan castes residing in the Ness areas of Gir, Barda, and Aalech forests.

Context

Gujarat government constituted a five-member commission to decide rightful beneficiaries of Rabari, Bharwad, and Charan castes residing in the Ness areas of Gir, Barda, and Aalech forests.

About

Background

  • The central government had, through a notification dated October 29, 1956, conferred ST status on people from Rabari, Bharvad, and Charan communities living in the nesses of Gir, Barda, and Alech in Gujarat.
  • Many tribal community leaders have been protesting for quite some time alleging that several people who do not live in nesses have managed to get ST certificates and are enjoying undue reservation benefits, mainly in government jobs.
  • To resolve this issue and decide the legitimate beneficiaries of ST status among the members of the three communities, the commission has been formed.

Composition:

  • The Five-member commission would consist of a retired High Court Judge, two retired District Court Judges, a retired Forest Department official, and a retired Additional Collector.

Objective: 

  • To resolve the long-pending issue about the Scheduled Tribes Certificate for the tribal living in the region.
  • To protect the Constitutional rights of rightful tribal and to prevent the wrong person from taking benefits of the tribal.

About the Tribes

Bharwad

  • The term Bharwad is reported to be a modified form of the word 'Badawad' and 'bada' means sheep and 'Wada' in Gujarati refer to compound or enclosure.
    • The person who possesses compounds or pens in this caste of shepherds was known as Badawad which in course of time came to be known as Gadarieas. In Sough Gujarat they are referred to as Ahirs.
  • They communicate in Gujarati. They use the Gujarati script.
  • Clan exogamy is the norm. They practice monogamy. Ghargenu (remarriage) is permitted in case of the death of either spouse.
  • Bharwad women have no right to property inheritance. Bharwad women enjoy low status.
  • The Bharwads are pastorals who are permitted to graze their sheep and cattle in certain demarcated areas of the reserved forest. Some Bharwads possess dry agricultural land under the Satharnal scheme (1968).
  • The Bharwads profess Hindusim. Lord Krishna is considered the supreme God. Each clan has its deity. Their chief deity is Masai Mata.

Charan

  • They are also called The name Charan is derived from the word char which means grazing.
  • They speak Gujarati and use Gujarati script. The Charan are strictly vegetarian.
  • There are four endogamous groups among the Charans known as Prajia, Seva, Agarvacha, and Tumbel. Hierarchical order does exist between these groups
  • The Charans marry within their community.
  • The Charans are traditionally cattle breeders. They have also adopted agriculture as their secondary occupation.
  • They profess Hinduism. The main deity of the Charan is Pithorai Mata located at Pathrama village in Mendarda taluka of Junagadh. She is their chief as well as a regional deity.

Rabari

  • Bhopa is the short name used for a group of Rabaris who are referred to as Bhopa Rabari.
  • They had migrated from Rajasthan via Kutch to Okhamandal and now most of the Bhopa Rabaris are, distributed in the Okhamandal region of Jamnagar district.
  • They speak a language which is a mixture of Gujarati, Kachchi, and Marwari words and Pharasi; it is popularly known as a language, by the community name, i.e. Bhopa. They use the Gujarati script.
  • Women do not have the right to parental property.
  • The main economic activity of the Bhopas is sheep breeding and selling of milk.
  • The Bhopas profess Hinduism and are Shiva and Shakti, followers.

Constitutional Provisions related to Schedule Tribes

  • Article 366(25) provides the definition of Scheduled Tribes: Scheduled Tribes means such tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within such tribes or tribal communities as are deemed under Article 342 to be Scheduled Tribes for the purposes of this Constitution;
  • Article 342 (1): The President may with respect to any State or Union territory, and where it is a State, after consultation with the Governor thereof, by public notification, specify the tribes or tribal communities or parts of or groups within tribes or tribal communities which shall for the purposes of this Constitution be deemed to be Scheduled Tribes in relation to that State or Union territory, as the case may be.
  • Article 342 (2): Parliament may by law include in or exclude from the list of Scheduled Tribes specified in a notification issued under clause (1) any tribe or tribal community or part of or group within any tribe or tribal community, but save as aforesaid a notification issued under the said clause shall not be varied by any subsequent notification Part XVII Official Language Chapter I Language of the Union.

Educational, Economic and Public Employment-related Safeguards

  • Article 15: Prohibition of discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.
  • Article 16: Equality of opportunity in matters of public employment
  • Article 19: Protection of certain rights regarding freedom of speech, etc
  • Article 46: Promotion of Educational and Economic interests of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and other weaker sections
  • Article 335: Claims of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes to services and posts

Political Safeguards

  • Article 243D provides reservation of Seats for Scheduled Tribes in Panchayats.
  • Article 330 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in the House of the People.
  • Article 332 provides reservation of seats for Scheduled Tribes in Legislative Assemblies of the States.
  • Article 334 provides that reservation of seats for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in the Lok Sabha and the State Vidhan Sabhas the representation of the Ang would continue up to January, 2020.

Agency for Monitoring Safeguards

  • Article 338 A: National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST).

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