Revising Arunachal Pradesh ST
Polity & Governance
19th Aug, 2021
Recently, Rajya Sabha passed the Constitutional Amendment Bill (Amendment) Bill, 2021.
- The Bill seeks to amend the nomenclature of certain tribes from Arunachal Pradesh mentioned in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
What does the Bill amend?
- The Bill seeks to modify Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950. Part-XVIII lists 16 tribes of Arunachal, in order: Abor, Aka, Apatani, Nyishi, Galong, Khampti, Khowa, Mishmi [Idu, Taroon], Momba, Any Naga tribes, Sherdukpen, Singpho, Hrusso, Tagin, Khamba and Adi.
- The Bill corrects the names of tribes spelt incorrectly, and adds names of a few tribes that were either named ambiguously or had their parent group named only.
- It makes five changes
- deleting ‘Abor’ (tribe) at serial No. 1
- changing ‘Khampti’ at serial No. 6 to ‘Tai Khamti’
- including ‘Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi)’, ‘Idu (Mishmi)’ and ‘Taraon (Digaru Mishmi)’ at serial No. 8 in lieu of Mishmi [Idu, Taroon]
- including ‘Monpa’, ‘Memba’, ‘Sartang’, ‘Sajolang (Miji)’ at serial No. 9 in place of ‘Momba’
- Replacing ‘Any Naga Tribes’ at serial No. 10 with names of four tribes: ‘Nocte’, ‘Tangsa’, ‘Tutsa’, and ‘Wancho’.
Why is it significant?
- Indigenous nomenclature of tribes has been a long-standing demand in Arunachal Pradesh for two reasons:
- For the recognition of individual identity and to do away with the ambiguity as a result of errors in their names.
- Most of the names for tribes in the Schedule were “colonial interpretations”. “The move is historic because now communities will be known by the name they identify with and not something that is imposed on them
- Article 366 (25) of the Constitution refers to Scheduled Tribes as those communities, who are scheduled in accordance with Article 342 of the Constitution.
- Article 342 says that only those communities who have been declared as such by the President through an initial public notification or through a subsequent amending Act of Parliament will be considered to be Scheduled Tribes.
- The Constitution is silent about the criteria for specification of a community as a Scheduled Tribe.
- There are certain Scheduled Tribes, 75 in number known as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs), who are characterized by:-
- pre-agriculture level of technology
- stagnant or declining population
- extremely low literacy
- subsistence level of economy