Home » Languages » English (Sr. Secondary) » Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Preservation of Tribal Culture in India” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Essay, Paragraph or Speech on “Preservation of Tribal Culture in India” Complete English Essay, Speech for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

Preservation of Tribal Culture in India

Our tribes, through the centuries. have been leading a life V absolutely different from the lifestyle of the common men in the rest of India, weaving a colourful pattern of folk songs, folk dances, values of life that value the innocence of man.

Their social customs, cultural traditions and economic lives are distinctly their own. They have been least affected for ages by the razzle-dazzle of the modern world and have been living contented lives. Since wants are few, life has been kind to them. Most of the Indian tribes are concentrated in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra. They also include gypsies.

Foundations of the tribal life of India have been shaken by the trauma of change. Indeed, most of the tribes in India still live in the most pitiable conditions of poverty, poor health, ignorance and illiteracy. They are the victims of centuries-old exploitation by civilized people and upper-caste hooligans. Their labour and wealth have been tapped to feather the nest of others while they have become poorer. Their economic lives, societal norms and cultural value systems are under the threat of losing their special characteristics.

Paradoxically enough, the installation of heavy industries. hydroelectric projects and the consequent development of the means of communication right into the interior of their sanctuaries have made them aliens on their own native soils. The so-called development has displaced them from their original habitat, adding to their burdens and miseries. Contacts with non-tribals, triggered off by several development projects. have created a crisis of identity, clash of cultural values and lifestyles and also the very outlook towards life: A stele of ferment and slow transition is forced upon them. Thus, socio-cultural institutions having been adversely affected a state of social disorganization and maladjustment is slowly consuming tribal life.

The most question is—should we isolate, assimilate or integrate them? The famous anthropologist Dr Verrier Elvin, once remarked. ‘The contact of civilization has generally had an adverse effect on tribal art and culture. His exquisite taste for design and colour disappears when a tribesman enters into a shop in a bazaar. The splendid tribal dress and ornamentation are rapidly abandoned in favour of a parody of Western clothing. The tribal languages have shown an alarming lack of vitality when confronted by a system of education in another language. In some areas, the dance has died out altogether; in others it has become woefully debased. The tribal craftsman does not seem to be able to maintain his standards before external competitions.’

If we accept the spirit of Dr Verrier Elvin’s supreme concern for the sancity of tribal life, it would mean that tribals are better and happier under those living conditions that they are fond of (in jungles and wilderness). There cannot be anything better than allowing them to live untouched and grow in their own way. There is an urgent need to preserve and protect their culture, beauty, harmony and originality of tribal areas. But can this ambitious goal be achieved by keeping the tribals in isolation? It may no longer be possible to put them in a museum as one would-Wish. Tribals, on their part, cannot afford to remain untouched by the winds of change blowing violently at their doorsteps. Not at all the changes are unhealthy; there are changes that could make the lives of the tribals happier and prosperous. But others could uproot them from their traditional social and cultural bases.

We may have to embrace a middle path—help the tribals absorb the best of what the modern world can offer while helping them retain or preserve the best of their priceless heritage. We must introduce them to the new world, which comprises vital elements like meaningful education, rudimentary medical care and the modem methods of communication to the isolated world of Adivasis. But at the same time we must see to it that the foundations of tribal culture are not shattered because of the onslaught of the modern civilization. There are many practices the tribals could give up to the best of their advantages; the method of Jhuming (shifting cultivation), moving from one place to another and excessive drinking are a few striking examples.

Tribals have won many battles during the recent times. Three States have been created in India and Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are the states that represent the liberation of tribal areas. The concept of assimilation again would assume that tribe’s are inferior and to others stand to gain only by absorbing the so-called superior culture of the non-tribal people. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru once observed: “It is one of the glaring facts that they (the tribals) are something different, requiring special treatment and attempting forcibly to absorb them into the normal pattern of social life.” If people from outside are allowed to operate in a tribal area, they may snatch the tribal land and interfere with the tribal life. Hence, there is the pre-emptory need for protecting these tribe’s from external exploitation; it is essential to sec that nobody interferes in the process of their reforms without their consent.

Our Five-Year Plans administered a warning “There is a consensus of opinion that while rest of the population of the country goes forward and India and world change so rapidly, tribal areas can scarcely remain in isolation. At the same time, it would be an error to over administer these areas in the name of development and in particular, to send many officials and (fillers to work amongst the tribal people. A middle course is to be followed.’ The contribution of foreign missionaries to the tribals of Chholanagpur and Nagaland needs to be examined.

By supplying food, medicines, good hospitals and schools and colleges to the tribal belts, dedicated missionaries changed the lives of these tribals. They gave them reason to live with dignity and abilities to move with the educated masses of our nation. At the same time, many studies were conducted in tribal languages like Oraon, Munda, Migo and Khasi. Hence, tribal culture was kept alive in its superficial forms amongst the educated people. They still take pride in participating in traditional costumes and dances.

Therefore, we stand for the preservation, consolidation and promotion of the best of the tribal society, culture, art and languages. We have to treat the tribal people with respect. We have also to integrate them with the mainstream of our national fife without destroying their traditions. Tribesmen require educational and medical facilities so that they could avail themselves at opportunities at par with their compatriots. This approach does not stand either for isolation of the tribesmen from the rest of the Indian population nor for imposition of new ideas and values in such a manner as to wipe out their identity.

The culture of our tribals deserves respect and the thbals need recognition. They are an inalienable part of India and should be treated with sympathy and affability that should make up for the chronic neglect of the past

While being helped and guided, they should feel that they are getting enriched and not being robbed off in the garb of reforms and social resurrection. Guided by the concept of “unity in diversity”, the tribes would maintain their distinctive identity while becoming an integral part of the nation. The Indian nation would thus be a vast mosaic in which the numerous ethnic and cultural groups would constitute the component elements of diverse colours and patterns.

But this national mosaic would not be of fixed type or pattern, as in the case of a mosaic floor. There will always be a scope for adjustment and readjustment, integration arid reintegration.

The aborigines of Australia, the Red Indians of America and the natural tribes of Africa have been given recognition and their rights and privileges have been accepted.

Essentially a human problem, the preservation of tribal culture requires a combined approach of farsighted planners, administrators, social workers, voluntary organizations, anthropologists and the like. We should not force the change down their throats; rather the growth and development should come from within those tribal groups. Every step should be so cautiously planned so as to see that neither the interests of the nation, nor those of the tribals in particular are put to danger.

A beginning has already been made with the introduction of Special Tribal Development Blocks, which have shown interest in tribal education; the farmers have also taken up scientific methods of farming and usage of modern fertilizers. They have also opted for allopathic treatment and have taken interest in vaccination. The establishment of ashram types of schools on the lines of ancient Gurukulas and modern basic schools has proved to be an important step in tribal education. Many members of such tribes have joined defence services, sports, nursing profession and senior positions in administrative services. We can conclude that these tribes have come a long way and would become a part of our national culture.


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