Topic– Salient features of Indian Society, Diversity of India; Post-independence consolidation and reorganization within the country.
3) Explain the Tribal Panchsheel policy of Jawaharlal Nehru? Discuss in light of this policy whether Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation has helped in protection of indigenous tribals?(250 words)
Why this question
Our policy towards the tribal population has been under intense scrutiny in the past few days post the incident of killing a foreign national in sentinel islands. This issue is important for mains as we need to understand our tribal policies and the impact that these policies are having.
Key demand of the question
The question expects us to first explain the tribal panchsheel policy of Nehru. Thereafter, we need to discuss how this policy led to the development of ANPATR and how these regulations has impacted the tribal population. Thereafter, we also need to highlight the changes in these regulations and the impact they have had. Finally, we need to provide a fair and balanced opinion on these changes and discuss the way forward.
Structure of the answer
Introduction – Explain why the Sentinelese are in news
- Explain about the Tribal Panchsheel policy –
- Non-imposition: People should develop along the lines of their own genius, and the imposition of alien values should be avoided.
- TribaI rights in land and forest should be respected.
- Teams of tribals should be trained in the work of administration and development. Introducing too many outsiders into tribal territory should be avoided.
- TribaI areas should not be over administered or overwhelmed with a multiplicity of schemes.
- Results should be judged not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the human character that is evolved.
- Explain ANPATR and the impact it has had. Jawaharlal Nehru’s Tribal Panchsheel were the guiding principles after Independence to formulate policies for the indigenous communities of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Based on them, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation (ANPATR), 1956 was promulgated by the President. This Regulation protected the tribals from outside interference, specified the limits of reserved areas and said no land in a reserved area shall be allotted for agricultural purposes or sold or mortgaged to outsiders. Those violating the land rights of the tribals were to be imprisoned for one year, fined Rs. 1,000, or both. Despite this, there continued to be constant interactions between the tribals and settlers/ outsiders. Discuss the impact of this policy.
- Explain the changes brought about and the impact it had – In 2005, nearly 50 years after it was promulgated, the ANPATR was amended. The term of imprisonment as well as the fine were increased. However, in the years in between, the Andaman Trunk Road had already ensured increased interaction with the tribals. In the case of the Jarawas, this had led to the spread of diseases, sexual exploitation, and begging. Similarly, a policy for protecting the Shompen tribes was released only in 2015. However, in spite of the 2005 amendment, videos of commercial exploitation of the Jarawas in the name of “human safaris” were widely reported in the media. Following this, the government amended the ANPATR yet again in 2012, creating a buffer zone contiguous to the Jarawa tribal reserve where commercial establishments were prohibited, and regulating tourist operators. Despite all these amendments and provisions, there continue to be numerous reports of civilian intrusion into the Jarawa tribal reserve.
Conclusion – give a fair and balanced opinion in the impact of the changes and the way forward.