Topic: mechanisms, laws, institutions and Bodies constituted for the protection and betterment of the vulnerable sections
2) A mere repeal of the law will not address their need for establishing society-wide changes to gain access to political-social-economic welfare. Analyze the statement in the context of Denotified Tribes in India.(250 words)
Why this question
The interim budget presented recently, announced the creation of a welfare development board for denotified (DNT), nomadic (NT) and semi-nomadic (SNT) tribes. In this context it is important to discuss about the plight of those tribes and problems faced by them.
Analyze-here we have to examine methodically the structure or nature of the topic by separating it into component parts, and present them as a whole in a summary.
Key demand of the question.
The question wants us to dig deep into the socio economic conditions of the DNT- NT and SNT and bring out as to why only repealing of the law will not address their need for establishing society-wide changes to gain access to political-social-economic welfare.
Structure of the answer
Introduction– write a few introductory lines about the DNT. E.g The term, ‘Denotified and Nomadic Tribes’, can be traced to the Criminal Tribes Act (CTA) of 1871. The colonial government notified nearly 200 tribal communities to be hereditary criminals, cementing their societal identity as outcasts and subjecting them to constant harassment by the administration. After India gained Independence, these tribes were ‘de-notified’ from the list of Criminal Tribes, and, hence, the term.
- Discuss their history. E.g
- The CTA allowed for close supervision and control over the mobility of the tribes which were notified by the provincial governments.
- The Act was amended in 1897, 1908 and 1911 to give sweeping powers to the authorities, some as draconian as allowing the state to remove any child of the age of six and above from its ‘criminal’ parents.
- By 1924, certain provisions were amended, and the Act was finally applicable to the whole of British India.
- Along with the introduction of laws such as the Forest Acts and the Salt Tax Act, the British threw a noose around the the lives of DNTs using stringent regulations.
- Discuss the problems faced by them and why repealing of the law has not been enough to address their socio-economic political concerns. E.g
- It is only in independent India that the need was felt to shift the collective burden of criminality to the individual, which led to the CTA being repealed and the Habitual Offenders Act (HOA) being enacted in various States.
- Not all States enacted it, Currently, a variant of the HOA Model Bill as proposed by the Union Government then stands enforced in 10 States across the country, having been enacted in many more.
- However, the HOA functioned as a mere extension of the CTA. Nomadic and semi-nomadic communities continued to face harassment at the hands of law enforcement agencies.
- The NCDNT report clearly recommends repealing the various HOAs. This has also been the constant refrain of community leaders, representatives and civil society organisations — as the Act still casts its shadow of the state on communities etc.
Conclusion- based on your discussion, form a fair and a balanced conclusion on the given issue.