Important Movements in India - Tribal Movement




Tribal movement:

  • The tribes are the local aboriginal people and are dispersed throughout India. 
  • Tribal people spend their lives depending on their forests and land. Shifting agriculture, hunting, fishing, and gathering were the main activities of Tribal households.
  • Before the pre-independence period, Tribals became furious when the British began to disrupt their way of life. As a result, a number of tribal communities began armed uprisings against the British, all of which were subsequently put down by the British. 
  • A tribal uprising occurred in Kolam from Chota Nagpur, Gond from Orissa, Koli, Bhilla, and Ramoshi from Maharashtra, Santhal, and Munda from  Bihar. The tribal struggle has continued since those years. 

Causes of the Tribal Movement: 

  1. Increased settled agriculture caused non-tribal people to move into originally tribal regions. These outsiders exploited them, and the expansion of settled agriculture caused the tribal people to lose their land, forcing them into agricultural labour.
  2. A comprehensive government monopoly over Indian forest land was achieved by the introduction of the Forest Department in 1864, the Government Forest Act in 1865, and the Indian Forest Act in 1878.
  3. On the reserved forest, shifting agriculture, a widespread practice among the numerous tribal populations was outlawed starting in 1864. The previously authorized grazing and timber operations were subject to restrictions.
  4. Growing government control over forestland is a result of rising demand for raw materials and for railways.
  5. A part of the tribal rebellion was a response to the landlord's attempts to impose taxes on the traditional use of timber and grazing areas, police exaction, new excise restrictions, and money lender extortion.
  6. The introduction of moneylenders was intended to benefit the local population, but it actually made things worse for the Tribes.
  7. The non-frontier tribals typically revolted in response to outsiders, local landlords, and rulers, as well as the backing given to them by the British administration and their interference in tribal affairs.
  8. Christian missionaries also arrived on the scene and began to convert the tribal people.
  9. The tribal population's Joint Ownership system was replaced with Private Ownership.

Important Tribal Revolts in Maharashtra:

Tribal Revolts Details
Bhil Revolt 
  • The mountain passes linking the north to the Deccan were under the dominion of the Bhils of the Western Ghats.
  • Invasion by the British into Bhil land began in 1817-19, as they had to face famine, economic distress, and misgovernment.
  • The British used both force and conciliation to put an end to the uprising.
  • However, the Bhils rose once more in 1825, 1831, and 1846.
  • Agrarian hardships led to this uprising, which was led by Sewaram, in the Khandesh region of Maharastra.
  • Later, the Bhils of south Rajasthan (Banswara and Sunth kingdoms) received help from reformer Govind Guru in organizing to fight for a Bhil Raj by 1913.
Koli Revolt  
  • The British rule for dismantling the forests, and a new system of government between 1829 and 1839.
  • They objected to the Company's control being imposed, which led to widespread unemployment and the destruction of their defenses.
  • Mahadev Koli and Tilka Manjhi lead the uprising in western Maharashtra.
Ramoshi Risings
  • Ramoshi Uprising was a peasant revolt (1877-1887; Maharashtra) against the British failure to take up anti-famine measures.
  • It was led by Vasudev Balwant Phadke.
  • It was protested in a violent manner, not in a peaceful manner.
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