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Tribal Struggles

Numerous uprisings of the tribals have taken place beginning with the one in Bihar in 1772 followed by many revolts in Andhra Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands,Arunchal Pradesh,Assam,Mizoram and Nagaland.The important tribes involved in revolt in the 19th century were Mizos (1810),Kols(1795&1831),Mundas (1889),Daflas (1875),Khasi and Garo (1829),Kacharis (1839),Santhals (1853),Muria Gonds (1886),Nagas (1844 & 1879) and Konds (1817).

After independence the tribal struggle may be classified into three groups:

  • Struggles due to exploitation of the outsiders.
  • Struggles due to economic deprivations
  • Struggle due to separatist tendencies

The tribal movements may also be classified on the basis of their orientation into four types:

  • Movements seeking political autonomy and formation of separate state.
  • Agrarian movement
  • Forest -based movements
  • Socio-religious movements

Most of the tribal movements were result of oppression and discrimination, neglect and backwardness and apathy of government towards tribal problems.

Tana Bhagat Movement
In the Tana Bhagat movement an attempt was made to emulate the way of life of the Hindu higher castes. It emerged among the Oraon of Chotanagpur; Bihar.It tried to raise the status of its members in the eyes of the surrounding Hindu society and was characterized by a large scale incorporation of Hindu belief-practices into its ideology.

Birsa Munda Movement
During the second half of the 19th century the whole of Chotanagpur underwent a tremendous change. The old Munda system of Khuntakatti tenure gave way to a new and alien system of exploitation by the landlords known as jagirdar and thikadar.In 1895 Birsa Munda of Chalkad started a movement. In him the Munda found the embodiment of their aspiration. He gave them leadership, a religion and a code of life. He held before them the prospect of Munda Raj in place of foreign rule.