Background of The Tribal Uprisings

In the 19th century and early 20th century, the tribals in different parts of our country stood against the British Administration. These uprisings played a very significant role in the freedom struggle of the country. Apparently, these tribals lived an isolated life away from the mainstream of the modern civilization, yet they had belongingness with the common national cause of India.

These revolts were sometimes against the landlords and feudal lords and at other times against the oppressive British government officials. The nature of these revolts was agrarian and forest based because, agriculture and forests was their everything. Their anger was against the exploitation by moneylenders and the petty government officials, normally over the land and forest rights. The British Administration never took positive interest to uniformly develop their standard of living.

The tribal societies were influenced by the then socio-political circumstances as well. Some leaders of the tribal societies took part in creating the wave of nationality and patriotism.

Most tribal movements occurred in North & North-East India and some occurred in the isolated regions of the South India. But due to the problem of non availability of the study materials, lack of interpretation, lack of combined methodology etc., the study of these tribal uprising very limited.

Still, on the nature of the revolts, these uprising can be divided into reactionary, conservative and revolutionary. The reactionary movements were against the measures by the contemporary government which compelled them to give up the elements (evil elements too) of their society. The conservative were also against those measures, as an attempt to protect their socio-cultural fabric. The revolutionary movements were against all kinds of oppressions these people suffered. A further classification divides them into Ethnic movements, Agrarian movements and Political Movements.

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