Industrialization and Displacement in the Light of Un Declaration of Human Rights: A Case Study of the Oraon Tribe of Rourkela, India: Purpose of the Study

Proceedings of The 4th World Conference on Social Sciences and Humanities

Year: 2022



Industrialization and Displacement in the Light of Un Declaration of Human Rights: A Case Study of the Oraon Tribe of Rourkela, India: Purpose of the Study

Esha Ghosh



After India gained independence in 1947, the effort was to resurrect the economy from the damage of the colonial rule. The Five Year Plans laid emphasis on heavy industries and a dominant role for public sector. Consequently, during the 1950s and the 1960s many heavy industries were commissioned. The installation of these heavy industries led to displacement of people and movable property in large scale. As in India almost 80 percent of the forest and mineral resources of the country are found in the tribe-dominated areas, the exploitation of land has been the primary cause of land alienation among the tribes. According to the 1961 census, 68.18 percent of Scheduled Tribes were cultivators which dropped to 54.50 percent in 1991 census, while an increase from 19.71 percent in 1950s to 32.69 percent of scheduled tribes as agricultural labourers was noticed in the 1991 census report. Many landless tribals are unable to sustain themselves for more than 6 months after rains because of their reliance on single rain-fed crops. Since forests provided a range of uncultivated food sources such as vegetables, roots, tubers fish, birds, they rely on these for their daily needs. Once displaced from their native villages and forests, the tribals stand face to face with cultures which were till now unknown to them, or with which they had limited interaction. Many a time tribal groups are forced to occupy a low social position equivalent to untouchables due to adverse effect of acculturation. (Dubey cited in Jha, Prasad and Agarwal, 1993).

The impact of industrialization and displacement on indigenous societies has been extensively studied in India. It was observed that the process of globalization has integrated the tribes into the nation states with all its political and economic repercussions. Whether it is class formation among Bhils of Rajasthan due to diversion of development funds by the Government in order to create viable vote banks (Doshi,1989) or formation of class structures due to unplanned and forceful imposition of settled agriculture and settled life among the tribal societies of North Eastern Regions (NER) (Ganguly, 1996) , the Mogs of Tripura (Gupta, 1997) and the Gaduliya Lohars of eastern Rajasthan (Misra,1977) the impact have been detrimental. In a study by Pingle and Furer-Haimendorf (1998) among the Gonds of Madhya Pradesh a shift from production of food grains to cash crops was observed which the authors argued may lead to the exploitation of the tribals. On the other hand Anubha Roy (1998) reports loss of Santhal land holdings to the non-tribal money-lenders due to poverty and indebtedness in the Dumka and Godda district of Santhal Paraganas in West Bengal. Formation of caste-like structures amongst the migrant tea labourers of Assam (Kar, 1997) or adoption of the dowry system and restriction on widow remarriages among Kudubi tribe of Dakshin Kannada under the influence of caste Hindus (Rao, 1995) or destruction of tribal traditional authority among the Bhils of Udaipur, Rajasthan (Ram, 2001) and among the tribes of Chotanagpur (Sarkar,1997) was observed. Adverse impact on health like chronic malnutrition among the tribals of Odisha living in urban areas (Patel,1988 ) and environmental problems like water pollution among the Dandami Maria tribe of the Dantewara Tehsil in South Bastar due to excavation of Bailadila mines (Srivastava, 1992) was also reported. Decline in women’s status due to deforestation and loss of MFPs was observed by Dash and Tripathy (2002) and by Reddy (1981) among the displaced Yanadis of Sri Hari Kota Island.

keywords: Development; Urbanization; Tribe; Resettlement; Non-tribal.