The Socio - Cultural and Political Ecology of Tribal Groups in Telangana: From the Annals of the History of Tribal Movements

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 16:15
Oral Presentation
Arjun KUTHADI, Osmania university, India
This paper predominantly argues that the Indian economic reforms of 1990s, especially public policy changes in the intertwined domains of development and forest ownership rights, mark the watershed movement in the historical trajectory of tribal groups in post-independent India. Consequently, the changes that followed have exposed the tribal groups to multiple vulnerabilities from external forces besides their internal social challenges such as illiteracy, superstitions, and ignorance. This study is based on historical data on various tribal groups of Telangana. The Telangana region has been home for diverse tribal groups, whose socio-cultural historical trajectory is uniquely in contrast with the mainstream Indian population. These frontier tribal groups consist of the Gonds of Adilabad, the Chenchus of Mahabudnagar, the Koyas of Khamman and Warangal who lived mostly in the forest areas. Except a few comprehensive studies by P.Sethumadhav Rao and Himendorf, there are no studies in the recent past on Tribal groups of Telangana to enhance our understanding of these marginalized social groups. This paper further traces the historical trajectory of tribal unrest in the Telangana region starting from the Nizam regime to the contemporary times with a special reference to demonstrate their socio-economic plight and to accommodate their growing political aspirations.