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Constituent Assembly Of India - Volume VII

Dated: November 04, 1948

9. THE MIKIR HILLS -

The partially excluded area of the Mikir Hills with an area of about 4,400 square miles and a population of about 150,000 persons is split up between two districts namely Now gong and Silsagar. The Mikir Hills form an area rather irregular in shape into which there projects an enclave of the Assam Valley. The western extremity of the partially excluded area actually reaches a point in the Khasi Hills and eastwards, it extends to a point not far from Dimapur while to the north it approaches Golaghat. It is clear that the irregular shape of this area makes the administration from centres outside the area rather inconvenient which apparently is the reason why the district has had to be split up between two plains districts. Being a rather sparsely populated$$$ area with rather less than 50 persons to the square mile and containing no communications other than the railway passing through it, it has apparently not been considered suitable for treatment as a separate district. The Provincial Government has at present under consideration a proposal for the making of the whole of the Mikir Hills area into a separate sub-division, perhaps on the analogy of the North Cachar Hills Sub-division. Divided between two districts as it is and consisting of inhospitable territory in which jhuming is the only method of cultivation practised while malaria takes its toll, it has been sadly neglected in many ways and special steps are necessary for its development. Very obviously the present state of affairs where it is divided between two districts cannot continue if the area is to be developed and it should be made either a district or a sub division with its headquarters somewhere in the middle of the bend so that it is accessible from both extremities. The area includes certain mouzas Barpathar and Saru pathar inhabited very largely by non-tribals which even at the time of the constitution of the partially excluded areas were considered doubtful areas for exclusion, and the Provincial Government have since taken a decision that the areas should be added to regularly administered portions as soon as possible.

The Mikir are probably the most backward of all the tribes of the Assam Hills though this backwardness is probably not their own fault. There are pockets of Mikir in the North Cachar and the Khasi Hills. Like the Garo and Khasi the Mikir desire the consolidation of their own tribesmen under a single administration. Unlike the Lushai or the Khasi Hills, Christianity has made little progress here.

While the special customs of the Mikir, their addiction to jhuming cultivation etc. necessitate that an arrangement must be made by which they are able to maintain their own system, the Mikir Hills at present find representation in the provincial legislature although through the restricted franchise of the headman, and opinion generally is that there is no objection to the extension of adult franchise in the area. The sparse population may give rise to certain practical difficulties in organising elections there but it would appear that these are not insurmountable.

The Mikir Hills are inhabited to some extent by Cachari (about 2,000) Rengma Nag a and a few Kuki, but on the whole, the population may be regarded as uniform.

In view of the comparatively backward state of the Mikir and the fact that there are no self-governing institutions of a statutory type locally, it is necessary in introducing institutions of this kind to arrange for a period of supervision and guidance in other words, any local council set up in the hills should at first be subject to the control of the local District or Sub-divisional officer.

(G N Bardoloi)
(Chairman)

J. J. M. NICHOLS-ROY,

RUP NATH BRAHMA

A. V. THAKKAR

APPENDIX C

[Annexure VIII]

SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE ASSAM SUB-COMMITTEE.

District Councils should be set up in the Hill Districts (see Section *B of Appendix A) with powers of legislation over occupation or use of land other than land comprising reserved forest under the Assam Forest Regulation of 1891 or other law applicable. This is subject to the proviso that no payment would be required for the occupation of vacant land by the Provincial Government for public purposes and private land required for public purposes by the Provincial Government will be acquired for it on payment of compensation [Para. *9 Section C (1) Appendix A]. *

2. Reserved forest will be managed by the Provincial Government. In questions of actual management including the appointment of forest staff and the granting of contracts and leases, the susceptibilities and the legitimate desires and needs of the Hill people should be taken into account (Para. *10).

3. On account of its disastrous effects upon the forest, rainfall and other climatic features, jhuming should be discouraged and stopped wherever possible but the initiative for this should come from the tribes themselves and the control of jhuming should be left to the local councils [Para. *11 and Section C. of Appendix A]*.

4. All social law and custom is left to be controlled or regulated by the tribes [Para. *12 and Section C (2) of appendix A]. All criminal offences except those punishable with death, transportation or imprisonment for five years and upwards should be left to be dealt with in accordance with local practice and the Code of Criminal Procedure will not apply to such cases. As regards the serious offences punishable with imprisonment of five years or more they should be tried henceforth regularly under the Criminal Procedure Code. To try such cases, powers should be conferred by the Provincial Government wherever suitable upon tribal councils or courts set up by the district councils themselves.

All ordinary civil suits should be disposed of by tribal courts and local councils may have full powers to deal with them including appeal and revision.

Where non-tribals are involved, civil or criminal cases should be tried under the regular law and the Provincial Government should make suitable arrangements for the expeditious disposal of such cases by employing circuit magistrates or judges [Para. *12 Sections D & F of Appendix A].*

5. The District Councils should have powers of management over primary schools, dispensaries and other institutions which normally come under the scope of local self-governing institutions in the plains. They should have full control over primary education. As regards secondary school education, there should be some integration with the general system of the province and it is left open to the Provincial Government to entrust local councils with responsibility for secondary schools wherever they find this suitable [Para. *13 and Section E of Appendix A]*.

For the Mikir and North Cachar Hills the District or Sub Divisional Officer, as the case may be, should be ex-officio President of the local council with powers, subject to the control of the Government of Assam, to modify or annual resolutions or decisions of the local councils and to issue such instructions as may be necessary [Para. *13 and Section B (5) of Appendix A]*.

6. Certain taxes and financial powers should be allocated to the councils. They should have all the powers which local bodies in regulation districts enjoy and in addition they should have powers to impose house tax or poll tax, land revenue and levies arising out of the powers of management of village forest [Section *H of Appendix A and Para. 14 (a)]*.

Statutory provision for a fixed proportion of provincial funds to be spent on the hill districts is not considered practicable. A separate financial statement for each hill district showing the revenue derived from the district and the expenditure proposed on it is recommended. The framing of a suitable programme of development should be enjoyed either by statute or by Instrument of Instructions [Section *M of Appendix A and Para. 14 (b)].*

It is quite clear that the urgent requirements of the hill districts by way of expenditure on development schemes are beyond the resources of the Provincial Government. The development of the hill-districts should be as much the concern of the Federal Government as the Provincial Government. Financial assistance should be provided by the Federation to meet the deficit in the ordinary administration on the basis of the average deficit during the past three years and the cost of development schemes should also be borne by the Central Exchequer [Section *N of appendix A and Para. 14 (c)]*.

The claim of the hill district councils for assistance from general provincial revenues to the extent that they are unable to raise the necessary finances within their own powers is recognised [Para. 14 (d)]*.

7. If local councils decide by a majority of three-fourths of their members to licence money lenders or traders they should have powers to require moneylenders and professional dealers from outside to take out licences [Para. *15 and Section J of Appendix A]*.

8. The management of mineral resources should be centralised in the hands of the Provincial Government but the right of the district councils to a fair share of the revenues is recognised. No licence or lease shall be given by the Provincial Government except in consultation with the local Council. If there is no agreement between the Provincial Government and the district Council regarding the share of the revenue, the Governor will decide the matter in his discretion [Para. *16 and Section 1 of Appendix A]*.

9. Provincial legislation which deals with the subjects in which the hill councils have legislative powers will not apply to the hill districts. Legislation prohibiting the consumption of non-distilled liquors like Zu will also not apply; the district council may however apply the legislation [Para. *17 and Section L of Appendix A]*.

10. It is necessary to provide for the creation of regional councils for the different tribes inhabiting an autonomous district if they so desire. Regional councils have powers limited to their customary law and the management of lands and villages and courts. Regional councils may delegate their powers to the district councils [Para. *18 and Section B (4) of Appendix A]*.

11. The Governor is empowered to set aside any act or resolution of the council if the safety of the country is prejudiced and to take such action as may be necessary including dissolution of the local councils subject to the approval of the legislature. The Governor is also given powers to dissolve the council if gross mismanagement is reported by a commission [Para. *19 and Sections Q and R of appendix A]*.

12. The Central Government should continue toad minister the Frontier Tracts and Tribal Area with the Government of Assam as its agent until administration has-been satisfactorily established over a sufficiently wide area. Areas over which administration has been satisfactorily established may be taken over by the Provincial Government with the approval of the Federal Government [Section *P of Appendix A and Para. 20 (a)]*.

The pace of extending administration should be greatly accelerated and separate officers appointed for the Lohit Valley, the Siang Valley and the Nag a Tribal Area [Para. *20(a)]*.

The Lakhimpur Frontier Tract should be attached to the regular administration of the district. The case of the portion of the Lakhimpur Frontier Tract recently included in the Tirap Frontier Tract should be examined by the Provincial Government with a view to a decision whether it could immediately be brought under provincial administration. A similar examination of the position in the plains portions of the Sadiya Frontier Tract is recommended. The portion of the Bali Para Frontier Tract around Charduar should also be subject to a similar examination [Para. *20 (b)]*.

Posa payment should be continued [Para. *20 (c)]*.

13. The excluded areas other than the Frontier Tracts should be enfranchised immediately and restrictions on the franchise in the Garo and Mikir Hills should be removed and adult franchise introduced [Para. *21 (a) and Section B (1) of Appendix A]*.

Weight age is not considered necessary but the hill districts should be represented in the provincial legislature in proportion not less than what is due on their population even if this involves a certain weight age in rounding off. The total number of representatives for the hills thus arrived at [See par a. 21 (b)] should not be taken into account in determining the number of representatives to the provincial legislature from the rest of Assam [Para. 21(b) and Section K of Appendix A]*.

The total population of the hill-districts instifies as eat for the hill tribes in the Federal Legislature on the scale proposed in Section *13 (c) of the Draft Union Constitution [Para. *21 (c)]*.

Joint electorate is recommended but constituencies are confined to the autonomous districts. Reservation of seats, in view of this restriction, is not necessary [ par a. *21 (d) and Section K (3) of Appendix A]*.

Non-tribals should not be eligible for election from hill constituencies except in the constituency which includes the Municipality and Cantonment of Shillong [Para.*21 (e) and Section K (8) of Appendix A]*.

14. Representation for the hills in the Ministry should be guaranteed by statutory provision if possible or at least by a suitable instruction in the instrument of Instructions or corresponding provision [Para. *22 - See also Section O(3) of Appendix A]*.

15. Non-tribal officials should not be barred from serving in the hills but they should be selected with care if posted to the hills. The appointment of a due proportion of hill people in the services should be particularly kept in mind and provided for in rules or executive instructions of the Provincial Government [Para. *23]*.

16. A commission may be appointed at any time or permanently to enable the Government to watch the progress of development plans or to examine any particular aspects of the administration [Para. *24 and Section O (i) of Appendix A]*.

17. Plains tribals number 1.6 million. Their case for special representation and safeguards should be considered by the Minorities Sub-Committee [Para. *25]*.

18. The question of altering boundaries so as to bring the people of the same tribe under a common administration should be considered by the Provincial Government. The Barpathar and Sarupathar Mouzas included in the Mikir Hills should be included in the regularly administered areas henceforth [Para. *26]*.

19. Non-tribal residents may be provided with representation in the local councils if they are sufficiently numerous. For this purpose non-tribal constituencies may be formed if justified and if the population is not below 500 [Para. *27 and Section B (2) of appendix A]*.

20. Provincial councils should be set up by the Governor of Assam after consulting such local organisations as exist. These provisional councils which will be for one year will have powers to frame their own constitution and rules for the future [Para. *29 and Transitional Provisions of Appendix A also]*.

APPENDIX D

[Annexure I]

CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA

EXCLUDED AND PARTIALLY EXCLUDED AREAS (OTHER THAN ASSAM)

SUB-COMMITTEE [VOLUME I (REPORT)]

Sub-committee

1. Shri A. V. Thakkar - Chairman.

Members:

2. Shri Jaipal Singh.

3. Shri Devendra Nath Sam anta.

4. Shri Phul Bhanu Shah.

5. The Honourable Shri Jagjivan Ram.

6. The Honourable Dr. Profulla Chandra Ghosh.

7. Shri Raj Krushna Bose.

Co-opted Members:

8. Shri Khetramani Panda (Phulbani Area).

9. Shri Sadasiv Tripathi (Orissa P. E. Areas).

10. Shri Kodanda Ramiah (Madras P. E. Areas).

11. Shri Sneha Kumar Chakma (Chittagong Hill Tracts).

12. Shri Damber Singh Gurung (Darjeeling District).

Secretary:

13. Mr. R. K. Ramadhyani, I. C. S.

[Annexure II]

APPENDIX D

From

THE CHARIMAN, EXCLUDED & PARTIALLY EXCLUDED AREAS (OTHER THAN ASSAM)

 SUM-COMMITTEE.

To

THE CHAIRMAN, ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, ETC.

SIR,

I have the honour to submit herewith the Report of my Sub-Committee for the Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas of Provinces other than Assam. We have visited the Provinces of Madras, Bombay, Bengal, Central Provinces and Orissa, and in regard to these Provinces our recommendations may betaken as final. We have yet to visit Bihar and the United Provinces and to examine certain witnesses from the Punjab. In respect of these Provinces, the Report may kindly be treated as provisional. Our final Report is expected to be ready by the end of September.

I have the honour to be,

SIR,

Your most obedient servant,

(A V Thakkar)
Chairman

Excluded & Partially Excluded Areas

(other than Assam) Sub-Committee.

[Annexure III]

APPENDIX D

INTERIM REPORT OF THE EXCLUDED AND PARTIALLY EXCLUDED 

AREAS (OTHER THAN ASSAM) SUB-COMMITTEE OF THE ADVISORY

COMMITTEE (CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY OF INDIA).

1. INTRODUCTORY -

Appendix A** shows the excluded and partially excluded areas for which we are required to submit a scheme of administration. Appendix B* contains certain statistical information and the thirteenth schedule to the government of India (provincial Legislative Assemblies) Order, 1936, which shows the different tribes classed as backward, and among these tribes are to be found the inhabitants of the excluded and partially excluded areas. In determining the areas to be classified as excluded or partially excluded, the Secretary of State for India issued instructions that exclusion must be based upon strict necessity and must be as limited as possible in scope consistently with the needs of the aboriginal population. As regards partial exclusion, he considered that prima facie any areas containing a preponderance of aborigines or very backward people which was of sufficient size to make possible the application to it of special legislation and which was susceptible, without inconvenience, of special administrative treatment should be partially excluded. The Government of India in making recommendations for partial exclusion kept in view the possibility of obtaining convenient blocks of territory with readily recognizable boundaries susceptible of special administrative treatment without inconvenience. Thus, the excluded and partially excluded areas are well defined areas populated either predominantly or to a considerable extent by aboriginals. The excluded and partially excluded areas, however, do not by any means cover the entire population of tribal origin, and in many cases represent only a comparatively small proportion of the aboriginal population, the rest of them being scattered over non-excluded areas. As an example, in the C. P., out of 299 millions of tribals of all religions, only 8.3 lakhs live in the partially excluded areas. With the exception of the Mandla District, which is a partially excluded area and contains 60.5 per cent of tribals, Betul and Chhindwara districts which include partially excluded areas and contain 38.4 and 38.3respectively of tribals, the tribals are scattered all over the province and comprise almost a fifth of the population in some districts. This kind of intermingling is prominently noticeable in Bombay and Bengal and to some extent in other provinces also. In Bengal notably, the tribal population of the excluded areas is but a small fraction of the total tribal population of the province. A common feature of the partially excluded areas is that they are generally located in the out of the way and hilly tracts, and it is in these areas that concentrations of aboriginal population may be found. In the non-excluded areas although small blocks of them can be distinguished, notably in the Madras Presidency, elsewhere, they are interspersed with the rest of the population and are sometimes hardly distinguishable from the general population. Although our terms of reference strictly require us to report on the excluded areas, the total population of tribals in the non-excluded portions of British India not including Assam comes to about 5.5millions, and we consider therefore that our recommendations should not altogether leave out of consideration such a large population who in many respects are in a very backward condition. We have felt it therefore necessary to recommend that the whole tribal population should be treated as a minority community for the welfare of whom certain special measures are necessary. Bearing this in mind, we proceed to discuss the general features of the tribal population in the different provinces.

2. THE EXCLUDED AREAS -

The excluded areas are few in number and consist of the islands of the Laccadive group on the West Coast of Madras, the Chittagong Hill Tracts in Bengal and the Waziris of Spiti and Lahoul in the Punjab. Of these tracts, the West Coast Islands and the Wazir is of the Punjab are isolated from the rest of the province on account of their geographical position and the impossibility of communicating with them during a part of the year. The West Coast islands are cut off from the mainland for several months during the monsoon. Similarly, the Punjab Waziris are isolated during the winter when snow blocks the passes. Inaccessibility of these areas is largely responsible for their exclusion as well as for the backward condition of their inhabitants. The position in these areas is briefly given below: -

(a) Madras. - The islands may be considered to fall in three divisions, the Amindivi islands opposite the South Canara coast, the Laccadives attached to Malabar and Minicoy, the southernmost of them, also attached to Malabar. The total area is about 10 square miles and the population, all Muslim, 18,355. The Minicoy islanders are of Sinha lese origin while the inhabitants of the others are akin to the Mapillah of Malabar. The economy of the islands is based on the coconut palm and the produce (coir production is a whole family job) is exchanged for rice and other necessities. The administration is carried on largely by customary laws and special regulations. An amin, or monegar (Amindivi) with powers to try petty criminal and civil cases is the official immediately in contact with the islanders and the amin is in fact selected from the islanders. In the Minicoy island, literacy is said to be cent per cent; in the others, it is negligible. There is no appreciable intercourse between the islands of the three groups and their geographical position necessitates separate treatment. While they are located in a strategic position, we understand that the islands are not suitable for naval stations as they are coral islands and there is difficulty in getting fresh water. Hitherto, they have been administered practically in the manner in which relations were started with them in the days of John Company. Rs. 2 lakhs are spent, partly by way of doles including gifts of combs and mirrors, on the visits of the Collector or other official to the islands, but no attempt seems to have been made to increase intercourse between the islands and the mainland.

(b) Punjab. - The excluded area consists of Spiti and Lahoul with an area of 2,931 and 1,764 square miles respectively. Spiti has a population of only 3,700 and Lahoul about 9,000 (1941). The people are of Tibetan origin and Buddhists. The main difficulty about the areas is the difficulty of communication as the passes leading to them are blocked by snow in the winter.

The Provincial Government have now come to the conclusion that Lahoul need no longer be considered as excluded area and should be brought under the general system of administration.

The cultivation of kuth has brought some economic prosperity to this area and many Lahoulis have taken to trade also. Spiti is still economically in a backward condition and the schools there are not flourishing. Spit has still very little of the contact with the plains which Lahoul has. Several agrarian laws have not been applied to Spiti particularly though the most important enactments are now in force without modification.

(c) Bengal. - The Chittagong Hill Tracts on the other hand, are not inhabited by a population of Burmese and tribal extraction. They cover an area of about 5,000 square miles and contain a total population of 247,053, mostly Buddhists. In 1941, there were 9,395 literates including 622females among the tribes out of a population of 233,392.There are 154 schools and a High School at Rangamati. There is a good deal of contact with the plains people in the western portion of the tract, but the eastern portion towards the Lushai Hills and the Burmese border is more primitive.

Jhuming cultivation is practised almost universally and it would appear that there are considerable difficulties in the way of terraced or wet cultivation on account of the friable nature of the hill sides and the difficulty of irrigation. some settled cultivation also exists and it may happen that a family does both kinds of cultivation. Both plough rent and jhum tax are levied. Pressure on the land is increasing and the tribes are greatly apprehensive of encroachment by outsiders.

Weaving and tapestry is a common household occupation but cannot be said to be a cottage industry though it has potentialities in that direction. The district is deficit to the extent of about Rs. 2 lakhs.

The special feature of the Chittagong Hill Tracts are the Chiefs, the Chakma Raja, the Bohmong and Mong Raja. The tract is divided into three circles representing the jurisdiction of the Chief. The Chakma circle is the large stand is 2,409 square miles; the Bohmong and Mong circles are1,935 and 704 square miles respectively. The chief have certain magisterial and appellate powers and out of the jhum tax of Rs. 6 per family. Rs. 2-8-0 goes to the Chief, Rs. 2-4-0 to the headman and Rs. 1-4-0 to the Government. On the ground that they are really tributary powers, the Chiefs a reclaiming the status of Indian States and desire that three States corresponding to the circles should be set up. It is claimed that before the jhum tax was imposed there was a capitation or family tax and that the right to levy this tax was a symbol of sovereignty. In 1928, a report on the position of the chiefs was submitted by Mr. Mills who recommended that the chiefs should be relieved of the collection of jhum tax and should also be relieved of their magisterial duties, the powers of Honorary Magistrates being conferred on them if they were proved fit. His idea was that" they were the leaders of their people and in that lay their value" and they should therefore be consulted in all-important matters of the administration. Their position and future is a matter of some importance and needs careful examination by the Provincial Government. We do not feel that we can express a carefully considered opinion.

Now that Bengal is to be partitioned, the future administration of the Hill Tracts appears to lie with Assam. The Lushai Hills form in part the hinterland of this district and though communications to the east are not easy, they are not more difficult than with Chittagong. The Karnafuli provides a waterway to Demagiri which is connected with Lungleh in the Lushai Hills. The Chakma, Magh and Mroof these Hills have probably their tribal origin in common with the Lushais and in any case the province of Assam is the home of many different tribes. It is obvious that the Hill Tracts should not go to East Bengal in view of its predominantly non-Muslim population. The people themselves are strongly averse to inclusion in Bengal. They desired that the area should be set up as an autonomous district.

3. PARTIALLY EXCLUDED AREAS -

The main feature of the Partially Excluded Areas is that they are not altogether excluded from the scope of the Provincial Ministries like the excluded areas nor is the expenditure on them outside the scope of the legislature. In fact the administration of the areas notably of the C. P. and Bombay has not been appreciably different from the rest of the province and the Provincial Governments were in greater or less degree opposed to their exclusion. It is in the Agency Tracts of Madras and Orissa and in the Santal Parganas theta different system prevails. A brief account of the areas of each province follows: -

(a) Madras. - The partially excluded areas consist of the East Godavari Agency, the Polavaram taluq of West Godavari Agency. The total area is 6,792 square miles and the total population 493,006 of which about 278,000 are tribal, and 54,000 are classed as backward making a total percentage of 67.6. The tribes inhabiting these tracts are Koya, Koya Dora, Hill Reddy, Dombo, Kondh and others. The tribes are pretty backward on the whole and do podu (shifting cultivation) largely. Except manual labour they have no non-agricultural occupations worth mentioning. There are special agency rules and save for certain sections the Civil Procedure Code does not apply. Crime is scarce and the aboriginals are simple and truthful. The mechanism of justice therefore needs to be a simple one.

There are no local self-governing bodies and tribal panchayats do not seem to be fit for work other than the decision of petty disputes. The toddy palm plays a large part in the life of aboriginals. They have suffered in the past through exploitation by moneylenders and landlords and incidents like the Rampa rebellion have occurred in the areas. Lisencing of moneylenders, as agreed by the Collector of West Godavari, is probably a definite need of these parts in addition to the prevention of acquisition of land by non-aborigines.

Yaws and malaria are very common in these parts.

(b) Bombay. - The partially excluded areas which are to be found in the districts of West Khandesh, East Khandesh, Nasik, Thana, Broach and Panch Mahals cover an area of 6,697square miles and contain a population of 1,125,471 of which663,628 or 58.9 per cent are tribals. The tribes are largely Bhil, Varli, Kokna, Thakur and Katkari. In 1935, the Government of Bombay were not in favour of exclusion of any area except the Mewasi Chiefs Estates and the Akrani Mahalin the West Khandesh District on the ground that the administration of these areas was all along carried on in the same manner as the other tracts and that there were local self-governing institutions in the areas. The Akrani Mahal in the Satpura Hills is an almost purely Bhil area and probably the one with the least contact with the plains.

In 1937, the Government of Bombay appointed Mr. D. Symington to conduct a special enquiry into the conditions prevailing in the aboriginal areas. Mr. Symington pointed out that the local boards were largely or even exclusively run by non-Bhil elected members and opined that it was not a mere question of providing seats for the hill tribes but that these people were not sufficiently educated and advanced either to use their votes sensibly or to produce from among themselves enough representatives capable of looking after their interests intelligently on local boards. "They are not only illiterate but also ignorant of everything outside their daily run. They are contemptuous of education which they regard as a degrading and senseless waste of time. They have more faith in witchdoctors than in pharmacopoeia. They live near the border line of starvation. They are inveterate drunkards. It was not surprising that they take no interest in the local boards elections or local board administration." He also expressed the opinion that the salvation of the aboriginal lay in protecting him from exploitation by the moneylenders who were gradually depriving him of his land, and stopping the drink habit. Giving evidence before us, he reiterated the view that elections would be completely useless so far as these people were concerned.

Among the Thadvi Bhils (Muslims) there is a Sub-Judge. Among the half dozen graduates from the Bhils there is Mr. Natwadkar, the M. L. A. from West Khandesh and there is a lady from the Panch Mahals. The demand for education is however becoming very keen.

In the Warli areas of the Thana District visited by us practically all the land had been taken up by non-tribal sand the tribals were reduced to the condition of landless serfs. The Bombay Government have in fact now found it necessary to pass special legislation to prevent alienation of land. On account of the acquisition of all the land by a few people, the land system in this tract has been virtually transformed from a ryotwari system to a system similar to the malguzari system of the Central Provinces.

(c) Central Provinces & Berar. - The partially excluded areas, of which Mandla District is the largest unit, contain only 833,143 tribals out of a total tribal population of nearly 3 millions. The Gond (including Maria and Pardhan) is the main tribe in the C. P. and the Korku in the Melhat are prominent in Berar. Although backward and adhering largely to their own customs and ways in the areas where they are still most numerous, the tribes have in appreciable degree assimilated the life of the rest of the population and tribal institutions are either weak or practically non-existent. Mostly the tribes have taken to settled cultivation and there is little bewar or dahia in the province. Of handicrafts and cottage industries, however, there is next to nothing and this is the great weakness of the aboriginal economy. The aboriginal is given to drink but opinion in favour of temperance or prohibition seems to be gaining ground.

The partially excluded areas are, with hardly any exception, administered in the same manner as the other districts. The C. P. Land Alienation Act of 1916 is the only notable legislation enacted specially for the protection of the aboriginals and restricts the transfer of agricultural land from aboriginal to non-aboriginal classes. In 1940,when the C. P. Tenancy Act was amended to confer rights of alienation on certain classes of tenants, the application of the amending Act to the partially excluded areas was made subject to certain modifications designed to secure that unscrupulous landlords would not manipulate to their own advantage the complicated provisions of the Act.

A special enquiry into the problems of the aboriginals was ordered by the C. P. Government and a report was submitted by Mr. W. V. Grigson in 1942. Among the points made by Mr. Grigson were the weakness of the tribal representatives in the local boards and the need for provisions to prevent the application of legislation to aboriginal areas except after special consideration. Mr. Grigson was also examined by us as a witness and expressed himself in favour of a system of indirect election for the aboriginals. Opinion of a number of C. P. witnesses was not in fav our of reserved representation for the aboriginals in proportion to their population. Some witnesses preferred nomination out of a panel submitted by the District Officers. At present there are three tribal members in the Legislature although only one seat is reserved.

The Provincial Government have now created a special Department and inaugurated a scheme of development of the aboriginal areas in which multipurpose co-operative societies play a prominent part. Opinion in the C. P. (as in Bombay) was strongly in favour of boarding schools with free meals as the only way of making schooling acceptable to the aboriginals.

(d) Orissa. - This province contains a partially excluded area of nearly 20,000 sq. miles, i.e., almost two-thirds of the province is partially excluded. The partially excluded area includes the portions of the Madras Agency Tracts transferred to Orissa, the Khondmals of the former Angul District and the Sambalpur District which was formerly in the C. P. The total tribal population of the province is1,721,006 of which 1,560,104 are found in the partially excluded areas. The tribes inhabiting this province are among the most backward in the whole of India. The Bond a Porja, Gadaba, Kondh and Savara are among the most important of them. In 1939 the Orissa Government appointed a special committee to make recommendations for the partially excluded areas (Thakkar Committee) which found that some tracts were too backward to administer even local boards. Although they have representatives in the legislature, four of the five reserved seats are filled in by nomination and some of the nominated members have to be non-tribals. The precentage of lit racy in the Agency Tracts is about one per cent. Aback ward Classes Welfare Department has recently been setup. The Thakkar Committee made a number of important recommendations which could not be given effect to during the war and are now being taken up.

Apart from the Khondmals which are now attached to the Ganjam Agency, the Angul Sub-division which is a partially excluded area has only 13,308 tribals who form 8 per cent of its population. The Thakkar Committee recommended the administration of this area as a regular district and pointed out that the Angul Laws Regulation is no longer suited to the advanced condition of the people. Even in1935, it was stated by the Orissa Government that the area was so advanced that it should be possible within a few years to place it on a level with the normal districts ( par a. 49, Recommendations of Provincial Government and the Government of India, Indian Reprint).

The District of Sambalpur was made a partially excluded area largely on account of the special system of that district, viz., the distinct system of revenue and village administration. The district was formerly part of the C. P. and the C. P. Revenue Laws and type of village administration were in force. The aboriginal population of the district is 252,095 and constitutes 19.6 per cent. but most of these tribals seem to have assimilated the customs and culture of the surrounding Hindu population. The administration of the district though differing from the rest of Orissa was not radically different from the administration of the C. P. plains districts until 1921.Three of the Zamindaris of Sambalpur had been declared scheduled districts under the Act of 1874, but with the exception of the Insolvency Act of 1920 all other legislation was applied to the district. The Thakkar Committee recommended (para. 397) that the district should cease to be a partially excluded area and should be treated as a normally administered area. The Committee however considered (Para. 402) that some sort of protection was still needed for the aboriginals of that district and recommended certain special measures for the protection of the land of the aboriginals (Para. 403). The tribes in this district consist mainly of Gond (102,765), Kondh, Kharia and Savara. They are concentrated largely in the Sadar Sub-division of the district. Literacy among them is not up to the level of the Scheduled Castes of the District and amounts to only about 2 per cent. They however take part in elections and in the Sambalpur Sadar constituency there is are served seat for the backward tribes. This is the only one of the five tribal seats in the province which is filled by election.

The question of representation for the Orissa tribes presents somewhat of a problem. Local officials had serious doubts as to the possibility of finding suit-able representatives from among them, at any rate in proportion to their population. The Provincial Government have similar hesitations. In their factual memorandum (page. 28*) they have recommended that local bodies should be partly elected and partly nominated. For the Provincial Legislature, "a specific number of seats should be reserved for aboriginal members in general constituencies; but the aboriginal members should be elected to these seats by a system of indirect or group election."

(e) Bengal. - The partially excluded areas of Bengal consist of the District of Darjeeling and certain police station areas in the Mymensingh district which border on the Garo Hills of Assam.

The Darjeeling District is shown to contain 141,301tribes out of a total population of 376,369 in 1941. The tribal population of the district seems to consist largely of lab our employed in the tea gardens and some Lepcha and Bhotia. Actually, the latter are only about 20,000 in number. The prominent community in Darjeeling is the Gurkha or Nepalese community which numbers about 2 1/2 lakhs. A good many are employed in the tea gardens and the local police force also contains a high proportion of them. The Gurkha are not regarded as a backward tribe and the thirteenth schedule to the Govt. of India (Legislative Assemblies) Order does not include Gurkha. They feel however neglected so far as other ranks of Government service are concerned and in the trade and business of the place, the Marwari has the upper hand. On the other hand, the small community of Lepcha (12,000) finds itself dominated by the Gurkha and one of the complaints is that their land (the Lepcha claim to be the original inhabitants) has been gradually taken away from them by Nepalese immigrants.

The partial exclusion of Darjeeling was recommended by the Govt. of Bengal not because it was considered as backward area but because it was felt that safeguards were necessary in the interests of the hill people. The fact that Darjeeling was the summer capital of the Government of Bengal and the existence of European tea-planters may have played some little part. The 1941 census shows that even among the tribals (mostly tea garden coolies) there was16,450 literates out of a total population of 141,301 and2,571 of these were women.

The local bodies (Municipality and District Board) are not wholly elected bodies and the Deputy Commissioner is the President of the Municipality. Undoubtedly the land the hill tribes needs to be protected from the maw of money lenders but there is little case otherwise for continuing partial exclusion or special administration.

The Gurkha League desires that there should be an elected Advisory Council in the District so that the interests of the Gurkhas in representation in the services, in the land and industry of the district may be protected. They have also sponsored a movement for union with Assam where there is a strong Gurkha element.

As regards the partially excluded portion of the My men Singh District, there are about 49,000 Garo in all but according to the census, some of the than as contain very few tribes. The provincial Govt. were opposed to its partial exclusion in 1935. They pointed out that no special measures had been hitherto necessary to protect the tribe and had no indication at any time that the existing administrative system had worked inequitably for them. It would appear that the partial exclusion of this area was consequential upon the exclusion of the Garo Hills District in Assam. The Garo of this are keenly desirous of being united with the Garo of Assam under a common administration, and in view of the division of Bengal there is a good case for rectification of the boundary, i.e. to include the Garo area in the Garo Hills Districts of Assam. The majority of the population of the partially excluded area (5.94 lakhs) consists however of non-tribals and it will be necessary therefore, to draw a fresh boundary.

(f) Bihar. - The Partially Excluded Areas of this province extend over the enormous area of 32,458 sq. miles comprising the whole of Chota Nagpur division and the Santhal Parganas District. The total population of the area is 9,750,846 and nearly 4.5 millions of these are tribal people consisting of Santhal, Oraon, Munda, Ho, Bhumij and other lesser tribes of the Kolarian family. Although the general level of literacy and development in this area is lower than that of the non-aboriginal population, the tribes people here are rapidly advancing and quite a number of people in the learned professions may be found among the Munda and Oraon. Local self-governing institutions exist, and there is no question that the area would be able to take part intelligently in the administration of the province. The main feature of this area may be summarized in the words of the Provincial Government in recommending partial exclusion: "The Special Tenancy Laws in Chota Nagpur, the Santhal Parganas, *Sambalpur and *Angul are the bulwark of the backward peoples. The legislatures of the future would have the power to amend, modify or even repeal those laws and the only safeguard against legislative action detrimental to the interests of backward peoples is the power of the Governor to refuse assent. ......The importance of these special Tenancy Laws to the aboriginals cannot beover-stressed. The history of the Santhal Parganas and Chota Nagpur was one of continuous exploitation and dispossession of the aboriginals punctuated by disorder and even rebellion until special and adequate protection was given. In the fringe areas, such as Manbhum, where the non-aboriginals are in a majority, the aboriginal element would probably have been driven from the land long ago but for the protection given by tenancy laws. ........The fate of the aboriginal where he has been unprotected has usually been to lose his land........" In the Santhal Parganas, legislation since1855 has been mainly by means of special regulations framed by the Governor-General-in-Council. The main function of these regulations was to regulate inter alia the agrarian law, the constitution of courts and their procedure, money lending and the village police. Except in the most important cases the jurisdiction of the High Court was excluded and judicial procedure simplified. In the Kolhanpir of the Singh hum District also, the Civil Procedure Code was replaced by simplified rules but generally speaking, the laws of the rest of the province operate in Chota Nagpur. For a detailed account, the Factual Memorandum of the Provincial Government may be referred to (pages(?)97-98,Excluded and Partially Excluded Areas - I). Since 1937,section 92 (2) of the Government of India Act has been made use of to frame some special regulations notably for the Santhal Parganas.

The population of Chota Nagpur and the Santhal Pargnas is rather mixed and except in the Ranchi District, the Singh hum District and the Santhal Parganas, the tribal population are in 3 minority. In their Factual Memorandum, the Bihar Government have pointed out that a comparison between the figures of 1941 and 1931 census shows that there is room for doubting the accuracy of the figures of the 1941census. Recently an agitation has been started for the formation of a separate Chota Nagpur Province on the ground that this land is the land of the aboriginal residents who are distinct from the inhabitants of the plains in many ways. Taken as a whole, the tribals form only 45.6 per cent of the total population of the Partially Excluded Areas and in Chota Nagpur they constitute 44.2 per cent of the population. Only in Ranchi (70 per cent), Singh hum (58.4per cent) and Santhal Pargan as (50.6 per cent) are they in anything like a majority. The creation of a separate province is a matter outside the scope of our enquiry and we do not find that this is in fact necessary for the satisfactory administration of the tribals.

(g) United Provinces. - The partially excluded areas are the Pargana inhabited by the Jaunsari tribes in the north and the portion of the Mirzapur District below the Kaimur Range inhabited by mixed tribes of Chota Nagpur and Central India. The area is 483 sq. miles in the Dehra Dun District and 1,766 sq. miles in the Mirzapur District. The total population of both areas is about 200,000.

The Jaunsar Bawar Pargana forms the watershed between the Jumna and the Tons. The country is hilly and offers little land for cultivation. It appears that most of the cultivable land is held by Brahmins and Rajputs and that the Koltas (Scheduled Caste) are debarred from possession of land according to the village Wazibul-arz and occupy practically the position of serfs. Though the great majority of the people are Hindus, polyandry and special systems of divorce are in vogue since ancient times. Although the area is under the criminal jurisdiction of the High Court a simplified system of criminal, civil and revenue administration is followed and except in Chakrata Cantonment, regular police are not employed. For civil law, the Commissioner, Meerut, acts as a High Court. The Excise and Opium Acts have not been extended to the area and opium cultivation) permitted. There is great illiteracy in the area and the administration will have to be suited to the lift of the inhabitants. In Khat Haripur Bias at the foot of the hills however conditions are different and approximate to those in the plains. The Khat Haripur Bias Tenants Protection Regulation of 1940 has afforded some protection to the tenants. The Provincial Government are of the view that this Khat should be included in the Dehra Dun Tahsil. Though the area is enfranchised and is included in the Dehra Dun rural constituency, it is considered incapable of sending representatives to the legislature.

As regards the Mirzapur District, the excluded area consists of four parganas of which only the Agori and Bijaigarh parganas have a concentration of aboriginals. The population consists of a number of tribes having affinities to the tribes in the neighbouring provinces from which they have come. There is no strong tribal life left among them. Their occupations are said to be those usually followed by the Scheduled Castes and in their religious and social customs they are similar to low-caste Hindus.

The land revenue system of this area is different from the rest of the Province and is based on a plough tax. Then on-agricultural classes are gradually acquiring land from the aboriginal. The Tahsildars of the tract who exercise magisterial functions are Munsifs also. Except in relation to suits of succession and divorce, the court of the Commissioner is the highest court of appeal in civil suits. The area is under the jurisdiction of the District Board of Mirzapur.

The Provincial Government are of the view that there is no justification for this area being treated differently from the rest of the province and that normal administration should be extended to it immediately.

4. POLITICAL EXPERIENCE -

The people of the excluded areas have no experience of local self-governing institutions of the modern or statutory type and are of course not represented in the legislature. The management of a Local Board is perhaps likely to be a much bigger undertaking for the people of these areas than the mere election of a representative to the legislature and the establishment of such bodies needs perhaps a period of official guidance and control, particularly in areas like the Madras islands. The partially excluded areas on the other hand are all included in electoral constituencies of the provincial legislatures and with the exception of the Agency tracts of Madras and Orissa,*** the Santhal Parganas and Jaunsar Bawar, are covered by local boards also. There are certain reserved constituencies, viz., Bihar 7, Orissa5, Madras 1, Bombay 1 and C. P. 1. In Orissa, four of the five members are selected by nomination. Unlike Assam, no reservation of seats had been made for tribals of the plains or non-excluded areas and these vote along with general Voters. In Bombay, C. P. and Chota Nagpur, the tribal though reported to be apathetic and showed aside by non-tribals, have known, at least nominally, such bodies as local boards. Nevertheless it is likely to take some time before there is sufficient interest in these bodies and probably interest in local self-government will have to be built up from the village stage. Although as shown by Mr. Grigson in his report, the tribals cast their vote as copiously as others, they have yet to learn to utilise its powers to their own advantage.

5. EFFECTS OF EXCLUSION -

Although exclusion or partial exclusion has been in force for a number of years now, the benefits which the areas have derived from it are not particularly noticeable. In the case of the excluded areas, the sole responsibility for the administration has lain upon the Governor and the revenues earmarked for these areas have been outside the vote of the provincial legislature. No definite programme for the development of the excluded areas with a view to removing the disability of exclusion has been followed. The introduction of kuthts cultivation in Lahaul has brought it some economic prosperity but the West Coast islands are probably no better off than they were ten or twelve years ago, and in the Chittagong Hill Tracts no great impetus to enlightenment is perceptible. On the other hand, in the partially excluded areas also little improvement is as yet visible although in Bombay an inquiry into the conditions of the aboriginals was started as early as 1937. A Backward Class Department and Board have also been functioning in Bombay. Other provinces have since taken the cue and welfare work now seems to be forging ahead but it is perhaps the general interests in the backward classes which is responsible rather than the system of partial exclusion as such. The remarks of the Orissa Government are of interest:" The system of partial exclusion has also been a most unsatisfactory constitutional device. In matters of administration of the partially excluded areas, the Ministers tender advice to the Governor, with whom the ultimate responsibility for the good Government of these areas rests. He may accept or reject such advice. The system suffers from a fundamental defect; the responsibility is shared between the Governor, and the Ministry answerable to the people of this country or their elected representatives." No less responsible is perhaps the fact that the representatives of the partially excluded areas have not been capable of bringing sufficient pressure and influence to bear on the Ministry. Further, some of the partially excluded areas which constitute small pockets in large districts and constituencies could apparently be lost sight of and their interests subordinated to those of the larger areas in which they were contained. Some of the C. P. excluded areas situated in the Chhindwara and Bilaspur districts may be particularly noticed in this connection. They constitute comparatively small islands of partial exclusion which have little voice in a large constituency. The greatest weakness of the scheme of partial exclusion is perhaps the fact that it left areas weakly or only nominally represented in the legislature without any special financial provisions. Whatever the reasons may be, the conclusion to be drawn from the state of affairs noticed by us is that partial exclusion or exclusion has been of very little practical value. There has been neither educational nor economic development on any appreciable scale. The object of special administration has thus not been achieved, and it is clear that if the hill tribes are to be brought up to the level of the rest of the population the strongest measures are now necessary.

6. ATTITUDE OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC -

One thing which we noticed in the course of our visits to the different Provinces was a considerable awakening of the public conscience in the matter of the welfare of the tribal people. The inquiries instituted in some of the Provinces have doubtless contributed to this quickening. Non-official organisation's are beginning to take interest in the welfare of the tribes and the work of the Servants of India Society stands out prominently among these. The recent rising of the Warlis in Bombay Presidency has drawn attention in a rather forcible way perhaps, to their problems. Whatever the reasons, is seems now clear that there is a general tendency to take up the question of development of the tribes people as a serious matter, but whether this by itself is sufficient to ensure the future well-being of the tribes is more than questionable. Most of the Provinces are far from being happily placed in the matter of funds, and the development of areas inhabited by tribes which are situated generally in hilly country is a matter which calls for a good deal of expenditure for which there are many competitors. The emergence of educated people among the tribes is as yet inadequate for the maintenance of interest in their problems.

7. POTENTIALITIES OF THE TRIBES -

The views of people of different points of view regarding the future administration of the hill tracts and of the tribes people themselves was found to be remarkably uniform. To begin with, there was hardly anybody who did not believe that the tribals are capable of being brought to the level of that rest of the population by means of education and contact. Wherever facilities for education and contact have been available, the tribes people have showed that their intelligence can be developed and environmental difficulties overcome. It is true that as yet there is a great deal of apathy in certain areas. Mr. Symington's report in particular points out that the Bhils take little interest in the local boards or in education and their addiction to drink is likely to keep them in their present backward state. In the partially excluded areas of Orissa, we came across tribals who had not been any where beyond a few miles of their village or seen a motor car or a railway train. By and large however we found that there is a considerable demand for education and advancement among the tribal peoples and have no doubt that within a short time they can be brought up to a satisfactory level, if development plans are vigorously pursued.

8. GENERAL CONCLUSIONS -

To sum up: Both exclusion and partial exclusion have-not yielded much tangible result in taking the aboriginal areas towards removal of that condition or towards economic and educational betterment. Representation of partially excluded areas in the legislature and in local bodies has-been weak and ineffective and is likely to continue to be so for some time to come. Education shows definite signs of being sought after more and more but the poor economic condition of the aboriginal and the difficulty of finding suitable teachers present problems which must be over-come before illiteracy can be properly tackled. The great need of the aboriginal is protection from expropriation from his agricultural land and virtual serfdom under the money-lender.

There are certain tracts like Sambalpur and Angul in the Orissa province which need no longer be treated differently from the regularly administered districts. On the other hand areas like the Madras and the Orissa Agency tracts still need a simplified type of administration which does not expose them to the complicated machinery of ordinary law courts. Differences in social customs and practices among the tribes also need to be kept in mind.

9. REPRESENTATION IN LEGISLATURES -

We have pointed out at the very outset that the tribals who live in non-excluded areas form part of our problem and cannot be left out of account. In considering representation in the Legislatures we would urge that the tribes should be treated as a whole as a minority and not separately. In this regard, we would refer to a certain difference of opinion which exists among the parties interested. In Bombay the view of the Ministers and others dealing with the problem was unreservedly in favour of providing representation for the tribes as a whole by reservation of seats in a joint electorate. In Madras also a similar view found fav our. In the Central Provinces, however, different views were expressed not only in respect of the method of election but also about reservation, both by officials and by Ministers. Certain district officials suggested that there should be nomination out of a panel submitted by district officials. Mr. Grigson favoured a scheme of indirect elections by means of group panchayats. The general feeling among these officials was that election was not likely in the present circumstances to produce suitable representatives. Some point was given to this by the reply of Mr. Wadiwa, a Gond pleader, who gave evidence before us, that he could not stand for election on account of the expense involved. The Ministers on the contrary seemed to have no objection to elections but were strongly opposed to reservation of seats in proportion to their population. Mr. Grigson also did not appear to fav our reservation though he was of the view that if reservation was made for the scheduled castes there was no justification for not protecting the aboriginal similarly: "But once we start with reservation there is the possibility of it becoming permanent." The Ministers considered that increased representation would be provided by their scheme of demarcating constituencies without the evil of creating a separatist mentality. "These tahsil areas will be delimited so that particular communities in particular areas will get an effective voice. Just as particular wards in a municipality return only a particular class or community of persons - some wards in Nagpur Municipality return only Muslim members - an Ahir ward ortahsil will return only an Ahir, a Gond tahsil will return only a Gond and so on. In this way we want to give all the sections of our people thorough and complete representation without whetting their communal appetite." As regards the other tribals who are not found in compact areas, it is asserted that they are generally dispersed in the province and not easily distinguishable from the other people. In Orissa reservation of "a specific number of seats" in general constituencies is recommended but it is considered necessary that aboriginal members should be elected to these seats by a suitable system of indirect or group election. The remarks of the Orissa Government in connection with the system of partial exclusion are relevant: "The inadequacy of representation of the aboriginal people of these areas in the legislature has also contributed to their neglect. They are not vocal nor have they any press for propaganda. They have been represented in the Assembly by five members, four nominated by the Governor and one elected from Sambal pur. As a result of this insufficient representation the problems of these areas do not receive the attention to which their size and importance entitle them." We have given serious thought to the question and come to the conclusion that the tribal should have reserved seats in a joint electorate based on adult franchise. We do not consider the scheme of the C. P. Government adequate as it provides no safeguards for the large numbers of tribals who live in the non-excluded areas and who without reservation would have no chance of being represented in the Legislature. The case of the tribals is not essentially different from that of the Scheduled Castes and they are in fact more backward in education and in their economic condition than the Scheduled Castes. Representation in proportion to their numbers in the legislatures, even if some of them are not vocal or able to argue their case will emphasize the importance and urgency of their problems. And it is to the interest of the country to see that these original inhabitants of the Indian soil are brought up to the level of the rest so that they can contribute in due measure to the progress of the country rather than be a dragon the rest. We do not consider that the method of indirect election or nomination should be resorted to. The aboriginals have to take part in direct election some time and the sooner their training for this starts the better.

Having regard to the circumstances of the Madras island and the Punjab Excluded Areas, we recommend special representation as follows:-

Laccadive Group ....................................................................1

Lahaul and Spiti .....................................................................1

Amindivi Group .......................................................................1

Minicoy ................................................................................1

It seems clear to us that these areas cannot be included in other constituencies, nor would they be suitably represented if so included.

10. LEGISLATION-

(a) Areas to be Scheduled. - The provisions for partially excluded and excluded areas in the 1935Constitution are designed to prevent the application of unsuitable legislation, to permit the making of special rules and regulations required for any different system of administration needed in the aboriginal areas, and for the provision of funds at the discretion of the Governor for the totally excluded areas. Although in most of the Provinces, there has been a good deal of assimilation of the tribal people of the plains, yet the social system of the tribes indifferent from that of the plains people in a number of the partially excluded areas. In the excluded areas, of course as already pointed out, there are people like Tibetans, the Chakma, Miro and Mogh of the Chittagong Hill Tracts, the islanders of the Laccadive Islands and so on. In the partially excluded areas, the tribes of Orissa and Chhota Nagpur and even the Gonds of the C. P. and the Bhils of Bombay who have assimilated the life of the plains to a greater extent than others have different social customs. The law of inheritance and the systems of marriage and divorce are different from those of other communities. It is possible of course for the legislatures to bear these features in mind and pass different laws just as different laws have been passed for Hindus and Muslims but there are other subjects as well in which the tribes will have to be treated on a different footing. In places like the Agency Tracts, for example, the population is as yet too primitive to be able to understand or make use of the complicated procedure and law of the civil, criminal and revenue courts. We have mentioned earlier the features peculiar to the Santal Parganas and the Jaunsar Bawar Pargana. Even in the more advanced tracts of the Central Provinces of Bombay, the tribal is at a serious disadvantage on account of his poverty and ignorance and the procrastination of courts and officials and is easily victimized. This is of course true of all poor and simple rural folk, but it is clear that in the case of the aboriginal, it applies to a community found predominantly in certain areas and not to individuals. Thus a simplified system of dispensation of justice will be necessary in certain areas. There is again the question of land legislation. The land is the only thing left to the aboriginal, who does not follow non-agricultural professions to any appreciable extent as yet. In the Chhota Nagpur Division different kinds of tenure have been recognized for the tribals and in any case, even where the tenure is simple and common to other areas, grant of the power of alienation to the tribals is certain to result in his gradual expropriation. We are thus led to the conclusion that it is necessary to provide that in certain areas laws of the provincial legislature which are likely to be based largely on the needs of the majority of the populations should not apply automatically, if not generally, at least in certain specified subjects. A general provision of this kind is of course a matter of convenience and would eliminate the need for the legislature to provide special clauses or saving clauses. It would also enable special consideration if the legislation is to be applied to the area. This of course involves notification of areas and we recommend provision for the purpose. We propose that the areas should be known as "Scheduled Areas" in future.

(b) Application to Scheduled Areas. - The next question which arises is whether any special mechanism is to be provided or whether the matter should be left to the legislature without any additional safeguard to apply legislation. The Government of Orissa have apparently thought it sufficient if the laws are specially extended by the Provincial Government and other Governments may hold similar views. The fact that non-tribals will be in a majority in all the legislatures and the fears which the tribals entertain that their interests and special customs and circumstances may be ignored must in this context be taken into account. Doubtless they would like to feel that they themselves have a voice in the decision and that a decision is not taken by persons unacquainted or imperfectly acquitted with their special circumstances and not genuinely interested in their welfare. The feeling which prevails in this matter has been expressed thus: "Speaking purely hypothetically, it should not be possible for the member representing Chittagong to be able to oblige his constituents by getting some radical changes made to the detriment of the hill tribes, which is of local advantage to them." (Lt.-Col. Hyde, D. C. Chittagong Hill Tracts) and "Ministers may find that owing to political pressure from organised pressure groups, that it is impossible for them to give the protection which they desire to give". (Grigson, aboriginal Tribes Enquiry Officer, C. P. & Berar.)

The present system under which the Governor in his discretion applies the legislation is not likely to appeal as this principle will be regarded as undemocratic, even though the governor in future may be an elected functionary. An alternative mechanism is therefore necessary. We have considered the question in all its aspects and come to the conclusion that in respect of certain subjects, laws passed by the Provincial Legislature should not be applied to the Scheduled Areas if the Tribes Advisory Council does not consider them suitable for those areas. We have also provided that in other subjects the Provincial Government should have the power to withhold or modify legislation on the advice of the Tribes Advisory Council. (Para*. 15).

(c) Special Subjects. - It has been stated above that in certain subjects legislation should not apply if considered unsuitable by the Tribes Advisory Council. We consider such a definition desirable to prevent any unnecessary complication of legislative procedure or delaying of legislation. In most of the areas ordinary legislation is applicable and the policy has been and should be to apply legislation normals unless there is any special reason to the contrary. As a matter of general concern restriction seems necessary only in certain matters and we recommend that all legislation relating to (1) social matters (2)occupation of land including tenancy laws, allotment of land and setting apart of land for village purposes, and (3)village management including the establishment of village panchayats should be dealt with in this manner.

13. CRIMINAL AND CIVIL COURTS-

We have noticed that there are areas where the regular machinery for the disposal of criminal and civil cases is not in operation and an "Agency" system is in force. The civil procedure has in particular been substituted by a simplified procedure. We have no doubt that simplified procedure should be possible for the disposal of petty criminal and civil cases and recommended accordingly that except where the regular procedure is already in force, a simplified system should continue to be in forced. We are not however in a position to say whether the exact procedure followed at present needs modification or not.

14. RESERVATION IN FEDERAL LEGISLATURE-

We have recommended reservation of seats in the Provincial Legislature. We recommend reservation in the Federal Legislature also on the basis of population in each province. On the scale contemplated in the draft Union Constitution, this would be 5 for Bihar, 3 for C. P., and 2each for Bombay and Orissa.

15. PROVINCIAL TRIBES ADVISORY COUNCIL -

Most of the Provincial Governments have found it necessary to set up advisory bodies for the proper administration of the tribal areas. In our view, it is necessary that there should be a body which will keep the Provincial Government constantly in touch with the needs of the aboriginal tracts (Scheduled Areas) in particular and the tribal for such a council requires little explanation. Whatever legal machinery is set up, it is no fancy to suggest that its actual translation into practice may not be in accord with its spirit, and besides the legal machinery itself may be found defective in practice. For a number of years clearly, the development of the aboriginals will require the most meticulous care. There are many ways in which the aboriginals' interests may be neglected, and it is known that regardless of certain prohibitory rules they are subjected to harassment at the hands of subordinate government officials and contractors. In spite of the abolition of beggar, for instance, there are still a good many cases of it in fairly serious form coming to notice from time to time. The working of provincial legislation or the machinery of administration in whole or in not needs constant scrutiny and regulation. The reclamation of the tribal is not likely to be an easy matter since it is seen from experience that even where provision for local bodies exists the aboriginal requires special encouragement to take active part in it. We have also pointed out that the representation of the aboriginal in the legislature is likely to be weak for some time to come. To exercise special supervisory functions therefore and to bring to the attention of the Provincial Government from time to time the financial and other needs of the aboriginal areas, the working of development schemes, the suggestion of plans, or legislative or administrative machinery, it is necessary to provide by statute for the establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council in which the tribal element is strongly represented. There may be no objection to the advisory council being made use of for supervision of the interests of other backward classes as well. We are of the view that the establishment of an Advisory Council for the next ten years at least is necessary in the Provinces of Madras ,Bombay, West Bengal, Bihar, C. P. & Berar and Orissa, and we recommend that statutory provision be made accordingly. We have referred earlier (Para. 11) to the part that the Tribes Advisory Council will play in respect of Legislation.

16. CENTRAL COMMISSION -

We have indicated above that unless the attention of the Government is concentrated with special emphasis on the problems of the aboriginals and the needs of the Scheduled Areas, there is little likelihood of any development. We do not intend any reflections on Provincial Governments if we remark that they may fail to take adequate interest. The provincial finances may also need to be strengthened by subventions from the Central fisc and we have in fact recommended that the Federation should come to the aid of the provinces to the extent necessary. We are of the view therefore that the Federal Government should take direct interest in the development of the tribes. We consider that it should be possible for the Federal Government to institute at any time a special Commission to enquire into the progress of plans of development and also into the conditions of the Scheduled Areas and tribals in general. In any case, such a commission should be instituted on the expiry of ten years from the commencement of the new Constitution. We have no doubt that the provinces would welcome such a commission and we recommend that provision for its appointment should be made in the Union constitution.

17. CENTRAL SUBVENTIONS -

The development of the Scheduled Areas is likely to involve heavy expenditure on account of the nature of the country and other practical difficulties. It is obvious that in the hilly tracts the construction and maintenance of roads will require a good deal of money. Most of these tracts are devoid of any attraction for officials who thus need to be specially compensated. The provision of schools, medical facilities and water supply which are dire needs will doubtless make a heavy demand on the budget. While we are clearly of the view that to the maximum possible extent the funds required for the welfare and development of these areas should be found in the provinces themselves, we feel that unless the Central Government provides the necessary assistance, some of the Provincial Governments at any rate may find it impossible to carry out schemes of improvement. We recommend therefore that for all schemes of development approved by it the Central Government should contribute, in whole or in part, funds for the implementation of the development schemes. The Central Government should also be in a position to require the Provincial Governments to draw up schemes for the Scheduled Areas. We have recommended statutory provision to this effect.

18. PROVINCIAL FUNDS -

The main anxiety of the Scheduled Areas will centre round the attitude of the legislature in the provision of funds. These areas as already pointed out will be weakly represented and, being deficit areas, may be dealt with on the principle of he who pays more gets more. In the absence of a keen demand it is even possible that there is a diversion of revenues to the more vociferous areas. We have remarked earlier that one of the weakness of the system of partial exclusion is the lack of financial safeguards. There is very clearly a necessity for making the required provisions to remove this weakness. It has been suggested to us that funds for the development of the Scheduled Areas should be provided by the fixation of a statutory percentage of the provincial revenues. It may be easy to provide by statute that such and such a proportion of the Provincial revenues should be spent upon the Scheduled Areas, but there is first of all the difficulty of determining the ratio. The needs of the Scheduled Areas are great in comparison with the population and in some cases even with the extent of the tract. Secondly if a rigid statutory ration is fixed, it may in practice be found that it is not possible to adhere to it. The framing of a budget has to take into account many factors and rigid statutory ratio is likely to cause difficulties to the Provincial Governments, apart from being perhaps ineffective in providing the real needs of the hill tracts. If a low ratio is fixed it is practically certain that the Provincial Governments will not exceed that. If a high ratio is fixed, the Provincial Government may be unable to meet it and in any case the working out of an acceptable ratio itself seems impracticable in the circumstances without a careful examination of the needs of all the different tracts. We feel consequently that no direct statutory safeguard of this nature is possible. The other possibility is that the Governor in his discretion should set apart funds and that these funds should be outside the vote of the legislature. We feel that such a provision is likely to be repugnant to the provincial legislature.

We recommend however that the revenues derived from and the expenses incurred on the Scheduled Areas from the provincial budget should be shown separately so as to prevent the needs of these areas being overlooked through incorporation in the general items Such a separate statement will of course afford a better opportunity for scrutiny and criticism.

19. GOVERNOR'S RESPONSIBILITY -

In connection with financial safeguards the view was expressed that the formulation of a plan of improvement affords sufficient guarantee for the expenditure of funds .We are of the view that in the provisions corresponding to the Instrument of Instructions the Governor should be required to see that a suitable scheme of development is drawn up and implemented as far as possible (See Para. *17)

20. TRIBAL MINISTER -

Connected with the formulation of development schemes and the provision of adequate expenditure for the hill tracts is the need for the appointment of a separate Minister to give effect to the plans and to look after the interests of the aboriginals. The tribal population in the C. P., Orissa and Bihar forms a considerable proportion of the total population and on this ground alone the tribal shave a case for representation in the Provincial Government. In the C. P., the tribal population is nearly 18 per cent. In Orissa, almost a fifth of the population is tribal, and in Bihar there are over 5 millions of them constituting about14 per cent. Partly in order to provide representation for the tribals and in any case to see that adequate attention is paid to their administration we are of the view that there should be a separate Minister for the tribal areas and tribes in C. P., Orissa and Bihar and that this should be provided by statute. The Minister should be a tribal himself unless a suitable person cannot be found. We may add that the Government of Orissa have recognised that there should be a separate portfolio for the welfare of the backward classes under the new constitution.

21. SERVICES -

It has been pointed out that the tribals constitute an appreciable proportion of the population particularly in some Provinces. On this account, the policy of recruitment of a due proportion of aboriginals having regard to reasonable efficiency, into the Government services is justified and necessary and must be followed. Apart from this, however, it is necessary that there should be an adequate number of tribals in the services so that the constant complaints of mishandling by non-tribal Officials, particularly, of such servants as forest guards, constables or excise peons and clerks can be minimized. Moreover, it is only by adequate representation in the Government and local bodies' services that the tribal can gain the necessary confidence and status.

We do not consider that a separate service of tribal people is necessary or desirable for the Scheduled Areas, and we recommend that they should be recruited to a general cadre. This will enable them to come into contact with non-tribes people and we also consider that there is no objection to the posting of selected non-tribal officials to the Scheduled Areas. In fact, in the evidence before us, opinion has been practically uniform that there is no necessity for a special cadre of officials for the hill tracts and what is really required is selection of sympathetic officials for working in the hills. We would draw attention here to the importance of providing suitable accommodation and facilities for medical attention to officials serving in the scheduled areas. Malaria and other diseases constitute the scourge of these hill tracts and unless special attention is paid to the health of the staff it is unlikely that development schemes will make much headway. The provision of facilities for recreation and adequate compensatory allowances for officials posted to these areas should be kept in mind. Any tendency to treat these posts as penal posts or posts for the safe deposit of incompetents must be strongly deprecated.

22. TRIBAL PANCHAYATS -

We have recommended that simplified rules should be continued where they are in force in the Scheduled Areas for the trial of civil and criminal cases. Wherever trial institutions are still fairly vigorous, we would recommend that they should be utilised to try petty civil disputes and criminal cases. The establishment of the more advanced type of village panchayat is recommended wherever possible.

23. SHIFTING CULTIVATION -

Shifting cultivation or podu is practised mostly in the Koraput and Ganjam agency tracts of Orissa and in the similar agency tracts of Madras. In the Central Provinces it is prohibited by law and is not practised to any appreciable extent except in the Baiga Chak where it is permitted and in the Zamindaris. We have nothing to add to the recommendations of the Orissa Partially Excluded Areas Inquiry Committee. This method of cultivation should be eliminated, as soon as possible.

24. PROHIBITION -

We invite the attention of Provincial Governments to the recommendations made by Mr. Symington (Bombay) and the Orissa Partially Excluded Areas Committee. Temperance propaganda should be taken up as part of the welfare work. A feeling has been growing among aboriginals, particularly in the tracts of Bombay and the Central Provinces that prohibition is to their advantage, and this feeling should be fostered among all the tribals.

25. LAND -

The importance of protection for the land of the tribals has been emphasised earlier. All tenancy legislation which has been passed hitherto with a view to protecting the aboriginal has tended to prohibit the alienation of the tribals land to non-tribals. Alienation of any kind, even toot her tribals, may have to be prohibited or severely restricted in different stages of advancement are concerned. We find however that Provincial Governments are generally alive to this question and that protective laws exist. We assume that these will continue to apply and as we have made special provision to see that land laws are not altered to the disadvantage of the tribal in future, we do not consider additional restrictions necessary. As regards the allotment of new land for cultivation or residence however, we are of the view that the interests of the tribal need to be safeguarded in view of the increasing pressure on land everywhere. We have provided accordingly that the allotment of vacant land, belonging to the State in Scheduled Areas should not be made except in accordance with special regulations made by the Government on the advice of the Tribes Advisory Council.

26. MONEY-LENDERS -

Connected with the protection of the land is the need for prevention of exploitation by money-lenders. We consider it necessary that in the Scheduled Areas money-lenders should not be permitted at all and that at any rate they should be allowed to operate under licence and stringent control only.

27. THE SCHEDULED AREAS -

It has been pointed out that areas like Sambalpur, Angul and Darjeeling need no longer be treated as partially excluded areas. The U. P. Government are of the view that the Khat Haripur Bias should be detached from the Hill Sub-division. They have also recommended the removal of the Dudhi Partially Excluded Areas. The population of the partially excluded areas in the United Provinces is small and the Jaunsar Bawar pargana is not inhabited by people who are in an ethnic sense tribals. We have not recommended a Tribes Advisory Council for U. P. and we do not consider it necessary to schedule either of these areas. Similarly we do not consider it necessary to schedule the Spiti area of the Punjab. In all these tracts, it will be open to the Provincial Government to apply the provisions of part II of the law proposed by us. In Bombay, we consider that certain areas in the West Khandesh District and the partially excluded areas of the Broach and Panch Mahals District should henceforth be administered without any special provisions. The C. P. areas are retained as they are and in Chhota Nagpur we are provisionally of the view that only the three districts which have a majority of tribal should be scheduled. The schedule proposed is shown as Appendix D*.

On the other hand, there may be other areas which the Provincial Governments may like to bring under special administration. This can be done by the Provincial Government in their discretion. For the protection of the land of tribes line the Lepcha in Darjeeling the Provincial Government could make the appropriate provision of the chapter relating to the Scheduled areas applicable to the area concerned.

28. DRAFT PROVISIONS-

We enclose a draft of provisions contemplated by us in roughly legal form (Appendix C*).

(A V Thakkar)
Chairman

(D N Samanta Thakur)
Phul Bhanu Shah

RAJ KRUSHNA BOSE

JAIPAL SINGH

P. C. GHOSH.

[Annexure IV]

APPENDIX D

Part I - Excluded Areas

MADRAS

The Laccadive Islands (including Minicoy) and the Amindivi Islands.

BENGAL

The Chittagong Hill Tracts.

THE PUNJAB.

Spiti and Lahoul in the Kangra District.

Part II - Partially Excluded areas

MADRAS

The East Godavari Agency and so much of the Vizagapatam Agency as is not transferred to Orissa under the provisions of the Government of India (Constitution of Orissa) Order,1936.

BOMBAY

In the West Khandesh District, the Shahada, Nan durbar and Taloda Taluks, the Navapur Petha and the Akrani Mahal, and the villages belonging to the following Mehwassi Chiefs' namely, (1) the Parvi of Kathi, (2) the Parvi of Nal, (3) the Parvi of Singpur, (4) the Walwi of Gaohali, (5) the Wassawa of Chikhli, and (6) the Parvi of Navalpur.

The Satpura Hills reserved forest areas of the East Khandesh District.

The Kalvan Taluk and Peint Peth of the Nasik District.

The Dhahanu and Shahapur Taluks and the Mokhada and Umbergaon Pethas of the Thana District.

The Dohad Taluk and the Jhalod Mahal of the Broach and Panch Mahalas District.

BENGAL

The Darjeeling District.

The Dewanganj, Sribardi, Nalitabori, Haluaghat, Durgapur and Kalmakanda police stations of the Mymen singh District.

THE UNITED PROVINCES

The Jaunsar-Bawar Pargana of the Dehra Dun District.

The portion of the Mirzapur District south of the Kaimur Range.

BIHAR

The Chhota Nagpur Division.

The Santal Parganas District.

THE CENTRAL PROVINCES AND BERAR

In the Chanda District, the Ahiri Zamindari in the Sironcha Tahsil, and the Dhanora, Dudmala, Gewardha, Jhara papra, Khutgaon, Kotgal, Muramgaon, Palasgarh, Rangi, Sirsundi, Sonsari, Chandala, Gilgaon, Pai-Muranda and Potegaon Zamindar is in the Garchiroli Tahsil.

The Harrai, Gorakghat, Gorpani, Batkagarh, Bardagarh, Partabgarh (Pagara), Almod and Sonpur jagirs of the Chhindwara District, and the portion of the Pachmarhi jagirin the Chhindwara District.

The Mandla District.

The Pendra, Kenda, Matin, Lapha, Uprora, Chhuri andKorba Zamindaris of the Bilaspur District.

The Aundhi, Koracha, Panabaras and Ambagarh Chauki Zamindaris of the Drug District.

The Baihar Tahsil of the Balaghat District.

The Melghat Taluk of the Amraoti District.

The Bhainsdehi Tahsil of the Betul District.

ORISSA

The District of Angul.

The District of Sambalpur.

The areas transferred from the Central Provinces under the provisions of the Government of India (Constitution of Orissa) Order, 1936.

The Ganjam Agency Tracts.

The areas transferred to Orissa under the provisions of the aforesaid Order from the Vizaga patam Agency in the Presidency of Madras.

APPENDIX D

 [Annexure V]

Statement showing the total population and Tribal population of Provinces.

Name of ProvinceTotal Population Tribal Population Percentage.

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