The Legal Regime and Political Economy of Land Rights Of Scheduled Tribes in the Scheduled Areas of India

12 March 2018

India was a pioneer in recognising special protections for her tribal or indigenous peoples in the Constitution, recognising their distinctive cultural, social, and economic identity from that of the mainstream Indian society and that they needed some protection from exploitation by the mainstream. However, inspite of these special provisions, the Scheduled Tribes continue to be the most vulnerable and impoverished sections of the Indian population. Through a review of the historical and contemporary policy frameworks that have defined both the “Scheduled Tribes” and the “Scheduled Areas”, and primary archival data documenting the causes of the displacement of the tribes through contradictory policy discourses, displacing legislative and administrative frameworks, and the displacing and alienating processes of economic development initiated and facilitated by the colonial and independent Indian state, we have attempted to shed some light on why the STs continue to be the most vulnerable and impoverished groups in the country