Mapping the Scheduled Tribes: Questioning the Creation of New States

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[EN] Some of the latest debates surrounding tribal population can be apprehended with the Census data and the geography’s methods. The creation in 2000 of the new so-called tribal states (Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand) is clearly a question where geography matters. One of the main arguments for the creation of these new states was the idea to give tribal population from Central India new territories to improve their political representation and to accelerate their development, thanks to decentralisation and better governance. We analyse how such agenda was translated into the territorial formation of two new administrative and political entities. Confronting these new states, with the spatial distribution of Scheduled Tribes (ST) we question their legitimacy and their relevance as new territories for better political representation of tribal populations. Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand are indeed dividing the biggest tribal pockets from the Tribal Belt without offering to the tribal population new political territories where they are representing the majority in the population.

Reference

Lefebvre, Bertrand (2011) « Mapping the Scheduled Tribes: Questioning the Creation of New States », in Berthet, S., Kumar G. (éds) New States for a New India: Federalism and Decentralization in the States of Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, Manohar, Delhi, pp. 191-208

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