Indian Sociologists

Indian Sociologists

Question

Discuss the views of Ghurye on tribes.

Answer
The views of Ghurye on tribes :

1. Tribes constitute a significant part of the Indian population. Govind Sadashiv Ghurye noted with anxiety that some anthropologists and British administrators advocateed a policy of isolation for the tribals. They asserted that the seperate identity of the tribal should be maintained at any cost. They mentioned many causes for it.

2. These causes can be discussed as follow:

First, the tribals were different from the non-tribals or Hindus.

Secondly, the tribals were the original inhabitants of the country.

Thirdly, they are unlike the Hindus, animists.

Fourthly, the tribals are different from the Hindus on linguistic grounds also.

Fifthly, tribals contact with the non-tribals had been harmful for the culture and economy of the tribals. The tribals lost their land and other resources to the greedy, cunning and exploitative non-tribals.

3. Govind Sadashiv Ghurye referred to the long process of Hinduization of the tribes of India in different parts of India.

(i) Some tribes had been integrated with the Hindu society.

(ii) Some others remained loosely integrated.

(iii) Many tribal peoples like the tribes living in the recesses of hills and the depths of forests were barely touched the Hinduism. They were the “imperfectly integrated classes of Hindu society.” The tribes, therefore, according to Govind Sadashiv Ghurye were backward Hindus.

4. The tribes embraced the Hindu social order mainly for following two causes :

(a) Economic reason : The first reason was the economic motivation. As the tribals adopted Hindu religion, they could come out of the narrow confines of their tribal crafts of a rudimentary nature. They then adopted specialised types of occupation which were in demand in the society.

(b) Catholicity of Caste System : The second reason lay in the catholicity of caste system to the tribal belief and rituals.

5. Govind Sadashiv Ghurye, has confessed that some tribals fell prey to the deceit of the non-tribals or Hindu-money-lenders and land grabbers. But, it was the result mainly of the drawbacks of the British system of revenue and justice.

6. Ghurye further admitted that the policy of the British Government in relation to forests caused hardship for the tribals. But, the poor non-tribals also equally suffered the damages done by these policies. The system of exploitation that operates in society does not make any distinction between the tribal and non-tribal.

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