TRIBAL STATUS FOR TRANS-GIRI
20th July, 2022 Social Issues
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- The Union Government is considering the proposal for granting “tribal” status to the Trans-Giri region of Himachal Pradesh’s Sirmaur district.
- The demand to declare the Trans-Giri region as a tribal area is old, and the demand is linked with another demand for Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the Hatti community which lives in the Trans-Giri region.
- The list of Major STs in Himachal Pradesh includes;
- Kinnaras (Kinnauras)
- Pangwalas, and some other smaller tribes.
- The bulk of the tribal population lives in remote, high-altitude areas in the districts of Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur, and Chamba.
- The tribal population of the state was 3.92 lakh (about 6% of the total) in 2011.
- The Hattis are a close-knit community.
- Harris people take their name from their traditional occupation of selling home-grown crops, vegetables, meat, and wool at small-town markets known as ‘haats’.
- Hatti men traditionally dress in distinctive white headgear on ceremonial occasions.
- In Himachal Pradesh, Hattis people live in 154 panchayat areas, and according to the 2011 census; members of the community are around 2.5 lakh.
- The present-day population of the Hattis is around 3 lakh.
- They live near the Himachal-Uttarakhand border area in the basin of the Giri and Tons rivers, both these rivers are tributaries of the Yamuna.
- The Tons River marks the border between the two states.
- Hattis live in the Trans-Giri area in Himachal Pradesh and Jaunsar Bawar in Uttarakhand.
- Both have a similar tradition, and inter-marriages are common among them.
- A rigid caste system operates in the community;
- The Bhat and Khash are so-called upper castes people.
- The Badhois are so-called lower caste people.
- Inter-caste marriages between these 2 castes are discouraged.
- The Hattis people are governed by a traditional council called ‘khumbli’ which is similar to the ‘khaps’ of Haryana, they decide community matters.
- The Indian Constitution states two types of areas:
- Scheduled Areas in terms of the 5th Schedule of the Constitution.
- Tribal Areas in terms of 6th Schedule.
- “The “Tribal Areas” are also mentioned under Article 244(2) of the Constitution.
- For declaration of Scheduled Areas, the criteria followed are:
- The predominance of the tribal population.
- Closeness and reasonable size of the area.
- Presence of a viable administrative unit such as a district, block or taluk.
- Economic backwardness of the area as compared to neighboring areas.