What were the main arguments on either side of the debate about how to relate to tribal communities?


-Mamta Dey, Subject matter expert, Edumarz.

Solution: The British administrator-anthropologists and nationalists led the primary arguments on both sides of the debate over relating to tribal groups. The British thought the Indian tribes were primitive and had a separate culture than the Hindus. They claimed that Hindus who wanted tribal people to assimilate with them would exploit and degrade the unsophisticated tribal people. As a result, the state had to protect them in order to protect their interests.

The nationalists, whose most notable proponent was G.S. Ghurye, contended that India’s tribes were not backward, but had been engaging with the rest of Hindu civilization for a long time. All of India’s communities had gone through the process of absorption, and the tribes were only a few steps behind. Attempts to preserve tribal culture, according to nationalists, simply added to their backwardness. They believed that tribal life, like Hindu civilization, need renovation.

As a result, the fundamental source of contention between the two perspectives was the perception of mainstream culture‘s impact on tribes.

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