Transformation refers to a process or instance of change in the myriad cultural, economic, political and social forces that shape a society. It entails change in production and distribution systems, social relations and cultural practices which transform conditions in the local community. The process of transformation has varied meanings for different strata of society according to their phase of development. Its course becomes even more interesting when studied in relation to the tribal groups as firstly, they are isolated and little is known about them; secondly, these societies are highly marginalized and exploited by the subjects of mainstream society; thirdly, they are most neglected mainly because of their distinct and little known cultures and lastly, any little change in their social or economic sphere can never be studied in isolation but has to be studied in a holistic fashion. Rajasthan is the largest state in India with tribes forming an important segment of its society. The tribes in the state are dispersed across the state living in different physical environments, exhibiting varied lifestyles, social habits, religious beliefs and cultural patterns. The issue becomes even more appealing and complex in case of Rajasthan as some tribes are segregated while others are intermingling with the non-tribal population. The paper provides an insight into the transformation of four major tribes of the state namely Bhils, Minas, Garasias and Seharias for a time period from 1961 to 2001. It would analyse how the once homogeneous, cohesive and well-integrated social formations have fast drifted into complex heterogenity as a result of contact with caste Hindus in Rajasthan. The impact on levels of education, urbanisation and the changes in their economic structure would also be explored. It will also probe into the existing regional disparities between the tribal and non-tribal population in the state.
|Keywords:||Tribes, Transformation, Socio-economic, Rajasthan, Bhil, Mina, Garasia, Seharia|
Research Scholar, Center for the Study of Regional Development, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India
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