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Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2021

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August 14, 2021

Why in news?

  • Parliament has passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill 2021.
  • The Bill seeks to amend the nomenclature of certain tribes from Arunachal Pradesh mentioned in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.

What are the key features?

Part-XVIII of the 1950 Order lists 16 tribes of Arunachal include

Abor, Aka, Apatani, Nyishi, Galong, Khampti, Khowa, Mishmi [Idu, Taroon], Momba, Any Naga tribes, Sherdukpen, Singpho, Hrusso, Tagin, Khamba and Adi.

  • The Bill -
  1. modifies Part-XVIII of the Schedule to the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order, 1950.
  2. corrects the names of tribes spelt incorrectly
  3. adds names of a few tribes that were either named ambiguously or had only their parent group named.
  • The five key changes are:
  1. Deleting ‘Abor’ (tribe), because ‘Adi’ tribe in the list is same as ‘Abor’
  2. Changing ‘Khampti’ to ‘Tai Khamti’
  3. Including ‘Mishmi-Kaman (Miju Mishmi)’, ‘Idu (Mishmi)’ and ‘Taraon (Digaru Mishmi)’ in lieu of Mishmi [Idu, Taroon]
  4. Including ‘Monpa’, ‘Memba’, ‘Sartang’, ‘Sajolang (Miji)’ in place of ‘Momba’
  5. Replacing ‘Any Naga Tribes’ with names of four tribes: ‘Nocte’, ‘Tangsa’, ‘Tutsa’, and ‘Wancho’.

What is the need?

  • Officially listed names of the tribes are out of “colonial interpretations”.
  • But many other tribes, sub-tribes exist with diversity in terms of language or culture.
  • E.g., There are 3 groups of Mishmis - Idu, Kaman and Taraon - mentioned just as Mishmi.
  • Similarly, Nocte, Tangsa, Tutsa and Wancho, mentioned as “other Naga tribes” have their own nomenclature and are culturally diverse.
  • This creates problems while applying for central jobs, as individual tribes are not recognised.
  • So self-identification and indigenous nomenclature of tribeshas beena long-standing demand.

Who is the opposing and why?

  • The term ‘Any Naga Tribe’ has been removed by the Bill, replacing it with four different tribes.
  • So, opposition from the Naga separatist group NSCN(IM) which aims at creating Nagalim or greater Nagaland (a territory that comprises all Naga-inhabited areas around Nagaland, including neighbouring states).
  • But the change just gives them their individual identity through names, still within the larger Naga identity.


Source: The Indian Express

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