Our society is a diverse mosaic of people who practise various cultures and practises and who belong to various races, religions, castes, genders, and so on. However, these differences result in a lot of inequities in the population. In such circumstances, vulnerable groups, which are the most exploited, oppressed, and discriminated groups in the country, are growing. These vulnerable groups are referred to as ‘Weaker Sections’ under India’s Constitution.
Historically, the caste system in India classified people based on their work and social rank. In the economic, social, and civil aspects of human life, the caste system demonstrates basic prejudice. Throughout India, castes that have historically faced discrimination based on untouchability have been identified, catalogued, and put into the Constitution’s “schedule.”
One such group at the STs. The Scheduled Tribes are a community of India’s disadvantaged groupings of historically marginalised people. The phrases are defined in the Indian Constitution, and distinct groups are classified into one of several categories.
They used to undertake tasks that other people refused to do because it was disgusting. They may also be mistreated for the reasons stated above, or vice versa. There is no obvious rationale or explanation for why these people were tortured and treated as slaves.
To give these people the rights they deserved, and equal rights and opportunities Dr. B. R Amedkar created specific provisions to benefit them while drafting the Constitution in 1950. He created the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989. This Act was enacted to prevent atrocities against members of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. It established Special Courts for the trial of such offences, to provide relief and rehabilitation to victims of such offences, and to provide for matters connected with or incidental to such offences.
They had represented specific benefits, such as reservations for Scheduled Tribes, in order to balance the caste system in society (since in ancient society Scheduled Tribes were treated as untouchables).
We must have often heard the term ST when the topic of reservation or India’s history of discrimination is brought up. In this article we will be explaining what is the full form of ST, and the three violations of rights of the ST caste under the Indian Constitution.
India is an ethnically diversified country, and it is necessary that we learn how the rules of various communities operate and are inculcated into society in order to understand and continue to live in harmony.
The ST full form is Scheduled Tribe. In the ST caste full form, the word ‘scheduled’ is included because this group was included in one of India’s Constitution’s Schedules.
There are 12 Schedules in our Constitution. They make up 8.6% of the population in this area, with the highest concentration in the north-eastern sections of the country. The Indian Constitution recognises this category as the “weaker” part of the population.
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There are four main violation of rights of ST community that has been happening since the colonial British period:
- Land Alienation: For decades, the tribals have been separated from the lands that their ancestors once possessed. This is not a new, post-Independence phenomena; it existed during the colonial period as well. The Forest Laws alienated the Forest Dwellers (as they are now known) and pushed them further into poverty and vulnerability. They no longer live contented lives, and their art and culture, which was once known to be widespread over the world, has vanished.
- Land Loss caused due to degradation: Scheduled Tribes are landless and frequently endure prejudice as a result of environmental deterioration. They are also denied land that is now being used for economic purposes. Furthermore, India’s forest cover is rapidly dwindling, resulting in severe environmental damage to the tribals’ living conditions. Displacement: Development-induced displacement has been a common occurrence among tribals, resulting in large-scale migration to cities and townships.
- Bonded Labour – Due to their lack of land, they are forced to work as agricultural labourers on farms in order to make a living. The indebted poor, on the other hand, are forced to work as bonded labourers, where they are expected to work long hours without being paid and where the employee determines the duration and type of the task. When the families are attacked for disobeying orders, things get even worse.
- Lack of Essentials- The tribals are in desperate need of all of the fundamental needs for a decent life. Malnutrition, sickness, a lack of good food, excessive alcohol consumption, and a lack of schooling are only some of the issues that tribals face; and the government, which lacks an adequate monitoring sector, finds spending on their amenities a difficult task.
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Large-scale corruption has not only resulted in hardship, but tribals are now more involved in insurgency activities and are willing to risk their lives in order to demand separate states.
Scheduled Tribes were granted certain privileges, rights, and responsibilities, as well as reservation quotas (as represented above). Scheduled Tribes were given rights and reservations to encourage development on par with other castes. Despite the fact that Scheduled Tribes have Reservations and Special Plans, they continue to refuse to accept some reforms and schemes because they believe they go against their beliefs and traditions. We hope that this article helped you understand the nuances of the violations and the urgent need for stricter legal protections for the underprivileged.