Jhabua: An ideal tribal district

Children and women have civic sense as they do not commit nuisance in open near the villages. The villages of tribals are ideal and role model for emulation- Sunil Salve

History says the Aryas, who migrated to India, knew how to reap crops and domesticate animals while Dravids [tribals] were very ignorant indeed about the same. As a result, Aryas put the tribals in the shade and subjugated their lands while chasing them away.

Contrary to belief as of today, the tribals appeared to be more aware than Aryans- living in urban sprawl- of maintaining Indian tradition, customs, culture and environment.

The Bhil tribals of Jhabua and newly created Alirajpur district of Madhya Pradesh have assimilated into a sense of maintaining hygiene and sprucing up their villages. Ancient real Bharat can be found and seen in the villages of these districts.  

It seems that there is no need of Nirmal Gram scheme of state government as they are already Nirmal Grams [neat and clean villages].

The children and women have civic sense as they do not commit nuisance in open near the villages. The villages of tribals are so ideal and role model for other multi-class and castes villages of states in the country.

On the one hand, people of urban are riddled with rampant materialism of modern society and amassing wealth and money so as to lie on the lap of luxury and they have to suffer consequential loss of moral values while tribals believe in austere way and abstain from cravings so as to make life happier. Traditional religious beliefs still flourish alongside a modern urban lifestyle in tribal districts.

The urban people are of the view that tribals are backward but as a matter of fact that the people of cities are backward as they are losing humanitarian love and sensitiveness towards humanity.

Tribals believe in fraternity and peace while urban life is engaged in reviving hatred and creating communal tension with a malice aforethought of establishing  one's religius hegmony over the multi-religious society.
Humanity still exists in rustic culture in tribal districts but innocent tribals are exploited by political and religious indoctrination.

During the visits of Gram Panchayats in these districts, this journalist came to notice that Hindu hardliners are imposing Arya culture upon the traditional tribals while Christian missionary is proselytising their Christianity among the innocent tribals. Now, both these are posing a threat to original and an ethnic culture of the tribals of this country.

Positively, revenue related disputes are seldom found among the tribals. Land related disputes among them are settled amiably. They believe in peace, serenity and in the concept of live and let live.  

The farmers of the district are mainly depending on kharif crops. The geographical situation of the area does not allow stemming the flow of rainwater on rolling lands.

The tribals of the district remain in the villages during rainy season until they reap kharif crops. For the rest months, they migrate to urban sprawl to eke out an extra living.

The farmers are held in high esteem for the impression of hardest works. They are used to live in powercut at ever regular intervals. Tribals brave torrid hot to work whereas people of urban will be unable to acclimitise rustic life. There is also major contribution of the farmers for the building of nation as far as heavy construction work is concerned in various parts of the country.

Washim Akhtar a senior IAS officer who was Collector during the period from 1998 to 2001 in Jhabua, found out the crux of migration that was leisure time after the cultivation of kharif crop.

Firstly, district administration launched a drive to dig out ponds as well as work for water conservation. Farmers were asked to save water for rabi crops in well, ponds and through stop dams in order to moisture drought lands. The drive gave a tremendous impact with fruitful result of rabi crops. The tribals started taking two crops instead one at various places.

The tribals are becoming aware themselves of imparting education to their children and generating more earning sources by cultivation.

However, migration goes on but it decreases to some extent where water is available. This article has been penned by the journalist after visiting more than 75 Gram Panchayats of Jhabua and Alirajpur districts.