Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes) are the largest tribal population in the world – World Directory of Minorities

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Adivasis is the collective name used for the many indigenous peoples of India. The term Adivasi derives from the Hindi word ‘adi’ which means of earliest times or from the beginning and ‘vasi’ meaning inhabitant or resident, and it was coined in the 1930s, largely a consequence of a political movement to forge a sense of identity among the various indigenous peoples of India. Officially Adivasis are termed scheduled tribes, but this is a legal and constitutional term, which differs from state to state and area to area, and therefore excludes some groups who might be considered indigenous.

Adivasis are not a homogeneous group; there are over 200 distinct peoples speaking more than 100 languages, and varying greatly in ethnicity and culture. However, there are similarities in their way of life and generally perceived oppressed position within Indian society. According to the official Census held in 2001, Adivasis constitute 8 per cent of the nation’s total population, over 84 million people. Unofficial figures vary significantly but represent a much higher proportion of India’s population. Adivasis live throughout India but are primarily based in the mountain and hill areas, away from the fertile plains. According to the 2001 census, the greatest concentration is in Chattisgrah (38%), Jharkahand (26%) Madhya Pradesh (20%), Orisssa (22%), Andhra Pradesh (6%) Gujarat (15%) Rajastahan (12%), Maharashtra (9%) and Bihar (0.9%). […]

Communities at risk
Assamese, Bodos, Nagas, Tripuras, other Adivasis, Kashmiris, Sikhs, Muslims, Dalits

Summary
India ranked 54th in 2019’s Peoples under Threat index and rose 16 places from 2018’s ranking. India has been embroiled in escalating violence in Kashmir since 2016, when soldiers killed a separatist commander with a major social media following among alienated locals. With stepped-up Indian army operations, 2018 saw the highest death toll in a decade… Read more >>

Source: Adivasis of India – World Directory of Minorities
Address : https://minorityrights.org/minorities/adivasis-2/
Date Visited: 21 May 2020

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Adivasi and “tribal” are not interchangeable as explained by Dr. Ivy Hansdak:

Tribal” is a very broad term in the English language, as we all know, and includes all the different indigenous groups of India.
Adivasi” – which is derived from Sanskrit – is applied to the dark-skinned or Austro-Asiatic indigenous groups of India (usually those from Eastern India). It is a commonly-used term in Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha. It is also used by the local Mongoloid tribes of North Eastern India for the migrant workers who were brought in as indentured labourers to work in tea plantations during the colonial period. 

Source: personal message (email dated 27 March 2020)

See also

Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

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See also

India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. It has achieved all-round socio-economic progress since Independence. As the 7th largest country in the world, India stands apart from the rest of Asia, marked off as it is by mountains and the sea, which give the country a distinct geographical entity. Bounded by the Great Himalayas in the north, it stretches southwards and at the Tropic of Cancer, tapers off into the Indian Ocean between the Bay of Bengal on the east and the Arabian Sea on the west.

Source: States and Union Territories – About India
URL: https://knowindia.gov.in/states-uts/
Date visited: 16 April 2020

Learn more about India’s 28 States and 8 Union Territories – From Andhra Pradesh to West Bengal >>

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Tip | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets: “The tribal food basket has always been ­diverse and nutritious” >>

How India compares with the world
Graphic by Praveen G. & Damayanti Datta
© Outlook India (14 August 2019)
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Tip | Health and the nutritional value of indigenous grains, seeds and millets:
“The tribal food basket has always been diverse and nutritious” >>

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Research the above issues with the help of Shodhganga: A reservoir of theses from universities all over India, made available under Open Access >>

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More about the “Seven Sister States”

  1. Arunachal Pradesh
  2. Assam
  3. Meghalaya
  4. Manipur
  5. Mizoram
  6. Nagaland
  7. Tripura

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