Jawaharlal Nehru’s “five principles” for the policy to be pursued vis-a-vis the tribals

Jawaharlal Nehru >>
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Nehru was fascinated by the spontaneity of tribal culture and their capacity of joy and heroism in spite of their appalling poverty, destitution, and ignorance. […] In Nehru’s view, the process of modernization must not be taken as forcing a sudden break with the tribals past but help them build upon it and grow by a natural process of evolution. – Dr. Chittaranjan Mishra in “Tribal Philosophy and Pandit Nehru” (Odisha Review, November 2017) | Learn more >>

Jawaharlal Nehru [1889–1964, first Prime Minister of India] formulated the following five principles for the policy to be pursued vis-a-vis the tribals:
(1) People should develop along the lines of their own genius, and the imposition of alien values should be avoided.
(2) Tribal rights in land and forest should be respected
(3) Teams of tribals should be trained in the work of administration and development.
(4) Tribal areas should not be over administered or overwhelmed with a multiplicity of schemes.
(5) results should be judged not by statistics or the amount of money spent, but by the human character that is evolved.


Jawaharlal Nehru, ‘The Right Approach to Tribal People’, Indian Journal of Social Work, Vol. XIV, 1953-4, pp. 231-5.

––‘Tribal Folk’, in The Adivasis, Delhi, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, 1955, pp. 1-8.

Report of the Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes Commission 1960-1961 (Chairman U.N Dhebar), New Delhi, Manager of Publications, Vols. I and II, 1961.

Source: Jawaharlal Nehru quoted by Christoph von Fürer-Haimendorf in India and Ceylon: Unity and Diversity. A Symposium. Edited by Philip Mason, Director, Institute of Race Relations, London. Published for the Institute of Race Relations. Oxford University Press, London 1967.

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