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Being ‘De-notified': The Unheard Voices of the ex-criminal tribes of India
Dattatary Bhandalkar  1@  
1 : Tata institute of social sciences  (TISS)  -  Website
V.N. Purav Marg Deonar Mumbai-400088 -  Inde


This paper is a sincere attempt to bring to the forefront the voices and experiences of the members of de-notified tribes in Maharashtra (India) about being “De-notified” in society. The ‘Ex-criminal Tribes ‘are, now referred as ‘De-notified' tribes, comprise a significant population who were once declared as ‘Criminals' by the British with the enactment of Criminal Tribes Act, 1871. They continue to remain stigmatized and discriminated by dominant sections, deprived of access and excluded of opportunities to exercise the basic human rights. Caste as a character of societal structure played a significant role. The interplay of caste and power relations in society affected the community in context of livelihood, access to common resources available at villages, employment opportunities, participation and representation in village decision making processes, appropriate treatment by dominant sections of society etc. This paper emerged out of an empirical research, with a qualitative approach, undertaken with the de-notified tribes in Maharashtra (India). It highlights the issues and challenges faced by the tribes in their everyday lives, and narrate ‘their' voices. The paper exemplifies the existence of power relations and interplay of caste politics with the reality of being treated unfairly and indifferently in society. It reflects on the historical background of the tribe and how it is still affecting the community eventually leading to construction of ‘a criminal labeling' of the community. (

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