Adivasi impoverishment accelerates under NDA II

Written by Archana Prasad | Published on: December 8, 2015
decline in female cultivators is higher than that of male cultivators in the rural regions indicating that female farmers and female-headed households face a greater degree of vulnerability. An interesting aspect of changes in work patterns relate to the category of "other workers".  In this category the rate of increase in female work participation rate is higher than that in male work participation rate. Although there is a secular decline in the category of “other workers” in urban areas, the female urban work participation rates in the decade under consideration (2001-2011)  seem to be increasing nationally as well as in at least two of the four least developed states. However the case of Gujarat is a little different where the rise in employment is largely in marginal agricultural work because of the penetration of contract farming in adivasi regions. Typically adivasi women are impacted by it much more than men. Hence the proletarianisation of adivasis is driven by transformations in the female workforce.

The BJP’s model of adivasi development shows that the adivasis are becoming a part of a large reserve army of mobile labour which is sustaining the current corporate capitalist system. Such a system brings about adverse inclusion of the adivasi people into the labour market which in turn is structured by the regional integration of the ‘least developed states’ into the larger political economy. Such a phenomena is epitomised by the policies of the regional ruling classes who think that neoliberalism is the best answer to their problems. In return they hope to perpetuate themselves and get a share of the corporate profits. They also support the weakening of social protection and welfare spending by the state. In this situation the adivasi worker’s consciousness needs to be built around complex demands for access to productive forces and social protection which promote class unity amongst all workers and petty producers. Hence the democratic movement faces the challenge of expanding its social base amongst the adivasis by focusing on their sectional interests through class based mass organisations and strategically linking them to the fight against contemporary corporate capitalism. The experience of the BJP ruled states also shows that programmes of conversion, reconversions and the inculcation of caste Hindu values go hand in hand with the process of proletarianisation of adivasis. Hence any effort to mobilise against the RSS in adivasi regions must be accompanied by the demystification of Modi and BJP model of adivasi development.

(The author is professor and chairperson, Centre for Informal Sector and Labour Studies Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi)
 
 
Appendix 1
Decedal Changes in Adivasi Work Participation Rates, 2001-2011
TOTAL Total Total Main Workers Total Marginal Workers
  Person Male Female Person Male Female Person Male Female
INDIA -0.39 0.68 -1.31 -4.16 -7.33 -0.69 4.16 7.33 0.69
CHHATTISGARH -0.58 0.49 -1.57 -7.13 -10.40 -3.98 7.13 10.40 3.98
MADHYA PRADESH -0.52 -0.01 -1.08 -4.14 -9.19 1.51 4.14 9.19 -1.51
 GUJARAT -1.89 0.89 -4.91 -1.65 -3.47 -1.71 1.65 3.47 1.71
RURAL Total Total Main Workers Total Marginal Workers
  Person Male Female Person Male Female Person Male Female
INDIA -0.40 0.53 -1.28 -4.72 -8.02 -1.17 4.72 8.02 1.17
CHHATTISGARH -0.12 0.53 -1.29 -7.73 -11.09 -4.52 7.73 11.09 4.52
MADHYA PRADESH -0.73 -0.13 -1.26 -4.46 -9.76 1.29 4.46 9.76 -1.29
 GUJARAT -2.15 1.54 -5.04 -1.99 -3.66 -2.29 1.99 3.66 2.29
URBAN Total Total Main Workers Total Marginal Workers
  Person Male Female Person Male Female Person Male Female
INDIA 2.58 3.04 2.66 -1.04 -1.97 1.83 1.04 1.97 -1.83
CHHATTISGARH 4.31 3.97 5.63 -3.45 -3.34 -0.68 3.45 3.34 0.68
MADHYA PRADESH 2.73 2.72 3.31 0.29 -1.15 4.96 -0.29 1.15 -4.96
GUJARAT 2.19 3.14 1.71 -2.99 -3.17 -2.18 2.99 3.17 2.18
Data Computed from  Census of India, 2001 ST01 and ST02; Census of India, 2011, ST Tables Online data.
Appendix 2
Table 2: Decadal Changes in Industrial Classification of Main Adivasi Workers, 2001-2011
STATE CULTIVATORS AGRICULTURAL labourers OTHER WORKERS  
TOTAL PERSON MALE FEMALE PERSON MALE FEMALE PERSON MALE FEMALE  
INDIA -10.31 -8.84 -12.83 7.80 6.38 9.99 2.89 2.74 3.40  
CHHATTISGARH -13.67 -11.72 -17.26 10.27 8.76 12.98 3.74 3.31 4.59  
MADHYA PRADESH -14.05 -12.79 -15.83 13.42 12.33 14.46 0.97 0.81 1.73  
GUJARAT -7.65 -4.34 -16.01 8.71 6.29 15.43 -0.09 -0.11 -0.04 -0.96 -1.83 0.62
RURAL                    
INDIA -9.92 -8.29 -12.56 9.09 7.57 11.37 4.04 1.05 1.75  
CHHATTISGARH -12.86 -10.82 -16.50 11.25 9.67 14.02 1.97 1.54 2.80  
MADHYA PRADESH -14.26 -12.97 -15.89 14.35 13.34 15.26 0.23 -0.02 0.94  
GUJARAT -7.39 -3.82 -16.41 10.17 7.34 17.83 -0.13 -0.15 -0.07 -2.66 -3.37 -1.35
URBAN                    
INDIA -0.67 -0.25 -1.91 1.41 1.45 0.61 -0.42 -1.20 2.63  
CHHATTISGARH 2.24 2.83 0.25 4.24 3.91 3.58 -6.00 -6.71 -1.41  
MADHYA PRADESH -1.29 -0.77 -2.90 2.96 2.85 1.37 -0.84 -1.62 3.59  
GUJARAT 0.75 1.15 -0.31 2.85 2.82 2.72 0.22 0.22 0.21 -3.82 -4.19 -2.62
Source: Calculated from the Census of India 2001, ST01 and STO2 and Census of India, 2011
 
 
[i] Data calculated from the Census of India 2001, ST01 and STO2 and Census of India, 2011. Available from http://censusindia.gov.in/

 [si1]Both Chhattisgarh and Gujarat show a decline in the main female urban workforce, but the orginal copy only mentions Chattisgarh in this regard.