Growth and Development of Ethnic Consciousness among the Plain Tribes of Assam

Bishwajit Sonowal

Assam, situated at the north-eastern region of India, is a home of diverse ethnic tribes since time immemorial. The ethnic tribes of Assam are broadly divided into two groups, viz. Autochthon and non-autochthon tribes. The first category can again be subdivided into two distinct groups, viz. the tribals of the plains and the tribals of the hills. The non-autochthon tribals include various tribal groups which migrated mainly from Jharkhand area during colonial period in search of livelihood. If we pay a closer look, it can be seen that the first step towards the growth and development of ethnic consciousness among the plain tribes of Assam may be traced back to January 4, 1929, when four memoranda were submitted to the Simon Commission. However, the tribal consciousness got momentum only after the formation of the Plains Tribal Council of Assam (PTCA) on 27th February, 1957. Following it, a number of socio-political and cultural organizations came up in the subsequent period with the objective of creating consciousness among the various plain tribes of Assam. There are some certain problems that had been facing by the autochthon tribes of Assam since long past. The problems posed a great challenge to their identities. These are basically land question, their loosing cultures and languages, to prevent various exploitations on them and to create an environment for growing own genius and traditions. These issues became a major concern for all the plain tribes of Assam and they tried to find solutions through demands and mass-mobilizations.

Volume 12 | 08-Special Issue

Pages: 221-223

DOI: 10.5373/JARDCS/V12SP8/20202519