In news- The demands for a “Bhil Pradesh”, a separate state for tribal people in western India, have of late begun to be raised again.
More about ‘Bhil Pradesh’-
- The Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP), a political party based in Gujarat, envisions Bhil Pradesh as a separate state carved out of 39 districts spread over four states: 16 in Gujarat, 10 in Rajasthan, 7 in Madhya Pradesh, and 6 in Maharashtra.
- Bhil social reformer and spiritual leader Govind Guru first raised the demand for a separate state for tribals back in 1913 after the Mangarh massacre.
- The massacre, which took place six years before Jallianwalla Bagh and is sometimes referred to as the “Adivasi Jallianwala”, saw hundreds of Bhil tribals being killed by British forces on November 17, 1913 in the hills of Mangarh on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat.
- Post-Independence, the tribal majority regions were divided by the political parties, so that the tribals don’t organise and unite.
- Though several Union governments brought various laws, benefits, schemes, and committee reports on tribals, they went slow on their execution and implementation.
About Bhils community-
- Bhils or Bheels are an Adivasi ethnic group in West India.
- They speak the Bhili languages, a subgroup of the Western Zone of the Indo-Aryan languages.
- As of 2013, Bhils were the largest tribal group in India.
- They were designated as a criminal tribe by the British colonial government under the Criminal Tribes Act 1871, which meant that a Bhil could be “randomly picked up, tortured, maimed or even killed” by the colonial authorities.
- The Bhil are classified as a Scheduled Tribe in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Tripura under the Indian government’s reservation program.
- The Bhilala sub-division is known for its Pithora painting.
- Bhil painting is characterised by the use of multi-coloured dots as in-filling.
- Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of the Bhil tribe, where Ghoomar is considered as the symbol of womanhood.