ECSAS 2023 – Turin 26-29 July

Public Law and Horizontal Inequalities of Tribal People in the Fifth Scheduled Areas of India


Xaxa Dr. Aashish - Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar, Humanities and Social Sciences, Gandhinagar, India


42 – Changing Contours of Legitimacy and Governance in India


 The Indian Constitution guarantees special provisions for tribes/indigenous peoples in the Fifth Schedule Areas under Article 244(1). The Fifth Schedule covers the tribal areas in ten states of India, namely, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Rajasthan. The Governors have been given specific power for the administration of these areas. Constitutionally they are designated to ensure the security and protection of tribal people. Apart from the Governors, Para 4 of the Fifth Schedule provides for the establishment of a Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) in the states having the Fifth Schedule. The TAC is expected to advise on matters concerning the welfare and advancement of tribes as may be referred to them by the Governor. However, despite such protective measures, development in the Fifth Schedule Areas, in the post-independence era, has been marked by land acquisition, displacement, resource exploitation, and socio-economic-political exclusion of tribes. Social exclusion in this context is articulated in terms of the denial of rights and privileges of tribes either actively or passively or both. Such processes exclude tribes from full membership in society and they remain marginalised. This paper examines the trajectory of such adverse development in the Fifth Schedule Areas and seeks to explore alternative possibilities for a more inclusive form of governance.