A Crisis of Ethnic Identity among the Kol Adivasi of Uttar Pradesh: Socio-Cultural Issues

Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India, 65(1) : (143-153), 2016

A Crisis of Ethnic Identity among the Kol Adivasi of Uttar Pradesh: Socio-Cultural Issues

Vandana Kumari
Anthropological Survey of India, North West Regional Centre, Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Abstract
In India hundreds of communities are indigenous in nature. Urbanization, Industrialization and development affect indigenous communities and forced them to migrate from their traditional habitat to other alien places. Poverty, unemployment, deprivation of basic needs, poor health, malnutrition and illiteracy leads tough and poor quality of life for them. The most affected people are least equipped to overcome the unfaced and unseen challenges. The condition worsens even more when the identification of the affected people is not done properly, particularly those who are indigenous but have become victim of our political system. Kol is an ‘Aadivasi’ community but the Uttar Pradesh governments have not considered it fit to give them the recognition of an ‘Aadivasi’ community under Scheduled Tribe category. In Uttar Pradesh the ‘Kol’ are listed among the scheduled caste while they are recognized as scheduled tribes in the neighboring states of Madhya Pradesh, Jharkhand, etc. The paper highlights socio-cultural and economic life of the ‘Kol’ community and ethnic identity crisis among the Kol of Uttar Pradesh through the parameters of the name and constitutional status. In addition, it also describes problems and challenges faced by the ‘Kol Adivasi’ community in Uttar Pradesh.

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