Jharkhand :An Historical Introduction

Jharkhand which came into being on 15 November 2000 as the 28th State of The Union is the homeland of the tribal’s for which they had been dreaming for Centuries. According to legend. Raja Jai Singh Deo of Orissa had declared himself the ruler of Jharkhand in the 13th century. It largely comprises forest tracks of chhotanagpur plateau and Santhal Pargana and has distinct cultural Traditions. In post-Independence  era. The Jharkhand Mukti Morcha started a Regular agitation which impelled the government to establish the Jharkhand Area Autonomous Council in 1995 and finally a full-fledged State  According to  prominent historians like SC Roy. The Mundas were spread all over the north of India in the 3rd Millennium BC. And they were constantly on the move. Their wanderings were sometimes due to natural causes, but often due to invasion by outsiders The Mundas fled to the hilly regions to Preserve their independence and identity.

 At one time, they inhabited what is presently Punjab. Later they came down to Utter Pradesh, then to Bihar and finally they settled in chotanagpur or Jharkhand. The Oraons . Representing the Dravidian tribes, were originally in the Konkan region of what is presently  Karnataka. Later they moved towards

Maharastra. Bihar and finally to Chotanagpur a few centuries after the Munda.

 The Santhal tribe had lived prosperously for some centuries in the Champ region (now in Chattisgarh). Later they moved towards Bhagalpur. and finally to Saont in Midnapur, from which they derived the name Santhal Adivasis inhabited the Gangetic plains during the pre- Vedic period and were an agrarian society. When the pastoral Aryans invaded the Gangetic plains they succeeded in conquering the fertile area since they had horses which enabled them to be more mobile.

                                                     One of the main characteristics of the Adivasis in the course of their history of struggle with alien cultures was the fact that they were always away from the centre of power, they were frequently on the fringes. In the era of small kingdoms developing into empires such as the Magadha empire and the Ashoka Mauria during the 800 BC.  And the Guptas and Cholas around 10th and 12th AD, evidence of the marginal existence of  the Adivasis community is to be found. In all the records we find references to Adivasis people as dasyu, danavs, rakshasha and savage, etc.

                                             The Aryan people were more dominant and aggressive. They had a monarchical system of governance based on the vama system and a standing army with fighting skills. Egalitarian Adivasis communities did not have a kingship system, since it was based on hierarchy — a concept alien to the tribal ethos. Instead of Kingship the Adivasis had clan groups among the Kill  system the clan system. This later developed into the Khutkati system  Nor  did they have a standing army, since the self-sufficient Adivasis communities did not have a division of labour based on workers and non-workers.

                                                               Marginalisetion of the Adivasis continued during the medieval period. During this period, the Muslims came to India, as early as 711 AD. As a part of, an expedition led by the Arab General Muhammad bin Qasim Shortly thereafter, Sindh, part of lower Punjab, was incorporated into the Arab Umayyad  Caliphate In the course of time, the Muslims conquered a number of Hindu kings. However, the Muslim Emperors were not interested in invading the Adivasis areas, except for collecting malgujari – tax. Even during this period. The Adivasis continued their traditional system of socio-cultural and political governance .

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