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Current Affairs

Bhil Pradesh demands

Date: 27 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

Tribals of western India are demanding for a separate state “Bhil Pradesh” to be carved out of four states.

 

Background

The groups are demanding that 39 districts-- 16 in Gujarat, 10 in Rajasthan, seven in Madhya Pradesh, and six in Maharashtra be part of the proposed state.

 

Details

The demand for Bhil Pradesh is made more vocally by a tribal party of Gujarat known as Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP).

 

History

  • The demand for separate state was first raised in 1913 by Govind Guru, a Bhil social reformer and spiritual guru.

  • This was immediately after the Mangarh massacare, which is sometimes referred to as “Adivasi Jallianwala”. Bhil tribals were killed by British forces.

 

Present situation

  • The BTP, which claims to be representative of Bhil tribals, has said that demand for a separate state is being actively supported.

  • The BTP was formed in 2017 in Gujarat with a main aim of forming a tribal state for Bhils of the region.

 

Bhil tribals

  • Bhils are indigenous to the western states of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.

  • They speak various dialects of Bhil language, along with the native language of the state in which they reside.

  • During British rule, the Bhils were designated as a criminal tribe under the Criminal Tribes Act 1871.

 

Culture

Bhils are famous for their pithora paintings. Their traditional folk dance is the Ghoomar.

 

Religious orientation

Majority of Bhils blend Hindu beliefs and animistic philosophies. The Dang Bhils follow Christianity, and the Nirdhi and Tadivi Bhils follow Islam. 

 

Festivals

Bhils traditionally celebrate Hindu festivals. They also have their own festivals such as Akhatij, Navmi, Howan Mata ki Chalavani, Sawan Mata ki jatar etc.