How did colonial rule affected tribal lives?
Colonial rule affected the tribal lives in the following ways:
- Forests were the abode and the provider of food for the tribals. Tribal communities suffered when the British declared forests as state property.
- Forests were declared as reserved and protected. Problems arose when the tribals were not allowed to practise shifting cultivation and to collect fruits, food and woods.
- The tribal chiefs lost many of their administrative powers and had to follow the rules which were formulated by the British. They also had to pay taxes to the British.
- They were exploited by traders and moneylenders. Traders involved in the silk trade sent their agents to Santhals who reared cocoons. The Santhals were paid Rs 3–4 for a thousand cocoons. These cocoons were sold at much higher prices in Burdwan and Gaya. The middlemen gained huge profits from the trade. Thus, tribals began to see traders as their main enemies.
- The tribals who travelled to distant places away from their homes in search of work suffered many hardships. They were recruited at extremely low wages and were also prevented from returning to their homes.