NEW DELHI: The Anthropology Survey of India (AnSI) is planning on bringing out literature documenting the lives of 60 denotified tribes (DNTs) across the country, a senior AnSI official said on Thursday.
Denotified tribes are those which were listed under the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871 — a colonial law. After coming under several variations of the law, these tribes were eventually delisted after 1947.
The literature will be a result of the AnSIs national-level study in which it is presently collating data on these tribes. 60 DNTs will be covered in the first phase of the study, which is likely to end in March-April 2019.
The literature will include booklets on these communities which could typically be 70-80-pages-long, and books which would be 250-pages-long.
So far, the agency has prepared preliminary reports on two of these sixty communities.
“In cases where we find extensive data on denotified communities which are extensive and rich, we will think of publishing a book on those communities,” said Vinay Kumar Srivastava, director, AnSI.
“People do not know about these communities. So the objective will be to focus as much information as possible,” he said, adding that the initial series will remain focussed on the livelihood of members of these communities.
The going however is tough as there is no proper information available. A scholar researching a particular DNT could not find any book that documents the details across libraries, said Srivastava.
“The writing will not be confined to the ivory tower of academia. It should reach out to a large number of people... I would want to bring a revolution in the kind of writing we engage in. The idea is to build a treasure trove of information. Recently, we came up with booklets on six Andaman tribes,” said Srivastava.
At a later stage, the AnSI plans to come up with geographically-themed volumes that profile the DNTs state-wise. After the completion of the study of the DNTs, the AnSi will study nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes.