Arunachal deserves to be included in the 6th Schedule


Recently, in order to demand that the government fulfill its election promises, the people of Ladakh launched a series of democratic activities, which attracted the attention of all India, especially the Northeastern states.

It also made me suddenly think about a question: Why is Arunachal, which has a large tribal population state does not fall under Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution?

The core content of Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution is to protect the rights of the tribal population. Between 1951 and 2003, 10 autonomous councils were established in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram, and have certain legislative, judicial and administrative autonomy. Thousands of tribal people enjoy the convenience brought by Schedule 6 for education and employment. Tribal cultural customs, tribal rights, tribal ecological environment and democratic construction have also been improved.

But all the benefits that Schedule 6 brings to the tribals have nothing to do with Arunachal Pradesh, and the tribes and the tribal people who have lived in Arunachal for generations.

Existing information shows that more than 1.4 million people live in Arunachal’s 84,000 square kilometres of land – two-thirds of which are indigenous groups. The government once claimed that Arunachal is home to 26 major tribes and 110 minor tribes, but so far the Indian Constitution and the state government have not announced the official specific names of all tribes. This is a very sad reality.

India has been independent for more than 70 years, and Arunachal was established almost 40 years ago. However, the Indian Constitution still does not clearly list the tribes living in Arunachal, and naturally it has not been able to become a member of Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution and enjoy the benefits and protections it brings.

Whether it is the BJP or the INC, when fighting for the political status of Arunachal, protecting tribal culture is always a loud slogan, but no one has fulfilled their election promises, and no party has actually helped the tribal people, especially is to help tribal people join Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution.

While the tribal people in other Northeastern states enjoy the benefits brought by Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution, the tribal people in Arunachal are still worried about basic life, such as education, livelihood, and medical care. Of course, people who have the right to speak care about the tribal people, because of the power of votes.

Seeing that the people of Ladakh are standing up to fight for their rights, I hope that Arunachal, whether it is a political force, a tribal people or a vocal supporter, can speak out for the tribal people and realise the following demands.

  1. The government’s internal affairs, tourism, culture and other departments will conduct inter-departmental consultations on the issue of tribal names and determine the official names of all tribes in Arunachal.
  2. Carry out a scientific and detailed tribal census and formulate laws to protect tribal language and culture.
  3. Expand the number of tribal representatives in Parliament.
  4. Incorporate Arunachal into Schedule 6 of the Indian Constitution as soon as possible.
  5. When the government carries out any work involving tribes, it should consult with tribal people to fully protect the uniqueness and safe development of tribes, such as issues of language teaching in tribal schools.

Arunachal is a very sensitive border state, and it is crucial to protect the tribal people and their traditional homeland. Realising the above demands will help enhance the confidence of the tribal people and strengthen their belief that they are an integral part of India.

Karyom Loyi