This Working Paper tracks down some significant trends and issues that were prevalent between the tribals and the external social structures, precisely the interaction with the Hindu communities and the influence of Hinduism. Since the tribals lived in contiguity with caste Hindu communities, and had viable social and economic exchanges with them; therefore many tribal groups eventually absorbed Hindu traits and ways of living. This process of adopting the Hindu idiom and way of life did not necessarily imply giving up their own complex of deities and lifestyles. In fact, these were combined without precipitating any contradictions. This, however, did not come about to mean that tribespeople have been uncritical of the Hindu system. Their expression to return to ‘golden period’ becomes important background against which the tribal movements (including those of religious revival) need to be understood.
Religions and Development, India. Working Paper Series, Volume 1, Number 3, 44 pp.