A rising trend on social media shows users asking for a separate state called Bhil Pradesh. The Bhil is the name of a tribe in central India which extends mainly to Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Tripura. So, this Bhil tribe is the most widespread tribe in India.
The tribal outfits and their political wing in Rajasthan demand for them a separate state, Bhil Pradesh, which includes the tribal areas of not only Rajasthan but also MP, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
Bhils are a group of tribal Indians scattered throughout India from Gujarat in the west to Tripura in the far east. As of 2013, they were the largest tribal group in India with over 16,673,000 inhabitants (Joshua Project Data) with the majority living in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The tribe is further divided into several subdivisions.
What is word Bhil
The word Bhil is derived from “Veel”, which means “bow” in the Dravidian language. The Bhil tribe is called “Dhanush Purush of India” because they are highly adept at learning Dhanush. Tribe Sub-categories 1. Ujaliya/Kshatriya Bhil:- Ugaliya Bhil is basically the Kshatriya who wandered into the forests at the time of the Mughal invasion. 2. Langot Bhil: – They are the original Bhils who live in the forests, their custom is still ancient. These mainly live in Madhya Pradesh.
In Rajasthan, Rana Poonja Bhil ji is remembered, who along with Maharana Pratap, defeated the Mughals. The portrait of Bhil, this warrior, is inscribed on the royal insignia of Mewar and Mayo College. As of 2013, the Bhil community was the largest tribal community in India with a total population of 1.7 crores.
What is Bhil Pradesh?
These Bhil people want migrants from this community to be returned to their place of origin with full dignity. These people also demand that tribal communities take priority over natural resources. To safeguard the rights of the tribes over their own land, the people of the community demand the “re-acquisition” of the land from which they were forced to emigrate. The demand for a separate state comes from the tribal belts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Reiterating the constant neglect of the government, the Bhils’ demand for a Pradesh unites them to reserve special rights under the scheduled tribe privileges.
These districts are Dungarpur, Banswara, Pratapgarh in South Rajasthan, Ratlam, Jhabua, Alirajpur, Dhar, Petlawad etc. of Madhya Pradesh, while the eastern districts of Gujarat include Panchmahal Godhra, Dahod and Dang, while the northern districts of Maharashtra include Nashik, and Dhulé.
Tribes, whose basic livelihood has historically been derived from natural resources, are trying to adapt to new modes of economic sustainability.
Important people of the Bhil community are as follows;
- 1. Sardar Hemsingh Bhil
- 2. Tantya Bhil
- 3. Diwaliben Bhil
- 4. Nanak Bhil
- 5. Sardar Hiriya Bhil
- 6. Krishna Bhil
These Bhil people also formed the ‘Tribal Party of India’ in 2017 to put their demands firmly before the state governments. This party also won two seats each in the Legislative Assembly of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Their leader is Chhotubhai Vasava from Gujarat.
As its indigenous slogan “Jai Bhil Pradesh” gained momentum, the newly formed party won two seats in the 2017 Gujarat Legislative Assembly elections. Since then, the party has battled domestic political oppositions such as the BJP and Congress. , while also reinstating its Bhil Pradesh claim.
Bhils have a rich and unique culture. The Bhilala subdivision is known for its Pithora painting. Ghoomar is a traditional folk dance of the Bhil tribe. Ghoomar is the symbol of femininity. The young women take art in this dance and declare that they are stepping into women’s shoes.
The Bhil tribes are popularly known as medicine, food and fodder, wood and non-wood products, cosmetics and other household items.
- Food and fodder: In South Rajasthan, Bhil peoples used to come to urban or semi-urban areas on weekends or Sundays with their unique natural and organic food products and this is really important for peoples in urban areas who are anyway connected with their culture and get pure quality food in this chemical polluted age.
- Wood and non-wood products: The Bhil tribe used to sell wood and non-wood products in the local market which has content of wood for furniture, plant fibers for making cote and fencing for domestic animals next door, in non-wood. products, trade in various vegetable gums that are edible as medicinal or for other uses.
- Cosmetic products– In this section come the raw herbal products, about which they have traditional knowledge. Especially skin care and cooling agents.
- Household Items: In this category various household items were made from various stems and roots of plants. In these traditional outfits they give all their craft effort and they used to sell them at the local market (haat) or at the local fair where the gathering is good.
- Herbal Medicine: In this class, they prove themselves as local medicinal healers with tremendous ancient medical knowledge, especially related to stomach and skin diseases of domestic animals or humans. With this knowledge they earn cash, but despite earning money, they are indirectly serving the human race and society through their usual local practice remedies.
According to the census of India, the country had a tribal population of Rs 3 crore in the year 1961, which increased to Rs 10.42 crore in the 2011 census, which has a growth rate per decade of 23.7 %.
The largest number of tribes lives in Madhya Pradesh, i.e. 14.7% of the total percentage of tribes in India, followed by Maharashtra (10%) and then Odisha with 9.2%. Note that the tribes make up 8.6% of the total population of India and 11.3% of the total rural population of India.
Bhils or Bheels are a group of tribal Indians scattered throughout India from Gujarat in the west to Tripura in the far east. As of 2013, they were the largest tribal group in India with over 16,673,000 inhabitants (Joshua Project Data) with the majority living in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh. The tribe is further divided into several subdivisions.