Pradesh has the largest population of Scheduled Tribes of all states and a
high proportion of Scheduled Castes. Of the total 45 districts, 23
are predominantly tribal. The major tribes of Madhya Pradesh are Gonds,
Bhils, Oraons, Korkens, and Kols. The state presents in all a varied matrix of tribal culture ranging from
animists and fowlers to advanced cultivators and factory workers.
from the tribal stock of Madhya Pradesh the rest of the population consists of
Hindu communities. They include Rajput landholders, traditional merchant
classes and established agriculturists such as the Ahirs, the Khatis, the
Kunbis, the Lodhis, the Malis and others. The industries and factories in
the urban areas have drawn labour from all the classes. A small percentage
of Parsis, Muslims and Jains also add to the racial mosaic of Madhya Pradesh.
geographical position, Madhya Pradesh has remained exposed to
cultural influences. The central region of the state was directly under
the Indo-Aryan culture. The Vindhyas sheltered primitive tribes since the
early dawn of history. No communication was possible with the south from
the north because their existence was an effective barrier until the Marathas
entered Malwa and its nearby territories. On account of the sturdy
barrier of these mountainous ranges, all the racial movements, incursion and
migration, took place in central Madhya Pradesh, from the Gangetic plain, Rajasthan and
Gujarat through the gap in one of its arms. Fertile
lands of the state have drawn people from distant directions.
interpenetration of the culture of the hills and the forests and the plains has
been going on from time immemorial. It is only in the lower part of Madhya
Pradesh that the Adivasis maintain their indigenous culture.
The socio economic condition of the people has improved considerably since
independence. People have become conscious of their rights. The economy of
the state has developed to a desired satisfaction. Social changes
were bound to occur in the tribal section of the population of the state.
Social welfare agencies made them aware of many things. There are
instances of adapting traditional Hindu manners and ritualistic patterns by some
of the Adivasis.