The present work deals with criminal tribes as one of the ethnic groups in the Indian sub-continent. There are six million people of this kind distributed in different regions with local names of their own. They take to criminal activity as a profession and believe that they are ordained by tradition to follow this vocation. The study focuses on the Yerukulas, one of the important criminal tribes of Andhra Pradesh
The author is concerned especially with the changes which have been recently brought about by governmental legislation as well as social changes in the behaviour pattern of this tribe.
In the course of the study the reader finds an analysis of the criminal activities of the criminal tribes and their modus operandi. The changing criminal behaviour of these tribes before and after Independence is adequately highlighted.
More recently the criminal tribes seem to be acquiring the characteristics of other caste groups. The author explains this process of transformation and also examines how the caste system plays its role in the village structure in keeping the criminal tribes as they are. The book is useful to the academic community as well as to all those interested in the problems involved in rehabilitating the criminal tribes.
It is well known that scholars from different disciplines wrote on the subject of Criminal Tribes. Many articles and a few monographs have been already published on this subject. Many academicians in the West, particularly in the U.S.A., evinced great interest on the study of Criminal Tribes in an effort to probe into the delinquent behaviour patterns of human society. On the advice of scholars in social sciences, particularly from Sociology and Criminology, I have taken up the study, following the models already set for such studies in the West.
In fact, the itch to know about the criminal tribes started way back during my college days when I started reading Dr. B.R. Ambedkar's literature on various ethnic groups of India, particularly on the untouchables and Sudras. Ever since that period, I have been making occasional notes about the tribes. My ambitious plan to study the subject found a congenial place when an opportunity came to me to study abroad. Professors William Nardini, Arthur F. Kline and Narsi Patel from Indiana State University, Indiana, U.S.A. encouraged me to write a thesis on these groups for earning Master's degree. The idea took the present shape when Professors Irwin Deutscher, Richard A. Schermerhorn, Case Western Reserve University (U.S.A.) encouraged and advised me to write a Ph.D. thesis on the Criminal Tribes.
It may be mentioned, that research on Criminal Tribes has so far suffered from several drawbacks. Even Western Scholars writing in general about the deviant behaviour referred to the criminal tribes from a theoretical background. Even in India the work of anthropologists on this subject is defective mainly because of the lack of field experience. In the following work, an attempt is made to present the subject with ample data collected from actual field study. The study is attempted here in a comprehensive way so that it may be seen as a digest for future studies on criminal tribes of India.
The text of the thesis is arranged in the following way :
1. Criminal behaviour among the criminal tribes : A theoretical perspective.
2. Criminal tribes and the law : An historical perspective.
3. Problems of field work and method of study.
4. The Demography and Ecology of Dharmapur.
5. Yerukulas : From Tribe to Caste.
6. Types of crimes and ways of committing them : An analysis of change and institutional factors.
7. Criminals and non-criminals : A comparative analysis of the families and individuals.
In the first chapter an attempt is made to cover the theoretical work so far done. The next chapter gives the sociohistorical view of the criminal tribes. In the third chapter field problems faced in collecting the data and the methods used to obtain data are examined. This is followed by a chapter which gives a full account of the village, of various social groups and of the criminal tribes. In the next chapter the process through which the Yerukulas, a criminal tribe, is converted into a caste, is analysed. The sixth chapter examines the various types of criminal activities and the changes which took place in view of the social change. In the seventh chapter a comprehensive view of the criminal families and non-criminal families is given. It shows that among the criminal tribes, all are not criminals though they are all dubbed as such.
In conclusion it may be observed that the name 'Criminal Tribes' is introduced first in the Criminal Tribes Act of 1871 and since then they have always been called by that appellative. In the literature on the subject also they are called as criminal tribes. After Independence, to avoid the stigma attached to the name, the criminal tribes are renamed as `denotified tribes' but in practice they are called with the former name. As such the author uses in this narrative work `Criminal tribes' rather than the phrase `denotified tribes'.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Your email address will not be published *
Send as free online greeting card
Email a Friend