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Why did the colonial government pass the law ‘Criminal Tribes Act’ and imposed grazing Tax?


When and why did the colonial government in India pass the Criminal Tribes Act?


What was the Criminal Tribes Act? How did it affect the lives of pastoralists? Mention any four points.



Answer to be written

The colonial government passed the law “Criminal Tribes Act” and imposed grazing tax because of the following reason:

Criminal Tribes Act:  

  1. British officials were suspicious of nomadic people .
  2. They didn’t trust pastoralists who changed their places every season , in search of good pastures for their herds .
  3. The colonial government wanted to rule over a settled population .
  4. They wanted the rural people to live in villages , in fixed places with fixed fields because such a population was easy to identify and control.
  5. Settled people were seen as peaceable and law-abiding and nomadic were considered to be criminals .
  6. So, in 1871 , the colonial government in India passed the Criminal Tribes Act . This act classified many communities of craftsmen, traders and pastoralists as Criminal Tribes .
  7. They were stated to be criminals by nature and birth
  8. Once this act came into force, these communities were expected to live only in notified village settlements . They were not allowed to move out without a permit and the village police kept a continuous watch on them.

Grazing tax:

  1. The colonial government looked for every possible source of taxation to expand its revenue income .
  2. In the mid-nineteenth century, a grazing tax was introduced in most pastoral tracts of India .
  3. The tax was imposed on land , canal water , salt , trade goods , and animals .
  4. Pastoralists had to pay tax on every animal they grazed on the pastures .

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Davneet Singh has done his B.Tech from Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur. He has been teaching from the past 13 years. He provides courses for Maths, Science, Social Science, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science at Teachoo.