A Paradox within a Paradox: Emerging Signs of Change in the Unappealing Tribal Scenario in Kerala, India

Deepa Chandran


Kerala, a small state in India caught worldwide attention owing to its unparalleled successful but ironical experience of achieving high human development unaccompanied by a matching level of economic development. The “Kerala model of development” was widely appreciated as a development strategy which could be replicated on the newly independent countries plagued with numerous socio-economic tensions. Later, it was observed that this model has several outlier communities in which tribal communities were the most victimized ones. The fact that Kerala had the highest gap between the tribal and non-tribal population in various socio-economic development indicators as compared to the rest of the country presents a situation of “paradox within a paradox”. Nonetheless, signs of change in the tribal situation are slowly surfacing in the state in various forms. The increasing political mobilization of the tribal communities in Kerala is the major driving force behind these positive changes.

Keywords: Human development, Kerala Development Model, outlier communities, tribes, paradox, change

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ISSN (Paper)2224-607X ISSN (Online)2225-0565

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