Darlongs – a small community of around 11,000 people in Tripura – was officially included in the list of Scheduled Tribes after the Lok Sabha passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2022.
Tribes of Tripura –
Tripura, the tiny Northeast state of 37 lakh people houses 19 tribal communities. These include Tripuri or Debbarma, Reangs or Brus, Jamatia, Noatia, Uchoi, Chakma, Mog, Lushai, Kuki, Munda, Kour, Oram, Santhal, Bhil, Bhutia, Chaimar or Sermai, Garo, Khasi, Lepcha and Halam.
Who are Darlongs?
- Darlong is a tribal community of 11,000 people. Despite its small population, the community has a high prevalence of education, cultural activities and members of the community are serving in different high positions in the local administration.
- Darlongs, despite being Scheduled Tribes, were never given ST certificates. Since they were considered a generic tribe under the Kuki community, they were handed their tribal certificates as members of ‘Kuki’ community. The subsequent identity crisis among them, especially Darlong youths, who were equipped with modern education, culminated in the demand for a separate statutory identity of their own in 1995.
- The group is a small tribal clan but has produced a high number of educated people proportionate to its population in the state. People from the Darlong community, like many other tribal communities, are now serving in high positions in the state administration, academia, and public services.
- Tribal musicologist and Rosem (tribal instrument) maestro Thanga Darlong was conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award a few years back for his contribution to culture.