Short essay on factors affecting crime in tribes


Factors of crime in tribes

Many a tribe in India is generally regarded to be criminal. From legal point of view these are the ex-criminal tribes. There is not enough evidence, scientifically established or ascertainable, about the origin and development of these tribes.

Their origin is shrouded in mythology and folk lore. As regards the question as to why a group as a whole takes to crime as profession, divergent views have been expressed by scholars. According to one point of view the tendency to do crimes is hereditary and by virtue of being criminal the parents pass on this tendency to their offsprings.


However this possibility of genetic heredity of crime is contested by other scholars. The truth of the matter appears to be this: the children who are born in an atmosphere replete and suffused with criminality are bound to be affected.

At very impressionable age they learn the various criminal operations and by the time they mature they are expert in criminal techniques. Now nothing appears to them easier than the profession of crime. Being usually illiterate and uncultured they are not suited to any good profession. Little wonder, then that they are so heavily drawn to crime. Dr. Haikerwal has aptly observed, “The day a baby is born, its parents and others begin to teach it the tricks of trade.” How immoral and bad parents spoil their children is illustrated by the story of an American nurse whose sexual habits were prevented.

When 13 or 14 she had to be a witness to sexual abuse of their mother by her father who came home drunk. He insulted and abused his wife and forced her to accept penetration per annum. Later he made her and daughter both fellate him and he also mouthed her daughter. This had such traumatic effect on the daughter that normal sex became reprehensible and on account of her perversion she had to suffer sadism of her friends.

On account of their promiscuous sex life the criminal tribes are of highly mixed character and if the genetic theory of crime were true these people should not be criminal, because children born of these people are usually a cross because women of these tribes are inveterate prostitutes. Below we discuss some of the factors usually considered important for causing criminality in Criminal tribes.


1. Social and Economic Causes.

The social and economic causes play chief role in the production of criminality in the criminal tribes. The individuals or groups which are neglected by the society and are not given their due share in its achievements or accomplishment move away from society and become apathetic to it. If this apathy is not countered by positive social response, it turns into hostility towards society in general and those groups or persons in particular who are directly responsible for the neglect.

In order to settle their scores with society such groups operate like undergrounds and keep moving. Besides social factors, economic factors, too, play an important part in helping tribes toward criminality. With the advance of civilization a number of economic problems also crop up.

It is well known that with the advancement of civilization, social organizations also become more intricate and complex. In the result, only intellectually and technically resourceful people can find important gainful roles in society.


The social changes moreover render many hitherto important and useful persons superfluous. Their skills are no longer worth while. Due to these social upheavals many persons and groups become economically sterile.

They may go to jungles to lead the life of primitive man-hunting and eating jungle fruits. They may take to begging or singing and entertaining in bazzars. In extreme situations they may live off the income from the sale of the bodies of their womenfolk and lastly they may become out and out criminals.

Thus we see that economically sterile groups are driven by the society in a phased manner, from vegetation in jungle to prostitution and crime. What is more, well-to-do groups find in them an easy prey to appease their lust.

2. Extinction of Traditional Professions.


The social change has the effect of rendering many a type of services, worthless. The persons dislocated from their trade find it extremely difficult to adopt alternative trades, particularly if they are past middle-age. For example with the construction of bridges, the jobs of boatmen have become superfluous; with the advent of radio, the street singers are no longer in demand; with the downfall of feudalism and popularity of cinema, the nautch girls are no longer in great demand.

Some such tragedy must have overtaken the criminal tribes. The eunuchs provide a good illustration. The eunuchs at tone time enjoyed a place of pride; they were guardians of Zenana or women of royal families or aristocrats.

They were privy to many secrets and wielded unusual power. But now they are reduced to the task of putting up grotesque and obscene performances at marriages or births; their status is no more than that of a high class beggar.

What is worse, unable to make both ends meet, they act as sodomists, fellators. As a matter of fact they are source of perverse sex. Being sharp witted, they enjoy patronage of both men and women in matters of sex. It will not be surprising if they become one day only purveyors of perverse sex.


3. Family Disorganization and Degeneration.

There are in every society many degenerate families which are morally and culturally so lost that what are considered disvalues by normal persons are regarded values by them. For example they like to have sons who can dishonour women and disrobe them. They encourage pickpocketting and minor thefts. They are proud if their daughters manage to live off a number of men simultaneously even if it leads to mutual destruction among suitors. Such families are breeding grounds for criminality.

4. Caste System.

Each criminal tribe is a specialized organization. This organization is like a Panchayat and this body is usually performing the function and role of a crime polytechnic, that is, it trains its members in the advanced operations of crime. They are imparted expertise in successful cheating. If any of its members is trapped by police and either imprisoned or killed, the members of his family are properly looked after by the Panchayat during the absence of the member.

5. Corruption among officials.

The government normally appoint a high official with numerous subordinates to supervise the activities of criminal tribes. In each sector there are departments which are supposed to maintain a detailed record of each criminal and the nature of his activity. But there are a number of government servants who are corrupt and become accomplices of these criminals and share the booty of crime.

The register of crime record is left unfulfilled and the criminal activity is not reported. Some government servants are successfully trapped by women of these tribes and the lure of free sex deflects many of them from carrying out their duties property.

From the above discussion it is clear that there are many factors responsible for the inherent criminality of the criminal tribes. Many social and economic factors induce criminality among them; and since they carry the stigma of criminality society is initially prejudiced against them and Consider them beyond help and redemption.

Accordingly, neither government nor any other public agency thinks about them in constructive terms and draw up some elaborate plan of their rehabilitation. They are at best given hp service by the influential members of government and public.

As a matter of fact, certain political and social groups have developed vested interested in their continuance and perpetuation. They furnish them a section of well- trained criminals who can be hired to advance personal motives of the hiring agencies. They also function as receptacle of the overfill or spillover of sex needs of many persons. Their lack of the sense of shame provides opportunity to some enterprising film-maker to produce blue movies. But, above all they are utterly deficient in a desire to reform or improve themselves.

6. Social Life.

Almost all criminal tribes lead an abnormal social life there are no sets of social and moral values governing their life being mostly nomadic there is little fixed social structure and no set of social customs or traditions. As a rule they abide by no fixed laws and perform no definite rites and ceremonies with regard to marriage, birth etc.

Their food habits are also not fixed; they have no taboos regarding food and sex. In food, the animal food and liquor are important items. However, they can eat intestines and other parts of animals which are normally eaten by dogs.

They usually eat every variety of meat and drink hard liquor. Their sex life is promiscuous. Young boys and girls freely indulge in sex play under the very nose of elders. Most women function as veritable prostitutes. Their economic life is fluid and uncertain; only one thing is certain, they steal whenever possible.

Their children are born in open and the function of mid-wife is preformed by neighbourhood women. They suckle their young till another is born and are unmindful of suckling two children at the same time. A notable feature of these women is that they are constantly suckling young ones.

7. Economic Life.

The economic life of these tribes is both irregular and uncertain. The members of criminal tribes have no definite means of livelihood and therefore their spending is also erratic. If they somehow are able to lay hand on handsome amount of money, they usually gamble, drink and prostitute. They are fond of spending extra money in feasting on meats and hard liquor. There are many small occupations carried on by these people.

They collect various materials available in jungle and sell them in towns. These include honey, wax, gum, resin, animal skins and various herbals and animals which are supposedly aphrodiasic and also possess some other medicinal values. There are some criminal tribes which earn their livelihood by putting up public display of monkey-tricks, bear show or performance by snakes and cobras.

These people of course make their living by honourable means and should not therefore be referred to as criminal. But, as a matter of fact, all tribals do something or the other. Quite a few of them make sufficient money by their small avocations and are satisfied. They refrain from stealing or other criminal acts. However, there are many who not content with meagre earning are lured into crime to earn easy money.

As their moral fabric and sense of social values is weak, being illiterate and exposed from early life to criminality, they are unable to resist the lure of easy money which can be made by theft.

Whenever they visit homes of townsmen to sell some articles or repair some ironware, they would not lose the opportunity of making off with some utensil or other article which they sell for small price. Some of them are really vicious and indulge in child lifting and extorting regular payments from villagers and petty shopkeepers. Some of them run brothels in their huts and offer their females for gratification against money. In short, they can do any fair or foul thing to make money.

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