The 1989 Act is important for another reason – Adivasi activists refer to it to defend their right to occupy land that was traditionally theirs.
They have also pointed to the fact that this Act merely confirmswhat has already been promised to tribal people in the Constitution – that land belonging to tribal people cannot be sold to or bought by non-tribal people.
The existence of a right or a law or even a policy on paper does not mean that it exists in reality.
The desire for equality, dignity and respect is not new. It has existed in different forms throughout our history as you have seen in this chapter.