The Indian Journal of Social Work, Vol. XIX, No. 1 (June 1958). ADODIAS...
The Indian Journal of Social Work, Vol. XIX, No. 1 (June 1958).
Various tribes scattered in different parts of India have different patterns of behaviour
and modes of living. Adodias, one of the ex-criminal tribes in Saurashtra, provide the
sociologist with the opportunity of studying marginal characteristics, some apparently universal,
in that part of India and others strictly local ones.
T h e author who has done some research in this field presents a lucid account of the
custom, rites, rituals, dowry, bride-price, witchery, and significant family and clan and inter-clan
T h e adodian heritage appears to be strong enough to keep these traits alive down the
ages. It is not enough. T h e misused energies of Adodias should be canalised into social,
cultural, and educational channels.
Mr. Malkan is Research Officer, Saurashtra Backward Class Board, Rajkot.
Adodias are generally regarded as one of kingdoms. That was how they continued
the criminal tribes of Saurashtra. Many their life in surrounding areas.
things have been found in their culture and
life which are really interesting. Their main
Adodias use specially trained donkeys and
characteristics are a nomadic way of life and bullocks which at a signal from their master,
lawless activities, such as highway and house attack the enemy or run away from the place
dacoities, house-breaking, shop-lifting, cart-
with stolen goods. Thus, these animals are
robbery, looting, encampments and isolated their defence weapons. While these animals
huts, cattle and grain thefts, etc. Their women
attack, they manage to escape to a safer place
and children are habitual thieves and pilferers. either in a nearby jungle or on the top of a hill
from where it is very convenient to defend
Nowadays many of them have adopted a themselves. They are the best marksmen and
settled life in urban areas where some of them can hit any target with swings (Jatarda).
are mill workers; a few of them are cattle
breeders and cultivators. Still most of them
Generally, they dwell in a simple thatched
mainly depend on their criminal and lawless folding tent which is triangular in shape and
activities, such as petty theft, preparation and serves all the purposes of dwelling. It is known
selling of illicit liquor, etc.
as Danga. Some of the settled Adodias have
a small hut or temporary building. The well-
Formerly, they used to travel about in to-do amongst them have now a fancy for
gangs of varying strength with their house-
constructing well-built rooms where there is
hold articles and live-stock. They never put sufficient light and air.
up in towns and villages but usually one or
two miles away from them. Thus, they used
Race and Origin.—Adodias are not the
to live on the boundary of two villages, or original inhabitants of Saurashtra. They came
states near the hills, or forests. Whenever they from the unknown parts of Marwar. Their
find it difficult to carry on their criminal original home might be somewhere there. It
activities and living, they used to migrate to is believed that, owing to famine and drought
other places. Before Independence, they were and also through fear of forcible conversion
also given shelter by the petty kings who made by the Muslims, they left Marwar and
use of them in harassing their neighbouring migrated to various parts of India.

3 0
J . M . M A L K A N
On the other hand, it is believed that throughout the period of Muslim rule. For
originally, they were Rajput warriors. During their subsistence they committed thefts of
the Muslim rule in India, many Rajputs h a d
agricultural produce.
to face them with sword. M a n y of them could
Today, these people are broadly divided into
not withstand the Muslims and were defeated. various groups in different parts of India
Others had firmly decided not to return to where they are known by different names. In
their original home unless they conquered it Saurashtra, they are known as Adodias, in
once again. During this period, these Rajput Gujarat as Chharas, in M a r w a r as Marwadas,
warriors had to run into forests and they had in Maharashtra as Kunjars, in Mysore as Bhat,
to lead a nomadic life for centuries together, in Delhi as Chhansis, etc. Besides names,
change their name, caste and even had to their occupation also varies. In Delhi, they
adopt the social custom of wild tribes with profess to live by begging and singing;
whom they came in contact in order to save some of them live on prostitution of 'their
their life and faith from the rulers of that time.
wives. In Marwar, they are agriculturists;
T h e defeat of Rajput power had made these in Ahmedabad, some of them are textile
people wander from place to place. Conse-
labourers; in Mysore, they beg in trains, etc.
quently, they scattered themselves in different But the main characteristic of the group is
parts of the country and led a nomadic life the lawless activities of the members.
Futher details are classified as follows:
Name by which
Main occupation
Side occupation
they are known
Theft and criminal Cultivators
. . .
Textile labourers
. . .
Illicit distillation
Labourers, illicit distil-
lation, money lending,
agricultural labourers
. . .
. . .
. . .
. . .
Illicit distillation
Begging in trains and
. . .
. . .
Kan jar
. . .
Besides, they are also found in Sholapur,
After leaving their original home, one of the
Taloda, Kokermandi, Nelgoa, Poona, Nira, groups had come to Saurashtra to settle near
Bangalore, Hubli, Kolhapur, Bijapur, etc. Rajula and M a h u v a of Gohilwad district, but
They are all now in different stages of develop-
they could not settle there and continued their
ment, some of them are extremely criminal life of crime in various states. In Saurashtra,
and leading a completely nomadic life. Others this group came to be known as Adodias. In
are to some extent settled near the urban areas,
Gujarati, 'Adodia' means a m a n who travels
and commit crimes. For this reason, their either by short-route or on an improper path,
mode of life, standard of living, type of instead of following regular road (Ade Marge
crimes, cultural patterns, and customs differ Chalnara). In other words, it is he who
from one another.
disregards the general rules of social morality

3 1
and engages himself into activities which are the inside and a border round the lower end.
in conflict with the interests of society.
T h e Odhani is a sheet which covers lower
portion of the body, the back, and the head.
In appearance, Adodias resemble the
Marwaris to some extent. Generally, they are
They prefer to have ornaments which are
of medium strong build, often wiry and agile. worn in Marwar. Some wear laving (clove)
T h e women are often slender and beautiful. in the nose, some also wear a pendant or drop
Both the sexes are experts in committing theft in the septum of the nose, earrings, silver-rings
and crime, and possess a keen intelligence.
on the wrists, finger-rings, toda, kadala, etc.
Mostly, these ornaments are of silver.
T h e whole tribe is divided into two main
classes: Ndld and Bagad. It is believed
Language.—Adodias have a peculiar dialect
that Nala has originally descended from the of their own which is generally Marwari, and
R a t h o d Rajputs, and there are nearly even today, it is not different from it. But
ten sub-castes, such as Abhava, Batoo, Bhoge, enormous influence of Gujarati is also
Chunga Dalyu, Gazad, Gari, Gumara, found. Adodias speak Gujarati and Hindus-
Melakia, Netala, etc. Bagad has descended tani fluently. Besides, they have many code
from the Parmar Rajputs and there are words which are used and understood only
nearly eleven sub-castes, such as Bajarang, by their own group. For this reason, they can
Bangali, Bolia, Camadia, Chhansi, I n d r a , dare to send secret messages or discuss matters
Machhar, Mina, Panoo, Tida, Temichi, etc. about theft, crime, and other lawless activities
even in the presence of public and police
Every group or sub-caste which consists of
certain families has a chief known as mukhi.
He represents his sub-caste in their dealings.
Some of the typical words used by them
He acts as their leader in all respects and are given below:
wields enormous influence over his group.
T h e names of the Adodias are not dissimilar
to those of Hindus.
(along with code)
Dress and Ornaments.—Men wear dhotis,
shirts, sometimes an old coat and a faita
( T u r b a n ) . They are accustomed to walk
barefoot on thorny tracks and on hot soil in
Chhitani or Nand
summer. Nowadays, with a view to avoiding
or Bhathani
noise, they usually wear canvas shoes during
the house-breaking operations. In olden days,
they possessed unlicensed arms, indigenous
guns, fursy, and slings. These slings were
Chubky or Natali
singularly effective for self-defence.
T h e usual dress of an Adodia female
consists of a short petticoat called ghagra,
kurties, choli, and odhani. T h e ghagra is
adorned in the usual Marwari style. It is
about 20 feet in length and about four to
five feet in breadth. It has a big pocket from

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J . M . M A L K A N
This roving community has no opportunity
of sending children to school. T h e standard
Implement of of literacy is very low amongst these people.
Food and Drink.—They eat joari and
bajari bread, boiled rice, and dal; they also
consume wheat and vegetables when they can
afford them. For dinner they take khichadi.
They consume flesh except that of jackals.
They carry plenty of dried meat in bags and
Khel Ja
Go for play
fat in earthern pots. Country liquor which
Nasi Ja
Run away
is generally prepared by them from gur is
Kutane thok
Take meal
no more a luxury, but is one of the necessities
of life.
O n e peculiarity of their language is that
the words of neuter gender are always
Social Custom.—During the period of
followed by the verbs applied after the words menstruation women do not mix with others
of the masculine gender. In other words, and stay apart for five to seven days as other
there is nothing like neuter gender in their Hindus do. In the sixth or seventh month of
dialect. Besides, their language has no script pregnancy, the bride's parents do not go to
of its own.
the house of the bride to present sari and cloth
as is done among other Hindus. Even the
Folk-songs.—Like other tribes and H i n d u pregnant woman is not sent to her parent's
communities, the Adodias too, have folk home two months before delivery. Owing to
songs dealing with their life, custom, manners,
their uncertain ways of nomadic life, they are
joys, and sorrows. All these songs when sung unable to follow the ancient custom of the
are pleasing to the ear. Devotion to the Hindus.
goddess is also one of the central themes of
a number of bhajans (devotional songs).
T h e delivery is attended by experienced old
M a n y of them are mostly sung by women on women of the house. When a child is born,
certain occasions.
the grandmother conveys the message to
Adodias celebrate festivals with great others by beating a vessel with a wooden
enthusiasm and earnestness. T h e most h a m m e r or stick accompanied by rejoicing
important among them are Holi, Dashera, and feasting. T h e grandmother receives five
and Divali. M e n and women put on the rupees as present and the child is given
finest clothes and their faces beam with joy. presents in kind by relatives and caste-women
They take liquor on these days.
and sugar and gur are distributed amongst
them by the parents.
These festivals also provide opportunities
for sale and purchase of ornaments and
On the sixth day after the birth, the child
clothes. On Navratry and Dashera, they enjoy is given a name by Brahmins. T h e clan
taking part in folk-dances which are known goddess is also worshipped; she is supposed
as Ras-Garba. Of course, it is almost a lost to write the child's fate on his forehead
art today. They are adopting a Gujarati type
during this night. T h e caste-women are
of Ras. They also offer their homage and entertained and wine is sprinkled on all house-
prayer to Shri Ram Dev Pir, on the eighth hold articles to purify them. Sometimes on
day of the Navratry festival.
this very day, the child is anointed with

3 3
naldi or pithi (dry tumeric) which is specially
Divorces are frequent. Usually, it is the
brought by the child's mama, the brother of women's relatives who seek divorce because
the child's mother. For bringing this haldi, of ill-treatment, dissatisfaction of the woman,
wine is asked for by the brother of the child's or the prospect of a good bride-price
mother. On such a demand the child's father obtainable on the occasion of remarriages.
arranges a wine party. T h u s they enjoy the
whole of sixth day.
Child betrothals are rampant, but child
marriages are rare. An Adodia is forbidden to
T h e mother moves out of her confinement take wife from his own clan or sub-clan; thus,
on the forty-first day. She nurses her child for the blood relationship makes a marriage un-
about 18 months or until the next delivery. lawful. They see that a man marries outside
T h e r e is no regular time of feeding. Ceremony the clan of his father and of his mother.
of maiden removal of hair of the male child Generally, this community is composed of two
is performed after at least one year has lapsed. main clans, Nalas and Bagad. Of course, there
This ceremony is known as balmavala.
are a number of sub-clans. T h e candidate of
Nala and its sub-caste can be given in marriage
Children just grow up being attended to to those of Bagad and its sub-clans and vice-
by older siblings, a n d there is no formal versa, but the members of the sub-caste of
training and education. They learn how to both the clans do not marry among themselves.
commit thefts and other crime. W h e n they
are in their teens, they are adepts.
Engagements are generally arranged when
an Adodia boy is between ten and fourteen
Marriages.—Girls marry at the age of years of age and the bride slightly younger.
fifteen. Usually they never marry before they Generally, betrothal is managed by parents if
have reached full maturity. Adultery is looked
both parties agree; then they decide upon
upon by this wandering tribe to be a heinous engagement known as sagai in which the boy's
offence. T h e only punishment for it is death. father with a few relatives goes to the girl's
This belief exists in spite of the fact that house with presents which include chundadi.
divorce is customary. Formerly, prostitution The bridegroom's mother gives this chundadi
was an unknown thing. For this reason, there to the bride.
was absolutely no venereal disease among
them. Nowadays, this evil is gradually
T h e bridegroom has to pay a sum of
increasing. Polygamy is allowed but not Rs. 2/00 as fee to the panchayat of their
community. This settlement declared amongst
others by distributing molasses on behalf of
Widows are permitted to remarry. T h e both parties. On this very day, they also
remarriage is known as ghar gharnu. Feasts decide before the panch the amount of the
and other ceremonies are not arranged on this bride-price (dahej) which is to be paid at the
occasion. It is not compulsory for a widow to time of marriage ceremony. It amounts to
marry a younger brother of her husband. This Rs. 1200/00 in all; giving Rs. 400/00 to the
second husband cannot claim any legal right father of the bride and Rs; 400/00 to the
over his step-sons. It is the responsibility of panch and the remaining amount is spent on
the grandfather and his relatives to feed and fine clothes and ornaments for the bride.
look after these children. Generally, they are
reared up by them. T h e system of ghar-jamai
In marriage proper, the main ceremonies
(bridegroom living with the bride's parents)
a r e : the bride and the bridegroom are
is also prevailing amongst these people.
anointed with haldi in their own homes. They

3 4
offer puja to Ganpati and both the bride and present. The dying person is placed on the
bridegroom have to sit before Ganpati. At ground. They use a new cot known as khatla
the bridegroom's house a marriage mandap is (bier). They break one foot of the cot. Then
erected and at night the marriage folk-songs dead body is washed and cleaned and new
are sung by the caste-women. The bride-
clothes are put on. The mourners put two
groom's party known as Jan goes to the bride's rupees or silver coins in the mouth and grain
residence where they are warmly welcomed balls in the hands of the corpse and wrap the
by samaiya. They are all given shelter in a body in a new sheet and then tie the dead
special tent or house known as janivas. Then body to the bier. The widow of the dead man
the bride and the bridegroom meet in the removes her jewels and ornaments from
mandap. During this period, a glassful of her person.
liquor, along with five rupees in it, is offered
Four men carry the bier to the funeral
to the bridegroom by his father-in-law, and ground led by a near relative carrying a
then members of both parties drink liquor smouldering dung-cake in his right hand. All
saying: "Let us now drink the liquor of the way the mourners shout Ram bolo bhai
marriage". This liquor costs Rs. 200/00 to Ram. (Repeating the name of God Ram.)
300/00, and the bride's father has to foot the Women follow them, upto the outskirts of their
bill. Then the hands of bride and bridegroom village and go to a nearby well, or a river,
are joined and the hems of their garments are to take bath.
also tied. A banquet follows, and other minor
rites are performed. Brahmins are consulted
Before coming to the funeral ground, it is
on this occasion. At the end of the ceremony, customary to take four rounds a nearby
both the bride and bridegroom are given ved-tree. Then the body is burnt; the mourners
kansar to eat. During this period, bride-
take bath in a river or tank and return home.
groom's party pays the bride-price of After coming home a big bread is cooked by
Rs. 800/00 in cash and ornaments in the the elder son of the deceased. The pieces of
presence of panch as it was decided at the this bread are given to the mourners. They
time of betrothal. The marriage ceremony put it in a leaf brought from the funeral
lasts for a day only. Vegetarian and non-
ground and throw it away. Later, mourners
vegetarian dishes are served at the marriage are feasted. Thus, while a dead body is being
feast. In case of any suspicion about the moral disposed of, the nearest relatives of the
character of the bride, it is brought before the deceased eat sweets without shedding a tear.
panchayat and necessary steps are taken to
On the following day, the pieces of bones
remove them. If she is found above board, of the burnt body are collected in an earthen
the bridegroom's party goes with her to their pot and it is buried somewhere near their
own village. After a few days, they offer residence. Besides, all the relatives are invited
homage to Ram Dev Pir or Somal Mata. The on this occasion to the funeral ground. There
bride is not sent back to her father's house is also a funeral banquet and churma made
very often.
of wheat bread, gur and ghee is distributed
Funeral Ceremony.—The dead bodies are among the invited relatives.
cremated but usually they are buried. This
The shraddha or barma ceremony is also
system might have been adopted to avoid performed with pomp on the twelfth day. A
heavy expenses of fuel.
son who cannot feed his relatives and caste-
These people have little fear of death, and brothers on this occasion of shraddha
do not think about it and live entirely in the ceremony of his deceased father is looked

3 5
down on by the society. Generally, this dinner matters are conducted by them and believed
is served in a nearby field under babul tree. to be competent enough to pilot them.
After the funeral banquet, rice, ghee and
sugar are served.
When a m a n is attacked by fever or disease,
a bhuvd is called, instead of a physician. After
On any suitable day, all the relatives and paying a visit to the patient, he gives a few
caste-brothers are invited to the house of the grains of wheat, or rice, packed in a piece of
deceased and liquor is served. Before serving cloth to be tied in the neck of the patient.
it, a few drops of liquor are sprinkled on the A few days after the patient is cured,
ground. At this moment the son of the neivedhya or homage is offered to the goddess.
deceased says: " O h my dear father, you are
dead. Here, I dedicate this liquor to you".
These people are afraid of ghosts. They
It is also customary to give a turban to the believe that any m a n is capable of being
son of the deceased by relatives.
possessed by a ghost. By chanting verses
mantras a n d giving a good beating to the
possessed, a bhuvd can drive out evil spirits.
Religion.—Adodias are Hindus by religion. This is considered the best remedy for it.
R a m Dev Pir is universally worshipped. They
also have a faith in other H i n d u gods like
With a view to driving out a witch that
R a m a , Krishna, Mahadev, H a n u m a n , Ganesh, possesses a woman, a small statue of a witch
etc. Besides, they also have their own clan-gods
is m a d e out of grain-flour around which
and goddesses who they pay respect. Their twenty-one needles or thorns are planted.
favourite goddesses in Saurashtra are Somal, Then it is packed in a piece of cloth torn from
Shikotar, Khodiar, Kalka, Meldi, Masani, the sari of the woman and it is inserted in an
Chamunda, etc. Some of the sub-clans have earthern pot with a pound of sweets, one
faith in Bhensa Sur, a buffalo-god.
lemon, and oil. T h e pot is buried in the
cremation ground by the bhuvds along with
A small temple known as Sthanak or Math portions of the head and legs of a goat which
is found in their locality. On every religious' is slaughtered as a sacrifice to the goddess. It
festival, men and women, the young and the is believed that in this process, the witch is
old, go to the temple; prayers are offered to believed to be done away for ever.
the goddess. Sweets like churma (wheat bread,
ghee and gur) or lapshi is offered as homage. It
Like other primitive tribes, these people take
is known as Neivedhya. Formerly, goats and intoxicants while offering prayers, and the
cocks were also sacrificed. Besides, a general practice of consuming liquor is widely
caste-temple, a separate math of a clan-
prevalent among them.
goddess is also in their houses where a
neivedhya is offered.
Panchayat.—One would be struck d u m b
with wonder to learn how the standard of
A number of superstitious belief in witches, intra-tribal morality is maintained and how
ghosts and demons also prevail among these the standard of extra-tribal immorality is over-
people. T h e sorcerers known as bhuva can looked in the interest of solidarity of society.
drive out such witches as are possessed by
T h e panchayat has an enormous influence
anyone. Each group has such a bhuvd or a over these people. Consequently, it has
religious chief. He is obeyed and respected by become one of the great unifying factors of
all. Besides, all the spiritual and religious their social life. T h e panchayat also controls

3 6
J . M . M A L K A N
their criminal and normal behaviour. It society. Such lovers who are expelled from the
enforces caste-rules and punishes transgressors. caste are known as chhinalavas and the deed
T h e chief of each sub-caste is an active life is known as chinalavu. For their inclusion in
member of the panchayat. T h e head of the the caste, a ceremony of purification is per-
panchayat is known as the panch-patel. He formed. In this connection, the male wrong
exercises an enormous influence over the doer is considered more guilty than the
people, and presides over the meetings of the female. With a view to punishing the wrong
panchayat. T h e panchayat has wide jurisdic-
doers, locally m a d e grinding stones are placed
tion and powers, but it does not interfere unless
on their chests and one pound of wheat or
it is called upon by the aggrieved person. adad is ground in the presence of the Panch.
Whenever disputes or claims about bride-price,
divorce, kidnapping, rape, petty thefts, etc.,
Besides, Rs. 360/00 are to be paid as penalty
or breach of social etiquette arises Tapali, for this sin. Gur worth Rs. 25/00 is purchased
secretary of the panchayat is consulted.
on behalf of the wrong doer and is distributed
among the caste-mates. It means that
After consulting the panch-patel and the the sin is distributed and its burden is
members, the Tapali covenes a meeting of the
lessened. Later, a feast is arranged. All the
panchayat. He is the proper person to invitees sit together with the youth and
approach the panchayat and thus serves as a churama is served in one large dish made from
link between the panch and the public. He is seven leaves of Parash peapla. By taking the
a lifetime member. By virtue of his superior meal together, it is believed that the excom-
intellect, cleverness, honesty, and selflessness, municated young man is taken back in the
people repose trust in him. Without his help, fold. As a sign of purification of life, the girl
it is hardly possible to carry on the work of wears white clothes and takes her meal with
the panchayat.
women of her caste. W h e n the feast is over,
it is customary for men to smoke a locally-
Generally, the panchayat meets very often made bidi which is puffed first by the young
during the monsoon. T h e aggrieved persons man. Thus, he is believed to be completely
who call the panchayat have first to pay each absorbed in their group.
member and the Tapali an allowance to meet
his expenses. An equal amount is charged as
If, on examination, the girl is found
court fee and as wages.
pregnant, the society takes no notice of it, but
T h e persons found guilty by the panchayat her father is obliged to arrange her marriage
have to bear the expenses of the meeting. T h e with a youth belonging to another clan; under
verdict of the panchayat is considered final any circumstances she is not allowed to marry
and binding. It has the authority to impose the young m a n of her own class. Of course,
punishment not only extending from a small the illegitimate child is given to its biological
fine to expulsion from caste but also to father.
sentence to death!
A romance carried on outside the clan is
Caste Rules and Panchayat.—An Adodia not considered unlawful. If bride's parents
cannot commit a more heinous sin than to object to this, the wrong doer must make good
fall in love with the girl of his own clan. the wrong done to the bride's father by paying
T h o u g h such instances are rare, they do Rs. 200/00 or Rs. 250/00 or the sum
occur. They cannot be tolerated by their stipulated by the panchayat.

3 7
T h e Adodias are very quarrelsome people. of them are very poor and do not possess any
They often fight amongst themselves during adequate sources of income and what does a
the proceedings of the panchayat. Dharias, starving m a n not do? Highway dacoities,
axes, swords, lathis are taken out by the Tapali house-breaking, shop-lifting, cart-robbery,
before the situation takes a serious turn. U n d e r looting encampments and isolated huts, cattle
all circumstances, the ruling of the Tapali is and grain thefts, and distilling and selling of
obeyed by everybody. This type of displine illicit liquor are the sources of their income.
is found only among these people. Soon after It is said that even today many of them, have
the marriage ceremony is over, a bride is taken
distilleries in their houses.
to a separate room by the women-folk of the
guests of bridegroom to find out whether she
They have not been able to adjust them-
is chaste or not. Surprisingly, the women of selves to the proprietary conventions of a
this community have a thorough knowledge settled economy. Most of them are associated
of sex which can hardly be expected of other with anti-social activities. Of course, nowa-
H i n d u women. If the women find it difficult days many of them desire and try to settle
to come to the conclusion whether the bride in life. As a result, some of them are mill-
is chaste or not, the panch takes up the issue workers, cattle breaders, and cultivators.
and orders the bride to sleep with the bride-
groom for a night. If the bridegroom does not
Their standard of morality is very low.
find any oozing of blood, she is considered Some of them remain villains. T h e root cause
guilty and the panchayat forces the bride to of all these is their poverty and unemploy-
disclose the name of the person with whom ment. In order to regulate their lawless and
she had slept. T h e culprit is forced to pay criminal activities, an Act was passed in 1924
Rs. 100/00 to Rs. 150/00 to the father of the under which they were classified as "criminal".
bridegroom. If he is an outsider, the bride's They could not leave their places of residence
father is penalised and the compensation is at night nor could they move out of the areas
paid to the father of the bridegroom.
of their residence without permission. They
were being registered as "criminals". Their
Punishment and Leakage.—One wonders liberty was restricted but nothing was done
how the causes of intra-tribal immorality are to wean them from their life of crime and to
controlled and the instances of extra-tribal absorb them into society. T h i s Criminal
immorality are over-looked. With a view to Tribes Act of 1924 was repealed in 1952, with
cultivating a sense of social solidarity, very the result that the Adodias now enjoy freedom
stern steps are taken when the secret informa-
like other citizens.
tion about criminal and lawless activities are
revealed. First of all, a thorough inquiry is
Individually, an Adodia is very lazy. He
instituted and a m a n providing the police with
does not like to move unless he is compelled.
secret information is found out. If the guilt Women and children are also habitual thieves.
is not confessed, red-hot axe is branded on his
Women of poor families work as labourers and
arms. If any sign of burning is found on the collect fuel from the neighbourhood and do
skin of his arms, he is not considered innocent,
domestic work.
and the punishment is imposed according to
the gravity of default.
Among these people, no importance to
taking bath is attached. They take bath only
Economically, socially and educationally, twice or thrice in a month. Both men and
the Adodias are a backward community. Most
women relieve themselves in open fields.

J . M . M A L K A N
3 8
Water is not used after evacuation. Theirs is and their misused energies should be canalised
a criminal mind. Even the minds of their into social, cultural, and educational channels.
children are instilled with criminal ideas.
Consequently, their lives from the cradle to
After the repeal of the Criminal Tribes
the grave are profoundly influenced by Act in 1952, the then Government of
criminal activities. They come into the world Saurashtra h a d undertaken several welfare
as h u m a n beings, learn the way of criminal schemes for their socio-economic betterment,
life from their culture and environment, and such as education, agriculture, housing,
become criminals.
cottage-industries, medical aid, etc. Besides,
with a view to rehabilitating and making them
Besides, they have very peculiar social economically self-supporting, subsidies are
custom and very strange things in their culture.
provided to those who desire to settle on land
T h e best that is in them must be brought out and take to agriculture.