Verrier Elwin’s impassioned rhetoric may not convince us todayanymore than it did his contemporaries, but its very exaggeration does make us sit up and think about the place of tribal populations in the Indian nation. Even after Independence, when Elwin’s campaign had Nehru’s support, the problem of integrating India’s tribes into the new political order failed to find a satisfactory solution. And the question remains unresolved today. In 2004, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs issued a draft of a ‘National Policy’ toward tribes, put it on their website and invited comments. The text faced up to the dilemma of how to absorb but not eliminate tribal cultures, and expressed it in language borrowed directly from Elwin and Nehru; yet, it was immediately criticised by tribal groups as insensitive to their traditions of governance and unclear on land rights. A revised draft came out in early 2006, asking for comments by August 2006, and further revisions are expected.