Tribals should unite in struggle for rights: Jharkhand CM Soren - Hindustan Times
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Tribals should unite in struggle for rights: Jharkhand CM Soren

By, Ranchi
Aug 09, 2023 09:28 PM IST

Speaking at the two-day Jharkhand Adivasi Festival, an event showcasing tribal culture through dance, songs, cuisine, and seminars inaugurated by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Shibu Soren, the chief minister said that the time is ripe to reinterpret and document the contributions of the tribal community in nation-building and civilizational growth.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren urged the nationwide tribal community on Wednesday to unite and support each other in asserting their rights against a “feudal establishment that seeks to exploit the resources safeguarded for generations by indigenous people”.

Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren urged the tribal community on Wednesday to unite and support each other in asserting their rights (HT Photo)
Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren urged the tribal community on Wednesday to unite and support each other in asserting their rights (HT Photo)

Speaking at the two-day Jharkhand Adivasi Festival, an event showcasing tribal culture through dance, songs, cuisine, and seminars inaugurated by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) president Shibu Soren, the chief minister said that the time is ripe to reinterpret and document the contributions of the tribal community in nation-building and civilizational growth.

He noted that these contributions have been “neglected by mainstream historians”.

“On this occasion, I appeal to the more than 13 crore tribals across the country to come together and unite in their struggle. Despite our religious diversity, there is unity in our cultural practices. We share the same heritage, so our society should also be unified. When the nature of our challenges is the same, our fight should also be collective,” said Soren.

Highlighting recent incidents in Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, and Gujarat, where tribals have been disadvantaged, Soren pointed out that these challenges arise due to the community’s division and lack of organisation.

“This is why the issues faced in Manipur couldn’t resonate with the Mundas in Jharkhand. Similarly, the concerns of Meenas in Rajasthan do not receive the same attention from the Bhils in Madhya Pradesh,” he added.

Criticising mainstream historians, the chief minister stated that they have not adequately recognised the role played by tribals in shaping Indian civilization.

“Society has been so callous that it has failed to acknowledge the hardships faced by lakhs of tribals who were displaced due to mining, dam construction, and industrialization. The beneficiaries of this development model remain unnamed. Numerous tribals were uprooted from their heritage and culture and forced into bonded labour,” Soren lamented.

Soren also expressed dismay at the term ‘janjati’ or ‘vanvasi’ used to describe tribals, asserting that such terms insult the community, as “tribals do not conform to the caste system”.

Welcoming participants from across the country to the two-day festival, Soren underscored that this year’s event would be grander compared to the inaugural festival last year.

“The pervasive enthusiasm was palpable,” he added.

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