The traditional practice of Patthargarhi is being misused by the Church-Naxal extremism in Scheduled Tribe areas with the clear objective of inciting people against the state, destabilising harmony in the society, continuing illegal activities and finally inciting hatred in view of the forthcoming Assembly and Lok Sabha polls to be held in 2019
Roots in Jharkhand
Schools, Fair Price Shops Locked
Officials Taken Hostage
The Panchayat polls conducted in the state some time back are also being misinterpreted. Till now, the decisions in the villages used to be taken by the traditional Panchayat or Roodhivadi leaders. In elections, converted Christians were also elected and now they take decisions. It angered the Sanatani STs. This anger was further fueled by Church outfits. The Hindu STs say the Village Panchayat has to be led by them only and not by the converted Christians. The government agencies initially ignored this opposition. It was noticed only on August 25, 2017 when the SP, DSP, SDM along with their officials, 50 CRPF personnel and 100 policemen were taken hostage for 14 hours at Kanki village under Bhandara Panchayat in Khunti. It happened merely 8 km away from Khunti District headquarters. The police had gone there to arrest a accused. The villagers took them to hostage saying how can they arrest their villager without the permission of village Panchayat. The Patthargarhi supporters are active in Simdega, Gumla, East and West Singbhum, and in the villages around Ranchi also. Now it has crossed borders in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha also.
Church Leaders in Lead Role
The Akhil Bharatiya Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, which has its headquarters in Jashpur, is also trying to educate the people about the church and Naxal conspiracy. “The rights of the Gram Sabha and the 5th Scheduled are being misinterpreted. Objectionable, provocative, unparliamentary and unconstitutional language has been used to criticise the government. It is a clear attempt to destablise the harmony and misguide the STs,” said Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram president Shri Jagdevram Oraon.
The resentment generated in the name of Patthargarhi movement among the STs needs to be addressed in a systematic manner not only in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh but also in all other states where this movement is silently gaining ground. There are confirmed reports that the Church and Naxal outfits are trying to take this drive in all the states where there is ST population. There are some issues of the STs, which should be addressed without delay. There are some minor issues, but long negligence of them deeply hurts. There is tradition of granting land to the village Pujari who is called ‘Paan’ in the local parlance. But at some places, where the Pujaris have been allured to Christianity, there are attempts to build churches on that land.