Raipur: It was quite natural that there had been a high aspiration among the tribal youths of the mid 70s. As enshrined in the constitution, they expected that a lot would be done to their upliftment and welfare. When they were put into a separate schedule for focused development, they thought their dark nights were about to vanish once and forever. But, when they saw that converted people were availing the benefits of Reservation Policy, keeping manyas just onlookers, they understood that dawn on their horizon is, yet, too far.
On the occasion of Baba Kartik Oraon Ji’s birth anniversary, October 29 a memorandum has been sent to the President, Prime Minister and the Governor, through the Collector, Tribal Suraksha Manch and Tribal Gaurav Samaj seeking to fulfil some demands.
Tribal society has demanded that those who have converted should no longer be given the status of Scheduled Tribes and their reservation should be abolished. Tribal society has been seeking to stop the violation of their rights through different means for the last 5 decades, due to which there is widespread anger in the tribal society on the issue of conversion.
Apart from this, a memorandum has been submitted to the President through the District Collector by Sarhul Sarna Mahotsav Committee in Jashpur district. Application containing the signature of 235 Lok Sabha members was also submitted.
An appeal has been made to abolish the reservation given to those castes who have been converted from the Scheduled Tribes list through the memorandum.
The “Black Night of 20 years” (20 varsh ki kaali raat) written by Kartik Oraon expresses the pain he suffered due to the state of the tribal society was neither laid on the floor of the Lok Sabha, nor was it rejected, but was put in cold storage.
Shri Kartik Uroam has observed that rituals followed by tribals and the Hindus are not placed in contradiction but they are complementary. Citing the examples of Nishadraj, Shabari, Kannappa etc. and various anecdotes mentioned in the ancient Indian texts, he said tribals were Hindus since time immemorial. In his book he further observed that conversion of Tribals into Christianity has taken place on a massive scale in independent India than British rule in India. Therefore, as a social activist and a parliamentarian concerned for the cause of tribals, he insisted on the converted tribal people to be put outside the Scheduled Tribes category.
Tribal Suraksha Manch has been fighting against this injustice against the real tribes for years, yet many facilities have been consumed by the converts, which is economically and academically much better than the real tribes.
Tribal Suraksha Manch and Tribe Gaurav Samaj, have demanded that despite the considerable delay, it is extremely important to amend this error, in order to hold a referendum, the Tribal Suraksha Manch organised a signature campaign in 2009, which was signed by 27.67 lakh tribal people above the age of 18 across the country.
Delegation led by late Jagdev Ram (Vanavasi Kalyan Ashram), Dilip Singh Bhuria and Ms Anusuiya Uike (Present Governor of Chattisgarh) submitted the memorandum to the then President Pratibha Devi Singh Patil.
Despite 73 years of independence of the country, people of converted tribes are still taking maximum undue advantage of reservation facilities.