Jharkhand CM Hemant Soren made a shocking statement that ‘Adivasis are not Hindus’ and demanded that they should be counted as ‘indigenous people’. Over the past few years, Jharkhand has been a hotbed of conversion mafia’s evangelical business and Soren’s statement is seen as a desperate move to felicitate more conversions from the tribal groups.
Soren was responding to a question on whether tribals were Hindus after delivering a virtual lecture at the 18th Annual India Conference at Harvard University Saturday night. The session was moderated by Suraj Yengde, senior fellow, Harvard Kennedy School.
He also added that his government has demanded from the central government a separate column for Adivasis in the next census so that they can continue their tradition and culture with safeguards. “Adivasis were never Hindus and they never will be… where will the Adivasis go, whether he will write Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Muslim, Christian [in the census]… I came to know that these people [central government] have removed the ‘Others’ column. It seems they have to adjust in this only,” the Chief Minister said.
Various Hindu organisations have lodged protest against Soren’s comment aimed at breaking the Hindu unity and to promote evangelical missionaries.