All-India Tribal Convention calls for new tribal policy
The All-India Tribal Convention called for a new Tribal Policy to ensure the development of tribal languages, cultures and the setting up of a tribal history academy
The All-India Tribal Convention, held in Andhra Pradesh's port city Visakhapatnam on Sunday, called for a new Tribal Policy to ensure the development of tribal languages, cultures and the setting up of a tribal history academy.
Inaugurated by Vasavi Kiro, renowned author and activist from Jharkhand, the convention highlighted tribal medicine, cuisines and other knowledge, including the chanting of "Sonot jooaar" (long live nature); "Ootey abuwa" (this land is ours), "Bir aabuwa" (the forests are ours) and "Disum aabuwa Desh" (country is ours) and "Jai Joohar".
Kiro said there were more than 700 million indigenous people in the world, of which 200 million reside in India. Their 7,000 indigenous cultures have been ignored and repressed even 75 years after colonial rule. India has more than 750 ethnic tribes of which 75 are most vulnerable. Their social, cultural, economic and political situation is very grave.
The convention raised all issues relating to attacks on tribal communities – lands being taken away, livelihood being snatched, concerted attacks on identity, culture and languages, ignoring of anti-colonial tribal heroes and despicable attempts to sow discord and conflict among them.
“Adivasis in India suffer because of state policy which is based on ‘development induced displacement’, loot of forests and natural wealth, land alienation, degradation of nature, failure to recognise their indigenous religions like Sarna and attempts to forcefully assimilate them into Hindu religion, failure to implement their Constitutional and legal rights,” said Kiro. She said of the 10 crore people uprooted in India, 80 per cent are Adivasis and Indigenous people.
Former Union secretary EAS Sarma said that the government is bulldozing Adivasis and attacking their rights. “This government is so anti people that it does not consult even the National ST Commission,” said Sarma.
Even though there were the Constitutional securities in place for Adivasis, senior advocate and writer Pala Trinadh Ra said the government is allegedly undermining them to favour corporations and MNCs.
The convention passed four resolutions: Condemning repression of tribals in Burhanpur in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and other parts of India; demanding the arrest of BJP MP Brij Bhushan Singh, condemning alleged RSS-sponsored violence in Manipur and the gangrape of a tribal woman by paramilitary forces at Vakapalli in Andhra Pradesh.
Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, Google News, Instagram
Join our official telegram channel (@nationalherald) and stay updated with the latest headlines