GUWAHATI: The Janajati Dharma Sangskriti Suraksha Manch (JDSSM) announced that the allegations against for running an agenda to divide the STs of the state are fake and baseless.
JDSSM mentioned that their “Chalo Dispur- Vishal Janajati Gana Samavesh” program held on 26 March at Khanapara field was successful and saw the participation of over 55000 tribal people in their traditional costumes, in spite of unfavourable weather. Thousands of people participated in traditional music and dance while they called for the protection of original tribal culture, customs, rituals and languages.
They also warned people to “stop hating own tribal people, stop destroying own heritage culture, customs, rituals and languages by religious conversion for personal benefits”.
They also mentioned that it is a 56 year old national movement to protect tribal identity with originality and dignity started by Congress MP Late Kartik Urang in 1967. Following this, a JPC was formed in 1968 comprising 66 members of the Lok Sabha and 11 from Rajya Sabha. After several meetings, they have multiple recommendations, including, “as per 2A of Clause 2, if any person leaves the tradition, culture behind and converts to Islam or Christianity, he will not be considered as part of the Scheduled Tribe.”
On 10 November 1970, Kartik Urang also submitted a memorandum to the then Prime Minister of India signed by 348 MPs. On 17 November 1970, the Center accepted the report with certain amendments not acceptable to him. On 24 November 1970, he delivered a fiery speech in the House mentioning, “If the bill is not accepted as recommended by the JPC the tribal people’s existence and original identity will be at risk, so he requested the govt. to accept the bill without amendments or put him to death”. Unfortunately, the Lok Sabha was dissolved on 27 November 1970.
In 2006, 84 tribal leaders from 14 states met in Raipur and formed JSM to continue the incomplete movement of the tribal leader. Smaller committees were formed across the country towards the goal via workshops, rallies, and dharnas. Memorandums were submitted to Presidents Pratibha Patil in 2009 and Ram Nath Kovind in 2020 regarding the same.
They also asked for evidence of JDSSM members asking any tribal to convert to Hinduism, repeating their commitment towards the protection of the STs by asking for the delisting of converted people so that they cannot enjoy the benefits of reservation.