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“Demand for delisting picking pace,” as tribal across states send postcards seeking removal of converts from ST’s list


The demand for a nationwide de-listing (Delisting) exercise is gaining momentum across tribal region of Bharat. In recent development, members of the tribal community across several states are running a “Postcard Campaign” seeking a dedicated exercise to identify those who have embraced any other religion and still availing the benefits given to the tribal community.

The said campaign has picked up pace in tribal dominated pockets of Northeast, Central India and South-Western regions, where the community members were witnessed penning postcards to Prime Minister, Modi seeking a delisting exercise to identify those who have left traditional practices identical to the community and have embraced any other religion other than those originated in Bharat.

Recent of such gatherings of the community members have been organised in Sikilma, Chorkidih, Lamgaon under the tribal dominated Lundra block of Surguja, Sarbhokha in Manendragarh-Chirimiri-Bharatpur and district headquarters of Balrampur and Jashpur.

Other than aforementioned place programs under the postcard campaign have also been organised in Gangapur colony, Behrapara, Parsapali, Kadampara, Barnijharia of Ambikapur. Furthermore, similar gatherings have been organised in Bargidih, Urkela and Garhbira villages of Raghunathpur.

This comes days after similar gatherings were held in Khargone, Thandala of Jhabua, Sihore, Dewas, Bhopal and Badwani district of Madhya Pradesh. This follows campaign in seperate place of Rajasthan,  West Karbi Aanglong district of Assam, Tripura and other places of Northeast.

Similar programs under the postcard campaign have also been organised in Akola of Vidarbh and Chauki of Sambhajinagar district of Maharashtra which follows programs linked to postcards campaign in separate places of Karnataka and Bodo block of Jharkhand as well.

The programs under the postcard campaign in separate places across states have been held under the banner of Janjati Suraksha Manch (JSM), an all tribal body dedicated to the cause of tribal upliftment and stopping illegal conversion in tribal belts across states for around two decades.

In most of these programs, the community members could also be heard raising slogans such as “Samasya Anek Samadhaan Ek (Many issues but one solution…delisting, de-listing)”, “Jo Bholenath Ka Nahi Wo Hamari Jaat Ka Nahi (Those who are not of Bhagwan Shiva are not of our community)”, “Jo Nahi Bholenath Ka Wo Nahi Kisi Kaam Ka (Those who are not of Bhagwan Shiva are of no use)’.

Demand for delisting exercise

It is pertinent to mention here that, off late, the Janjati community across different states of Bharat has been hitting the streets, raising their voice against the menace of conversion alongside demanding for a nationwide delisting exercise to identify those among the community who have changed their religion but still owns a ST certificate and avail themselves of the benefits of the reservation. More than 250 such delisting rallies have already been organised under the banner of JSM across separate states of Bharat in the last few years alone.

It is noteworthy that the demand for delisting is one of the long-pending issues of the Janjati community, many of whose leaders have time and again emphasised the need for a nationwide de-listing exercise. This includes greats like Baba Kartik Oraon, who had also supported the cause to safeguard the rights exclusively given to the community.

Those who are in favor of such an exercise argue that Article 341 of the constitution says that if people from the Scheduled Caste convert to any other religion, then they will be automatically deprived of the benefits of reservation. A similar amendment should be introduced in Article 342 which deal with the ST community and do not has any such definition.

Mega rally in New Delhi

It is noteworthy that JSM is also preparing to hold a mega rally on the issue of delisting in New Delhi, in the month of November. According to the inputs received, around five lakh members of the tribal community across states are expected to participate in the proposed rally.

Earlier while speaking to the Organiser representative, an official of the JSM had informed that the outfit has already started its preparation and will hold a grand delisting rally in the national capital around November. “We are planning to mobilize around five lakh people for this, delisting is the need of hour, this is linked to protecting our very identity,” he added further.