In a bold move, the Janajati Suraksha Manch (JSM), an organization affiliated with the RSS and dedicated to the welfare of indigenous communities, announced its plans for a significant rally on December 25. The primary agenda of this gathering is to advocate for the exclusion of tribal individuals who have converted to religions other than their indigenous beliefs from the Scheduled Tribe list.
Upholding Traditions and Cultures
Shanti Bikash Chakma, the coordinator of JSM, emphasized the importance of preserving the unique traditions and cultures of tribal communities. Historically recognized as Scheduled Tribes, these groups have enjoyed various privileges and facilities. However, Chakma contends that the tribal individuals who have undergone religious conversion are diverging from these established traditions and cultures. Consequently, JSM argues that they should not be entitled to the benefits and rights associated with their tribal status.
Unveiling the ‘Delisting Rally’
This pivotal event termed the ‘Delisting Rally,’ aims to bring together thousands of people from diverse regions of the state. The participants will assemble at three different locations in Agartala before embarking on a march to Vivekananda Maidan (Astabal Ground), where a public meeting is scheduled to take place.
Why advocate for exclusion?
Preserving Cultural Integrity: JSM asserts that preserving the cultural identity of tribal communities is crucial. Excluding those who have embraced other religions from the Scheduled Tribe list is seen as a measure to safeguard this cultural integrity.
Ensuring Traditional Practices: The organization argues that the tribal individuals who remain true to their indigenous beliefs contribute to the continuity of traditional practices. The inclusion of converted tribals, according to JSM, dilutes these practices and erodes the essence of tribal culture.
Protecting Entitlements: Scheduled tribes are entitled to specific facilities and rights. JSM contends that these entitlements are reserved for those who adhere to the established traditions. Excluding converted tribals is viewed as a means to protect and uphold these privileges.
Anticipated Participation and Route
JSM anticipates a substantial turnout for the ‘Delisting Rally’ with individuals converging from various corners of the state. The rally will commence from three distinct locations in Agartala, converging into a unified march towards Vivekananda Maidan. The route signifies a collective stand against the inclusion of converted tribals in the Scheduled Tribe category.
Janajati Suraksha Manch’s decision to organize the ‘Delisting Rally’ underscores the organization’s commitment to preserving the cultural fabric of indigenous communities. As the debate on excluding converted tribals from the Scheduled Tribe List gains momentum, the rally serves as a powerful expression of the organization’s stance on upholding traditions, cultures, and the entitlements associated with tribal identity.