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Call for identity in census

Ranchi, Nov. 2: Nature worshipping tribals of the state today raised a voice seeking their religious identity in the census records. They launched a mass awareness campaign in favour of their demand.

In the inaugural session of the campaign a demonstration was held at the Birsa Munda Samadhi Sthal by the Adivasi Jan Parishad in which the activists protested the inclusion of tribal population in the columns of other religions in demographic surveys.

They said similar demonstrations would be held at Ormanjhi, Kanke, Angara, Namkum, Burmu and many other places in the state. Later, a nationwide campaign would be organised in collaboration with organisations fighting for the rights of the tribals in different states.

At the rally all the participants resolved to continue their mass awareness campaigns as long as a separate column for the tribal population was not included in the census records. They also pledged to keep alive the spirit of struggle initiated by martyr Birsa Munda against the British rulers to protect the land and its jungles. They said they would not tolerate any religious or political interference in their traditional beliefs.

The president of Adivasi Jan Parishad, Moti Kachchap said: “We Adivasis are nature worshippers and have our own sets of customs and traditions. Quite contrary to this, we are always clubbed together with Hindus, Muslims, Christians or other religions in India, when census surveys are done. But we don’t fall in any these categories. The Indian Constitution allows all to practice their own religion. So we want recognition for our religion just like other minority communities.”

He further added that the number of such tribals in India was over 10 crore but they did not have any religious recognition, leading to a state of identity crisis in terms sof religion.

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