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regular-article-logo Tuesday, 16 July 2024

Clarify your stand on Sarna religious code and caste census: JMM to BJP

Tribals in Jharkhand, the majority of whom are Sarna followers and nature worshipers, have been fighting for a separate religious identity in India for decades

Animesh Bisoee Jamshedpur Published 09.06.24, 06:19 AM
Supriyo Bhattacharya.  

Supriyo Bhattacharya.   Picture taken from X

Enthused with the positive results in the Scheduled Tribe reserved Lok Sabha constituencies, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) has upped the ante against newly elected MPs of the BJP and its ally AJSU to clarify their stance on the Sarna religious code and caste census.

Speaking to the media on Friday, the JMM central general secretary and spokesperson Supriyo Bhattacharya said: “The newly elected BJP MPs and those of its ally AJSU should clarify if they would raise their voice in Parliament for a separate Sarna religious code for tribals and inclusion of the code in the caste census.”

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The BJP has won eight Lok Sabha seats while the AJSU grabbed one seat in the just concluded Lok Sabha polls in Jharkhand.

Tribals in Jharkhand, the majority of whom are Sarna followers and nature worshipers, have been fighting for a separate religious identity in India for decades. In recent years, they have also staged agitation in Delhi and several other parts of the country.

Tribals argue that the implementation of a separate Sarna religious code in census surveys would enable them to be identified as followers of the Sarna faith. Tribal organisations have claimed that with the Centre dropping the “Others” option from the religion column for the next census, Sarna adherents now would be forced to either skip the column or declare themselves members of one of the six specified religions — Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh.

In June 2022, former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren (currently incarcerated) had alleged that the state assembly had passed a resolution in 2020 demanding Sarna dharma code to be included in the Census and submitted it through the Governor to the Centre. However, Soren claimed that no decision has been taken by the BJP-led central government on the issue. He had also written a letter to the Prime Minister in this connection in September 2022.

JMM’s Bhattacharya also said, “The newly elected MPs of BJP should also clarify their stand on holding of a caste census and 27 per cent reservation for OBCs.”

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