Jharkhand tribal representatives demand withdrawal of benefits of Christian converts

Representatives of the Jharkhand Adivasi Sarna Vikas Samiti (JASVS) of Dhurwa in Jharkhand met former chief minister Babulal Marandi to submit a petition demanding that the benefits reserved for tribals being given to those who have converted to Christianity be stopped forthwith reports Dainik Jagran.

The plea submitted demands that caste certificates should not be issued to tribals who have accepted Christianity as their religion. Additionally, they must be barred from receiving benefits reserved for tribals, and also tribal women who marry non-tribals must not be allowed to seek tribal benefits as well.

They have also asked for a Tribal Commission to be set up in Jharkhand. The petition says that along with this, the caste certificate should have a column for Sarna religion as before. Tribals working as barbers, priests, and other professionals should be given incentives. Also, the interests and culture of the tribals must be protected by strict implementation of the 2017 anti-conversion law.

The appeal cites the Supreme Court (SC) order in the State of Kerala Vs Mohanan and others. The ruling given on 28th January 2004 states that tribals who have converted to Christianity after abandoning their ancestors’ customs, order, tradition, customs, marriage heritage, and other beliefs, cannot be members of the tribe and also that Christian missionaries are misrepresenting the tribal festivals.

President of the Samiti, Megha Oraon said that an online conference of tribals from the states of Chhatisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Assam, Jharkhand, and Madhya Pradesh was held on 7th September. Two important decisions made in the conference include steps to be taken to ensure the implementation of the 2004 SC order in every state and opposing missionaries from misrepresenting festivals and traditions of tribes such as Oraon, Munda and others.

The representation included Custodian Karampal Oraon, Jai Mantri Oraon, Vice President Neelam Tirkey, Secretary Kumudini Lakra, Secretary Sr. Butan Mahli, Treasurer Seema Toppo, and others.

(Featured Image Source: Dainik Jagran)


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