Tribal organisations in Assam has opposed the BJP-led NDA government’s move to grant Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six ‘advanced’ communities of Assam.
The organizations have threatened of vigorous movement if the government goes ahead with the move.
Hundreds of people belonging to indigenous tribal communities staged protest on Wednesday near Kokrajhar Deputy Commissioner’s office against the Union Cabinet’s nod for the proposal to grant ST status for six advanced communities of Assam.
Leaders and representatives from various organisations including People’s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM), Bodoland Janajati Suruksha Mancha, All Assam Tribal Sangha participated in the dharna.
A memorandum was submitted to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh through the Deputy Commissioner Office, Kokrajhar.
The memorandum expressed deep concern and fear that the existing rights and privilege of Tribal communities of Assam will be snatched.
“Most sarcastically, surprisingly and alarmingly the government is trying to make the greatest mistake in the history of this country against the indigenous people of India by approving the most privileged, developed, literate, the ruling class group of people since 14th centuries a ‘Scheduled Tribes’ is nothing but a game of wild animals which have no constitutions and laws in the sanctuary,” it said.
The All Bodo Students Union too has strongly opposed any decision of the government which are going to affect the right and privilege of the existing Tribal of the Assam. In statement, the ABSU said if some more advance and populous communities are enlisted in the ST list, the existing tribal will lost its land, political representation, educational, employment, economy and a great impact on social life.
The tribal leaders said all these six communities had varied backgrounds and majority of these communities do not possess characteristics which define tribals in India. There is no study to prove that many of these six communities are politically economically, educationally, socially and culturally backward justifying the grant of scheduled tribe status.