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Tribal communities to fight for religious recognition ahead of census

Tribal communities to fight for religious recognition ahead of census


New Delhi: Tribal communities from five states, including Jharkhand, Odisha, and Assam, on Thursday demanded the Centre ensure their enumeration under the religion 'Sarna' during the upcoming census.

In the agitation organized as a part of the anniversary of the beginning of the Santhal Rebellion against the British on June 30, 1855, the communities pledged to keep fighting for the recognition of the 'Sarna dharma code.' The group also held prayers seeking blessings of deities and revered leaders at Jantar Mantar.

Around 250 of the scheduled tribes dominated 50 districts of Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, and Assam. Their demand was submitted under Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (tribal empowerment campaign.)

"We wanted to call on President Ram Nath Kovind to convey our feelings and urge him to recognize our religion as Sarna, but could not get an appointment with him. So, we submitted a memorandum of our demands to the President through the police," said Salkhan Murmu, one of the prominent tribal leaders from Jharkhand.

According to him, Adivasi is neither a Hindu nor Christian. They have their way of life, religious practices, cultures, customs, and traditions. They worship nature, and no Varna system has created inequalities in their society. Murmu was also a BJP MP from Odisha's Lok Sabha Constituency.

Since tribal people are categorized under Scheduled tribes, their religion is not even recognized as a part of the constitution. The former MP also added that Sarna should be recognized as a common name for the religion of all the Adivasi communities across the country.

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TAGS:OdishaWest BengalBiharAssamJharkhandUnion governmentcensusTribalsSanthals
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