Adivasis Are Not Hindus, Says Jharkhand CM; Demands Separate Column for Them in Census

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Hemant Soren.(File Photo: IANS)

Speaking at Harvard University event, Hemant Soren complains of discrimination and exploitation of their resources

Team Clarion 

NEW DELHI — “Adivasis were never Hindus and they never will be,” Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren said on Saturday, adding that there should be no confusion that they are Hindus.

“Adivasis are nature worshippers and hence they are regarded as indigenous people,” Soren said while speaking at the 18th Annual India Conference at Harvard University Saturday night.

The chief minister said in his lecture that his state has 32 tribal communities but “we have not been able to promote our language (and) culture” claiming that his government has appealed to the Centre to create a separate column for Adivasis in the next census. He complained that the BJP government at Centre has removed ‘others’ column from the census.

Since Adivasis are not Hindus what will they write in the religion column, he asked.

Alleging that tribals have been ignored, he said the mindset of suppressing them must change.

“The forests which Adivasis revere as god, others see those forest areas as mines and minerals,” he said, stressing on the idea of promoting Jharkhand as a tourism destination instead of selling the state as a mineral rich place.

“Despite safeguards in the Constitution, Adivasis do not get their due, they have been pushed down since ages, today also it is the same mentality. They are looked down upon, this is a matter of concern,” he said.

Lashing out at the Centre for “failing” to provide jobs, Soren said, “If the Central government gives them job, and everyone remains busy, who will pick the flag of the BJP.”

He slammed the Central government for jailing Father Stan Swamy in Bhima Koregaon case.

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