RANCHI: The BJP government of Jharkhand is reportedly going to issue an order not to issue caste certificates to tribals who have converted to Christianity or other religion. Not only this, the caste certificates if issued to such tribals in the past will also be cancelled after enquiry.
According to a report in the local Hindi daily Prabhat Khabar, caste certificates will not be issued to Adivasis or tribals (legally called Scheduled Tribes or ST) who have changed their religion. The STs will no more get caste certificates on the basis of land documents only. Applicants of caste certificates will be probed and after enquiry about his customs, marriage, and customs of inheritance, they will get caste certificates. Only those among the original tribals who follow their customs of marriage and inheritance will be considered eligible for reservation on the basis of their caste certificates.
Those tribals who have converted to Christianity or other religion won’t get caste certificates. Not only this, the caste certificates issued to such people in the past will also be cancelled after probe. The report said that Chief Minister Raghubar Das is believed to have asked the Department of Personnel to issue a relevant circular.
“Tribals in Jharkhand form about 27% of the total population and follow either Sarna (worship of the nature) or Christianity. While a majority of the tribal population follows the Sarna religion, 4.30% of the total population, according to the Jharkhand Religion Census 2011, is Christian,” says The Wire in a report.
In August last year, the state government passed Religious Freedom Bill, 2017 from the Assembly. The new law aims to curb conversion of tribals to Christianity or other religion.