Hemant demands Centre to announce public holiday on Aug 9
Ranchi, August 9: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has targeted the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in gestures, saying that he belongs to the tribal community and cannot be intimated or cowed down while addressing two-day festival to mark the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at Ranchi on Tuesday.
Describing the tribals as a self-respecting community, he said that they are going to take blows on the chest.
Though Hemant Soren did not name anyone but the way chief minister and his aides Pankaj Mishra and media advisor are under the scanner of Central agencies Enforcement Directorate, it is believed that the Jharkhand Chief Minister has challenged the BJP.
Soren tweeted with a picture of himself, “Adivasi community is a self-respecting community, a community that believes in working hard, it does not beg from anyone. We are the community of Lord Birsa, Eklavya, Rana Poonja, whom no one can bow down, no one can scare, no one can defeat. We are the people of that community who learn skills from the picture of the Guru. We are the ones to be hit from the front and hit the chest. We are the natives of this country. Our ancestors saved the forest, animals, mountains? Today, efforts are being made to snatch the forest land which we protected.
During the two-day event of Jharkhand Tribal Festival, Hemant Soren said, “My tribal identity is the most important thing for me. Many provisions were made in the constitution to change the standard of living of the tribal society. But the result of the absurdity of the later policy makers is that tribals even today are the poorest, uneducated, oppressed, displaced and exploited class of the country.
He said, “I demand from the Central government that 9th August should be declared a public holiday in the whole country. The leases of forest rights which have been rejected the state government would review it again and whatever is pending will be completed within three months.”
He also said that saving tribals would lead to saving forests and animals.
Significantly, Hemant Soren along with Rajya Sabha member and JMM supremo Shibu Soren were present at the function.
An array of programmes showcasing tribal art, culture, tradition and literature are lined up for the festival at Morabadi ground, besides panel discussions, seminars and fashion shows.
Speaking at the inaugural function, the chief minister said, “For tribals, their land, culture and language determine their identity. The new definition of ‘development’, which involves cutting down of forests to set up buildings and factories often threatens their existence.
“It’s time we show them respect, cooperate with them. If we protect tribals and their interests, forests and amimals will be saved too,” he insisted.
Soren also said that his government had been working tirelessly to “uplift” them.
“Getting a bank loan is a big challenge for tribals. Even when Hemant Soren goes to a bank for loans, he faces difficulties; he will be told his land comes under CNT (Chota Nagpur Tenancy) or SPT (Santhal Pargana Tenancy) Acts. We are trying to find a way so that tribals get to avail loans easily,” the chief minister asserted.
The JMM executive president, on the occasion, also said that a horde of schemes had been launched by his government to uplift the tribal population of the state.
“We have floated the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Overseas Scholarship scheme in a bid to send tribal students abroad for higher studies. A Guruji Credit Card scheme will be launched soon for students willing to take loans to pursue education. Besides, work on setting up a tribal university is underway,” he stated.
The CM announced that a tribal festival would henceforth be organised every year on August 9.