CM letter to PM, demands Sarna Code for tribals

Ranchi: Chief Minister Hemant Soren has again urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pass the Tribal/Sarna Dharma Code in the interest of the tribals. The Chief Minister in a letter said that we, the people of the tribal society, are worshipers of ancient traditions and nature and consider worshiping trees, mountains and protecting forests as our religion.

According to the census data of 2011, there are about 12 crore tribals live in the country. Jharkhand state, which I represent, is a tribal-dominated state, where their number is more than one crore. A large population of Jharkhand follows Sarna religion. The living scriptures of this oldest Sarna religion are water, forest, land and nature itself. The culture, worship method, ideals and beliefs of Sarna religion are different from all the prevalent religions.

The Chief Minister said that not only Jharkhand but the tribal community of the entire country has been struggling for the last several years to protect their religious existence, demanding the inclusion of nature-worshiping tribals/Sarna religion followers in the census code. The concern of protecting the traditional religious existence of tribals based on nature is certainly a serious question. Today the demand for Tribal/Sarna Dharma Code is being raised so that this nature-worshiping tribal community can be confident about its identity.

At present, when the demand for the Uniform Civil Code is being raised by some organizations, positive initiative on this demand of Tribal/Sarna community is absolutely necessary for their protection. You are aware that there are many such groups in the tribal community which are on the verge of extinction and if they are not protected on the principle of social justice, then their existence along with their language, culture will also come to an end.

The Chief Minister said through the letter that in view of the circumstances, a separate tribal / Sarna code is necessary to identify the Sarna or nature-worshiping tribals as distinct from Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Christian, Jain followers and to protect their constitutional rights. If this code is found, then their population can be clearly estimated and then the language, culture, history of us tribals can be protected and promoted and our constitutional rights can be protected.

It is noteworthy here that there was a provision of a separate code for them in the census column of the year 1951, but due to certain reasons, this arrangement was abolished in the subsequent decades. Therefore, Tribal/Sarna Code is very necessary for the proper development of the tribal community and in view of this, a proposal in this regard has also been passed in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly, which is currently pending for decision at the Central Government level. 

The Chief Minister said that in the last eight decades, a sequential analysis of the population of tribals of Jharkhand shows that the percentage of their population has decreased from 38 to 26 percent in Jharkhand. There is a continuous decline in the percentage of their population, as a result of which it is natural to have an adverse effect on the policies of tribal development under the Fifth and Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

The Chief Minister said that I am proud to be a tribal and being a tribal Chief Minister, I humbly request you in the interest of the tribals not only of Jharkhand but of the entire country that you agree to the long-awaited demand of the tribals for this tribal/ Sarna Dharma Code. Please take a positive decision as soon as possible. Today the whole world is worried about the increasing pollution and protection of the environment. At such a time, recognition of the religion whose soul is the protection of nature and the environment will spread the message of love for nature not only in India but throughout the world. 

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