Jharkhand will not allow UCC law to be implemented – Tribal Organisations

Ranchi: Tribal Organisation Members stage a dharna in front of Raj Bhavan in Ranchi on Wednesday against the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). After getting mobilized against it, the tribals have started raising their voice against it.

Under the banner of Adivasi Samanvay Samiti, various tribal organizations and social leaders marched and demonstrated against it at Raj Bhavan. Later a memorandum was submitted to the governor. The chief coordinator of the demonstration was Devkumar Dhan. He said that a one-day protest and demonstration is being held against the issuance of the Uniform Civil Code. 

A large number of people participated in this strike. In which mainly people from Oraon, Munda, Santhali, Ho, Lohra, Mahali, Goud and other communities participated. Dhan said that this black law has been made only for the destruction of tribals. The reservation for tribals will end with this law. Along with this, the customary laws of tribals will also end. 

Further said that Fifth Schedule, Sixth Schedule, CNT Act SPT Act, Wilkinson Rule will all be abolished. Overall, tribals will be finished from this country. While addressing the dharna, the tribal religious leaders clearly said that the tribal community of Jharkhand should be kept separate from the purview of this law, otherwise it will not be allowed to be implemented here. There will be serious consequences for this. If need be, even killing will be done. It was said through the program that about 10.4 crore tribals live in this country.

32 types of scheduled tribes are found in Jharkhand itself. All these tribes have their own customs, traditions and unique customary laws. The customary laws of the tribals will be seriously affected by the introduction of the UCC. 

The tribes have been exempted from Hindu laws because of their distinct customary laws. But in the coming time, when the UCC is implemented and in the absence of customary laws, they will be considered as Hindus. The majority Scheduled Tribe society in Jharkhand is patriarchal, which also applies in inheritance and succession law. They follow a patriarchal system. Tribals have got protection under the CNT Act, SPT Act and Wilkinson Act.

After the arrival of UCC, their water, forest and land will end. It will destroy the social tradition of the tribals, in scheduled areas the traditional bodies like Padha, Munda-Manki, Manjhi Parganait, Dhokla Sohore etc. will be destroyed. Tribals will be finished from this country. Fifth schedule from this region and PESA law from the country, reservation at all levels, ST atrocities law, forest rights law, everything will end. Due to which the existence of tribals will end. There are 730 scheduled tribes in the state, which is 8.6 percent of the total population.

According to the 2011 census, there are 32 tribes in Jharkhand. Each tribe has its own custom, tradition and customary law. Which is also on the basis of their personal laws. They are protected under various constitutional provisions. Articles 13(3), (a), 23 (Freedom of Religion), 29-30 (Cultural and Educational Rights, Fifth Schedule). According to Bhim Narayan Lokur Committee 1965, the specific culture prescribed them as ST.

Customary laws which will be seriously affected by the introduction of UCC. Tribal customary laws do not emanate from any specific religion. They arose from social norms and practices since ancient times. UCC will affect their interests in the absence of religious code and documentation. Customary laws are not documented/codified like other major religions like Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Zoroastrian, and Jewish. In such a situation, it is also difficult to know the customs and laws of many tribes. Hence it is unnecessary and undesirable in Jharkhand. 

STs are exempted from Hindu laws due to their separate customary laws. Courts have also kept tribals away from Hindu laws on the basis of customs. In the absence of customary laws, STs will be treated as Hindus and Hindu laws will apply. Due to this, the tribals will end their separate identity and tradition. The majority Scheduled Tribe society in Jharkhand is patriarchal. They follow the patriarchal system of inheritance and succession. They get protection under CNT-SPT Act and Wilkinson rule etc.  UCC will destabilize the social structure. 

Despite all the laws, at present land is being grabbed in Jharkhand by other illegal means. Illegal sale and purchase will increase, which will be contrary to the spirit of the fifth scheduled and revenue laws. Ryot and tribal land will start to be transferred rapidly. Under Para 5 (1) of the Fifth Schedule, the Governor has been empowered to bring amendments under exceptions and modifications in the Central or State Acts applicable in the Scheduled Areas.  Hence the UCC law is unfair in the interests of the Scheduled Tribes. Once the UCC overrides the custom based laws, it will affect other provisions contained in the Fifth Schedule.

Devkumar Dhan, former minister and chief coordinator of the coordination committee, former minister and president of All India Tribal Development Council Geetashree Oraon, former assembly deputy speaker Devendra Nath Champia, president of tribal public council Prem Shahi Munda, tribal defense Chief convenor of the forum Lakshminarayan Munda, Central Sarna Committee President Ajay Tirkey, Ramchandra Oraon, Sunil Fakira, Kudarsi Munda, Narayan Oraon, Niranjana Herrange, Dayamani Barla, Dakhin Kisku Yadunath Tiyu, Damodar Hansda, Shyam Sundar Karmali, Savna Munda Mahavir Lohra Jaleshwar Oraon, Munshi Munda Sudhir Kisku included hundreds of tribals.

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