Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Seventy per cent of reservation benefit is cornered by 18 per cent converted Vanvasis

By Jagdamba Mall

In Chingmeirong Kabui village of Imphal, there is no Christian convert and the villagers have unanimously resolved not to allow any conversion to Christianity or Islam as per customary law. This Hindu village has become an eyesore to church which sends Christian evangelists on a routine basis.

The converted Vanvasis were only 9 per cent of the total Vanvasi population in 1947 in the country. Today, this population has increased to 18 per cent within the span of 60 years, thanks to the rapid conversion crusade launched by church with the help of their foreign masters. These 18 per cent converts have managed to snatch away 70 per cent of total reservation benefits meant exclusively for Hindu Vanvasis who are 82 per cent of the total Vanvasi population of the country.

These 82 per cent genuine Vanvasis have been put to share just 30 per cent reservation benefits all over the country particularly in the states like Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. In the Christian dominated mini-states of Northeast region, the condition of Hindu Vanvasis is worst. In Nagaland they are denied their reservation rights straight way. All the budgetary funds are shared amongst Christians only. Even the funds allotted to Village Development Boards are digested by Christians only. In Mizoram, the condition of Hindu Vanvasis like Chakmas and Reangs is more deplorable.

The Chakmas are treated as second class citizen. They are put to inhuman humiliation at almost all the available opportunities. They are even asked to vacate the seats in buses for the Mizo passengers. Their lands are being snatched away by Mizoram Government manned by Christians only on the plea of Reserved Forest and Zoo etc. The condition of Reangs is worse than Chakmas.

A decade ago, there occurred an ethnic cleansing of Reangs by church in Mizoram. Hundreds of Reangs were killed, the women were raped and the youths were targeted. To save their lives from the Christian inquisitors, the Reangs fled in thick jungles who are still in refugee camps. Both the Chakmas and Reangs are very often subjected to inhuman torture by the Mizoram Government, church and mission sponsored student organisations, civic organisations and NGOs etc.

In Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura, the dominance of church and its matching influence on the respective state governments put the genuine Vanvasis in deprived condition with no human rights, no land rights for genuine Vanvasis. Their rights are hijacked by converted people. In Chingmeirong Kabui village of Imphal, there is no Christian convert and the villagers have unanimously resolved not to allow any conversion to Christianity or Islam as per customary law. This Hindu village has become an eyesore to church which sends Christian evangelists on a routine basis. Somehow, one Kaphun Kamei was secretly converted who flouted the customary law. This aberrant of customary law caused humiliation and irritation to followers of Tingkao Raguwang Chap-Riak by inviting Christian missionaries regularly. He was advised many times and finally warned not to do so by Hindu Rongmeis. Instead of complying the provisions of customary law, Kaphun brought more and more missionaries. Because of this, there occurred a scuffle between the Christian miscreants and the youths of the village.

The church took sky on head and complained to Prime Minister and President of India and the Christian organisations. All India Christian Council took up the issue at highest level in Delhi. The pseudo-secular and Christian media made it front-page news in their bulletins. News portal News Blaze was quick to pick up the story. There is no church in Chingmeirong village but church organisations and reverends spread the concocted story that a church was demolished. That is how the human rights of genuine Vanvasis in Chingmeirang village of Imphal were trampled by the so-called champions of secularism and human rights.

Arunachal Pradesh is now the first and foremost target of church which is working to transform Arunachal Pradesh into Nagaland where there will be no right to Hindu Vanvasis. The Vanvansis of Assam are bearing the brunt of church and Bangladeshi Muslims as well. Their way of worship is being snatched away. Their land is being encroached and their security is jeopardised. The condition of genuine Vanvasis in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat and southern states are all the same. It may be recalled that British Government had classified them as Indian Christians separate from Vanvasis of the country and reservation benefits were exclusively for the Vanvasis who followed traditional religion (indigenous faith).

The question is why should this discrimination still continue in Independent India? A member of Scheduled Caste ceases to be Scheduled Caste as per existing law the moment he converts to Christianity or Islam. Why this rule does not apply in case of Scheduled Tribes? The gruesome murder of Swami Laxmananand Saraswati allegedly masterminded by Cheenath Raphel, the Bishop of Cuttak and Bhubneswar and his coterie of priests and nuns joined by Christian naxalistes in Kandhmal (Orissa) on August 23, 2008 is a grim reminder of church hostility. Cheenath Raphel – the Bishop and Johan Dayal, the advisor of All India Christian Council (AICC), met Sonia Gandhi three times, Prime Minister two times, Home Minister three times, National Human Rights Commission and National Minority Commission two times each. This knocking of doors of rulers of the country by the Bishop of Cuttak and Bhubneswar and advisor of All India Christian Council (AICC) was aimed at showing the world that murderers of Swami Laxamananda Saraswati were very ‘innocent’ people and that Hindu ‘terrorists’ were torturing the ‘innocent’ Christians in Orissa.

Parliament, initiated to undo the injustices to the Vanvasi communities. A Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Scheduled Castes (SCs) and Scheduled Tribes (STs-janjatis) (Amendment) Bill 1967 recommended “2A-notwithstanding anything contained in paragraph 2, no person who has given up tribal faith or faiths and has embraced either Christianity or Islam, should be deemed to be a member of any Scheduled Tribe (janjati)”

A memorandum in support of the above recommendation was given to the then Prime Minister- Smt. Indira Gandhi by Shri Kartik Oraon—a veteran Vanvasi leader and former Member of Parliament on June 17, 1970 containing the signatures of 235 MPs of Lok Sabha and 13 MPs of Rajya Sabha. Smt Gandhi had assured to move a Bill in the Parliament in this regard to fulfill the aspirations of genuine Vanvasis.

In a judgement related to a case of Kerala, the Supreme Court said that after change of faith, a person ceases to be a member of Scheduled Tribe (janjati) if he has given up the customs and traditions also and is still suffering from social disability (Kerala Vs Chandramohan-AIR 2004 SC 1672). In another categorical judgement, the Supreme Court observed, “A converted Christian (tribal) cannot contest the election for the post of a Dolloi (traditional village head) as he cannot perform religious rites and administrative work at a time which the Dolloi has to do as per customs of the Janjati community (Jayantia Hills-Meghalaya Case, 2006 (3) scale).

The President of India is the only competent authority to make necessary amendments in the President’s order for Schedule Caste and Scheduled Tribes, 1950. The President functions as per the advice of Parliament and Prime Minister. Obviously, the nation has to elect such representatives in both Houses of Parliament who will support this cause. The general election to constitute next Parliament is in the offing in April and May this year. This is an opportunity to put forth the demand. In this context, a nationwide signature campaign is undertaken under the apex body—Janjati Suraksha Manch, from March 1 to 31, 2009 in a memorandum addressed to President of the country.

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