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Call For Bharat Bandh On 30th Dec | Demands Recognition For Sarna Religion

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In a significant development, Sarna tribals armed with their traditional weapons staged a protest rally at Morhabadi Grounds in Ranchi on Sunday, December 24, demanding the removal and delisting of converted tribal Christians from the reservation category. 

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Sarnaism, the indigenous religious faith of tribal communities, centers around the worship of natural elements like mountains, forests, and wildlife. The ASA contends that forcing tribal communities to adopt other faiths is equivalent to imposing the ‘slavery of religion’ upon them. President Murmu pointed fingers at both the Congress and the BJP, accusing them of curbing the tribals’ freedom of religion. Murmu asserted that the 1951 census had a separate code for Sarna religion, but it was later removed by the Congress. He further alleged that the BJP is currently attempting to categorize tribals as Vanvasis and Hindus.

Bharat bandh called on Dec 30 for recognition of Sarna religion-

Source: The New Indian Express

Highlighting the urgency of their cause, Murmu disclosed that around 50 lakh adivasis identified as ‘Sarna’ in the 2011 census, surpassing the 44 lakh adherents of Jainism. Despite this, Jainism has been accorded a separate religion status, while Sarnaism continues to be overlooked. The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) has recommended granting Sarna religion an independent category in the religion code of the census.

Tribal Outfit Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan Calls Bharat Bandh On Dec 30 For  Recognition Of Sarna Religion

Source: NDTV

Notably, the ASA’s demand for the recognition of Sarna as a distinct religion gained traction in the Jharkhand Assembly in November 2020. The assembly passed a resolution advocating the official recognition of Sarna as a separate religion, garnering unanimous support.

President Murmu declared the symbolic Bharat bandh on December 30 as a last resort, urging political parties that endorsed the Sarna Religion Code Bill in the Jharkhand Assembly to rally behind the ASA’s cause. As part of the protest, tribal communities plan to take to the streets, blocking road and rail movement to underscore the urgency of their demand.

Tribal Groups Call for Bharat Bandh Over Sarna Religion Recognition

Source: Town Post

Despite prominent political figures visiting tribal areas, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Ulihatu in Jharkhand and President Droupadi Murmu’s trip to Baripada in Odisha, there has been a conspicuous silence regarding the recognition of the Sarna religion. Murmu urged these leaders to address the pressing issue and voiced the ASA’s commitment to support any political party that recognizes and respects the Sarna religion.

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