The central government of the BJP, a political organization of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has announced to celebrate the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda, the most popular hero of the Adivasis, on November 15 as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’. This decision of the government of the Hindutva organization, which considers the Adivasi community of the country as forest dweller and Hindu, is not a puzzle. Any conscious common citizen can easily understand the implications of this declaration. This tingling to the Adivasis has not only been done keeping in mind the upcoming elections but it is part of a long-term project of Hindu nationalism against which the Adivasi people have been fighting continuously since the 1930s. As a result, all communal and nationalist attempts to make anti-imperialist revolutionary warrior Birsa Munda a ‘God’ and a ‘Freedom fighter’ so far have failed.
In the year 2000, the BJP-led NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee formed the states of Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh etc. and in 2003, by including two Adivasi languages Santali and Bodo in the 8th Schedule, the trick was to mislead the Adivasis. Now, ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ is the sequel of that strategy. To understand this, one should recall the BJP’s statement given seven years ago in 2014, which said that Modi will run the government on the lines of ‘former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’. This is in line with the agenda of cultural-religious transformation of the RSS and the VHP. In this sense, ‘Tribal Pride Day’ not only echoes the Hindutvawadis’ Garv se kaho Hindu hain’ but also officially accepted and venerated revolutionary Birsa Munda as ‘God’. At the same time, it also appeases the nationalists of the country by declaring Birsa Munda a ‘Freedom fighter’.
According to the government’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur, the Modi government has taken this decision to bring the history, culture and achievements of the Adivasi community to the people. Under this, week-long programs will be organized by the government from November 15 to 22 in memory of the culture and glorious history of Birsa Munda as well as scheduled tribes. The main event will be held on November 15 in the form of, ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas Mahasammelan’ in Bhopal, the capital of Madhya Pradesh, in which Prime Minister Modi will participate. To make it successful, the MP government has released an amount of Rs 13 crore. According to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, “Prime Minister Modi will attend the Janjatiya Gaurav Divas Mahasammelan organized in Bhopal on November 15 and will start various schemes related to tribal welfare.”
It is clear that the Modi government not only wants to achieve the long-awaited cultural-religious goal for your matriarchal organization with ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’, but it also wants immediate political benefits for the BJP in the coming elections. Sangh and VHP have been involved in Hindu conversion of Adivasis through hundreds of social, cultural, religious, educational and voluntary organizations like Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams over the past several decades. Yet they have failed to assimilate him completely. The Adivasi communities of the country, along with their historical struggle consciousness of their Adivasidom, remain strong opponents of it, even today. They are neither a complete Hindu nor a solid believer voter of the BJP. In the last two general elections held amid a massive Modi wave, a large section of Adivasi voters ruthlessly rejected the BJP. Therefore, ahead of the third general election, the BJP has thrown the dice of ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ so that they can also take immediate political advantage of their religious-cultural campaign. This official announcement of BJP has come when Adivasi communities across the country are agitated on the demand of the Sarna religion code. Modi’s strategists know very well that his government cannot publicly reject this demand. But how it can be dealt with, the strategists of Modi have found it on the lines of the Vajpayee government in the form of ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’. This glory day is a conspiracy to blunt the historical struggle consciousness of the Adivasis against imperialism and Diku-Aryans (outsiders), whose biggest hero in the twentieth century is Birsa Munda, with the help of the government machinery. Making Dharti Aaba Birsa ‘God’ and ‘Freedom Fighter’ has to make him ‘Hindu’ and ‘Nationalist’ so that the ancestral battle of water jungle land being fought for Adivasi self-governance and the organized demand of Sarna religion code for Adivasi existence. to be suppressed forever. But Modi’s strategists may not know this history, or they may have forgotten that the British government that forced them to bow down in every war, and in the 40s led by Jaipal Singh Munda, who undertook the cultural-religious communal designs of Hindutva nationalists. But the water was turned away, that Adivasi community can never be swayed by the rattles of ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’.
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