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Proposed Modi yatra from Jharkhand an 'insult' of Adivasi hero Birsa Munda: JMM

Counterview Desk 

The civil rights network, Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha (JMM), which claims to have 30 grassroots groups under its wings, has decided to launch Save Democracy campaign to oppose Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra to be launched on November 15 from the village of legendary 19th century tribal independence leader Birsa Munda from Ulihatu (Khunti district).
Stating that, through this campaign, it will remind Modi of “nine anti-people actions" taken by his government in the last nine years, which have had a "direct adverse impact" on the people of Jharkhand, JMM said, Modi's yatra, meant as BJP’s campaign for 2024 Lok Sabha polls, is an is an "insult" to the memory of Birsa Munda and Adivasis in backdrop of Central government erasing Adivasi rights on “water, forests, minerals and land.”

Text:

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is going to launch the ‘Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’ from village of Birsa Munda, Ulihatu (Khunti) on 15 November 2023. Although this campaign is showcased to highlight the achievements of the central government, but in reality this is a part of the BJP’s campaign for the 2024 parliamentary elections. To give a BJP color to the programme, government officials were designated as ‘Rath Prabhari,’ which was changed to nodal officers after public pressure. This entourage is nothing but a waste of public money to burnish Modi's image and is a hindrance in government work. The Modi government keeps making world records in publicity.
This journey is being deliberately started by the Prime Minister from Jharkhand, that too from the birthplace of Birsa Munda, who is the national hero of Adivasis. The display of respect for this great hero is part of the BJP’s ongoing efforts to attract Adivasis in their fold. Through this campaign, Modi wants to become Prime Minister for the third time by winning as many parliamentary seats as possible in Jharkhand.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP do not have the moral right to launch this yatra from Ulihatu. They do not recognize the independent identity of Adivasis, who they address as ‘Vanvasi’ (forest dwellers) and try to erase their religion and culture by declaring them as part of the Sanatan Dharma. By creating conflict between Sarna and Christian Adivasis, the BJP has been consistently trying to weaken Adivasi solidarity and establish the dominance of the Brahmanical caste system. The Modi government allowed state-supported pogrom of Adivasis in Manipur and BJP leaders are trying their best to spread community and religion-based hatred by using Manipur as an example in Jharkhand. Even after all this, Modi is trying to seek the votes of Adivasis in the name of ‘Janjati Gaurav Diwas’.
The Adivasis in Jharkhand are fighting for their rights over water, forests, minerals and land, and the Modi government is erasing these rights. The Modi government did not even accept the Land Acquisition Act of 2013, which has some progressive provisions. Despite widespread public opposition, it repeatedly brought an arbitrary Land Acquisition Ordinance that could not be passed due to Adivasis’ opposition. By amending the forest conservation law, the Modi government has decided to hand over the forests to the corporates by snatching away the rights of the Gram Sabha over the forest land and resources acquired under the Forest Rights Act.
Through the Swamitwa Card scheme, which was piloted in Khunti itself, a conspiracy has been hatched to snatch the public land of the village from the control of the Adivasis and to weaken the Chotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Parganas Tenancy (CNT-SPT) law and Khuntkatti system. Godda MP Nishikant Dubey, a favorite of Narendra Modi and Gautam Adani, even expressed a resolve to abolish the Fifth Schedule and CNT-SPT Act. In 2017-18, the BJP's double engine government had repressed thousands of Adivasis who carried out Patthalgadi, by declaring them seditious and putting many in jail. The BJP's double engine government had also repressed those who opposed the amendments to the CNT-SPT Acts. According to popular opinion in Khunti, the BJP could win the Khunti Lok Sabha elections in 2019 by a narrow margin only after manipulating the counting process.
In the last nine years, instead of making Jharkhand and India a developed area, Modi has pushed India – and especially Jharkhand – towards destruction. The rights of the poor, the deprived, the workers and the farmers have been weakened. There has been a massive cut in the budget of welfare schemes like MGNREGA, social security pension, the anganwadi programme etc. The development that has taken place has been only in the wealth of a few capitalists, particularly Ambani and Adani. There has been a massive increase in the wealth of the BJP also. On the other hand, there has been no increase in the real wages of rural laborers during these nine years. The Modi government has further torn apart the socio-religious fabric of the country.
The 'Loktantra Bachao 2024' campaign wants to remind Prime Minister Modi, before the inauguration of the ‘Vikasit Bharat Sankalp Yatra’, of nine anti-people actions taken by his government in the last nine years, which have had a direct adverse impact on the people of Jharkhand (list attached). If the Prime Minister has any shame, he should not make public appearances in Jharkhand.

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