Gadchiroli Feb. 2 (District Correspondent) Stating that no any political party in the country has done anything concrete for the tribal of India, noted tribal activist Vasantrao Kulsange has expressed the need of a strong and independent political party of the tribals to fight for their rights.
Talking exclusively to D voice Mr. Kulsange, who has been quite active in propagating the contribution of Veer Baburao Shedmake in India’s freedom struggle and has raised a memorial in the memory of the great hero said that there are so many leaders belonging to the tribal community but they have been pursuing the agenda of their own parties. No one of them is the leader of tribals in real sense. That is why the community needs an independent political party to represent the tribals all over the country and put forward their issues effectively, he opined.
The tribals in the country has a great history and tradition. Scores of tribal heroes have fought for the freedom movement of india and many of them have laid down their lives in this fight. Veer Baburao is the live example who bravely fought against the British Army and was finally sacrificed his life.
Tantya Bhill, Birsa Munda, Kangla Manzi, Vishnu Gond, Yadavshah Maharaj, Lakkhya Gond, Raje Dharmarao, Lal shamshah Maharaj, Baliramji Gedam are some of them, Kulsange reminded and rued that no one of these heroes have found a suitable place in the history of India even after their great heroism and sacrifices for the country. The tribal heroes have also played an important role in the protection of the Jal, Jangal and Jameen, he added.
Mr. Kulsange strongly opposed the concept ‘Vanvasi’, the word being used for the Adiwasis. This is an evil tactic of some orthodox people to remove the identity of the Adiwasis and to wipe out their existence. Giving a reference of the great philosopher George Orwell that ‘the most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own history’, Kulsange said that some fundamentalists do not want to see that the Adiwasis are the aboriginal residents of this country. This must be ended, he demanded.
Adiwasis are not the Hindus. Hindu dharma is being deliberately enforced upon them. They should not be described as Hindus in any government record. A special provision of the Adiwasi dharma should be incorporated in the census and other such documents, Kulsange stressed. Adiwasis are the worshippers of the nature. They are not the worshippers of idols, he stated.
Pointing out to the recent resolution of the Gondwana University to name its auditorium after RSS activist Didolkar, Kulsange said this is also a ploy of some elements to wipe out the identity and existence of the tribals. Such designs need to be wiped out, he asserted.
The Universities and colleges should teach the subjects related to tribal culture, tradition and their heroes and revolutionaries, customs etc. that will inspire the present generation, Kulsange stressed.
When asked about the growing practice of Ravana Puja among the tribal community, Kulsange said Ravana is the deity of the Adiwasis. There is therefore nothing wrong in worshipping Ravana. He mentioned his self-composed poem in this regard ‘Ravanala Jaltanna – Dukhtat Dharmic Bhawna, Adiwasinche Daiwat- Amhi Pujto Ravana’, that shows the tremendous respect about Ravana among the tribals. The practice of burning Ravana effigy must be stopped immediately, he demanded.
There is no problem, if you don’t worship Ravana but you have no right to burn him that hurts the sentiments of the tribals and creates an atmosphere of enmity and hatred among the two communities, Kulsange stated.
Crores and crores of rupees have been spent on the tribals so far but there is not seen remarkable progress of the community. The tribals are still deprived of the basic amenities like health, education, drinking water, housing etc. and they have remained backward even after 75 years of independence. This is really unfortunate. Where has all this money gone, he asked and stressed the need of implementing the tribal development schemes honestly and transparently.
Tribals have a glorious history. They have been rulers. The remains of many forts and palaces show this history even today. Despite all this tribals have to live a very dejected life is a matter of shame for all of us, Kulsange asserted.