Ranchi: Demanding they be called ‘indigenous people’, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren said that Adivasis were never Hindus and that there should be no confusion about this. Soren was responding to a question on whether tribals were Hindus at a virtual lecture.
“Adivasis were never Hindus and they never will be. The community has always been of nature worshipers, and that this is the reason why they are counted as indigenous people,” he said, while speaking at the 18th Annual India Conference at Harvard University. The session was moderated by Suraj Yengde, author and senior fellow in Harvard Kennedy School, Indian Express reported.
Soren said that there are 32 tribal communities in the state and demanded the central government a separate column for Adivasis in the next census so that they can continue their tradition and culture with safeguards.
“I came to know that the government have removed the ‘Others’ column in the Census. It seems they have to adjust in this only,” the chief minister said.
Soren said that people from scheduled caste and scheduled tribe communities have been ignored and repressed over the years. “Despite safeguards in the Constitution, Adivasis do not get their due, they have been pushed down for ages, and it is the same mentality even today. They are looked down upon, this is a matter of concern,” he added.