Tribals a neglected lot, says Pinarayi Vijayan
VISAKHAPATNAM, JUNE 21, 2017 01:04 IST
UPDATED: JUNE 21, 2017 08:23 IST
Extending solidarity: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan and AARM vice-president Brinda Karat after felicitating Adivsai activist Soni Sori in Visakhapatnam on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: C.V.Subrahmanyam
‘Corporates having a free run in Bastar region of Chhattisgarh’
Adivasis played a major role in the fight against colonial rule and the feudal system, but their efforts have been downplayed by every government that has ruled the country post Independence. Despite forming a sizeable chunk of the population, they are a neglected lot, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on Tuesday. Addressing the inaugural session of the third Adivasi Adhikar Rashtriya Manch, Mr. Vijayan pointed out that the Adivasis were the most exploited lot in the country.
The Forest Rights Act (FRA) and the provisions under the Fifth and Sixth Schedules of the Constitution were not being implemented in true spirit.
Picking out Adivasis of the Bastar region in Chhattisgarh, he said : “The neo-liberal policy of the State government is emboldening the capitalists to venture into forest areas and tribal habitations. In Bastar alone, about 14 corporate companies have made inroads in the name of mining.”
Caught in the crossfire
He alleged that the security forces in the region were not actually fighting the Maoists, but working to displace the Adivasis. “In this process, the innocent Adivasis are caught in the crossfire between the Maoists and security forces,” he added.
The British colonial policy of displacement was continuing in India. Adivasis’ traditional right of ownership of forest land was being diluted by the State and their traditional culture and language also were under assault. Due to the displacement, the Adivasis, especially women, had become vulnerable to various types of atrocities, he said.
In a scathing attack on the Congress, the Kerala CM said, “It has failed in its role as a major Opposition party. The Congress is reluctant to take on the BJP and in such a scenario we [the other parties] have to take the initiative.”
Earlier, CPI(M) MP Jitendera Chaudhury paid tributes to all the Communist leaders who had passed away in the last one year, including former Cuban President and revolutionary Fidel Castro.
Six activists honoured
The AARM honoured six prominent Adivasi activists — Soni Sori, Debaleena Hembrom, Bhukia Virabhadram, Sunder Malekudiya, Rajesh Jani and Soren Hembrom.
The welcome address was delivered by former CPI(M) MP Midiam Babu Rao. Vice-president of AARM Brinda Karat, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member B.V. Raghavulu and AP State secretariat member Ch. Narasinga Rao were among those present.