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Jharkhand tribals stir row over lifting of soil from ‘Sarna Sthal’ for Bhumi Pujan in Ayodhya's Ram Mandir

An FIR has been lodged against former MLA and BJP’s Women Wing President Aarti Kujoor and tribal leader Megha Oraon for stealing soils from Sarna Sthal without taking the consent of tribals.

Published: 01st August 2020 01:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st August 2020 01:17 AM   |  A+A-

A model of the proposed Ram temple.

A model of the proposed Ram temple. (File Photo | Reuters)

Express News Service

RANCHI: Lifting of soil from over 50 ‘Sarna Sthal’ (common religious place in tribal villages) all over Jharkhand to use it in ‘bhumi pujan’ for construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhaya on August 5, has sparked controversy among tribal community in Jharkhand.

Some of the tribal organisations, alleging Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of conspiring to brand tribal people as Hindu in connivance with BJP leaders, have decided to launch a nationwide campaign against
VHP and RSS to create an awareness against the conspiracy hatched by them.

According to VHP, a drive was carried out for collecting soil and sacred water from 2,100 religious places in Jharkhand, under which, soil were collected from 18 Gurudwara, 2 Buddha Vihar, 16 Mahavir Akhara, 11 Jain Mandir and 1100 Sarna Stahal.

ALSO READ | Four lakh laddoos to be sent to Delhi to mark Ayodhya's Ram temple's 'Bhumi Pujan'

“This is a direct attack on identity of tribal and people and their culture which could not be tolerated at any cost. We have called a nationwide tribal conference in February next year during which a campaign will be launched against VHP, RSS and other outfits which have been trying to brand tribals people as Hindu,” said academician and tribal leader Dr Karma Oraon. It will be ensured that not a single seat in Assembly or

Parliament goes to BJP leaders, who are the key conspirators, he added.

According to Oraon, tribal race is entirely different from Aryans; hence there is no connection between the two. This exercise is being done only to take political gains by misguiding the poor and innocent tribals, he said.

“A majority tribal population believes that tribals are not Hindu then why they want them forcefully to embrace Hinduism. We have our own religious beliefs and practices and this is an attempt to interfere with the sentiments of the tribals,” said the academician.

Adivasi Jan Parishad President Prem Shahi Munda also asserted that they strongly object lifting of soil from ‘Sarna Sthal’ because tribal community is distinct ethnic groups with its own cultural identity.

“We have nothing to do with the temple they are going to construct in Ayodhya. We don’t consider ourselves as Hindu,” said Munda.

Meanwhile, an FIR has also been lodged against former MLA and BJP’s Women Wing President Aarti Kujoor and another tribal leader Megha Oraon at Chanho and Dhurwa Police Stations respectively for stealing soils from Sarna Sthal without taking consent from the tribal society.

Kujoor, however, claimed that objection is being raised by a handful of tribal organizations which does not represent the entire tribal community in Jharkhand.

“Moreover, soils were not taken by ourselves but were handed over to us by respective ‘pahan’ (priest) in the village after we put our proposals before them. Since, Sarna Sthal is a property of the entire village, they will decide whether they want to give it to us or not, rather than a handful of people sitting in their homes,” said Kujoor.

Referring to the allegations made on her of branding tribals as Hindu, she said that every tribal village has a ‘Devi Mandap’ itself, is a proof that they are a part of the larger Hindu community.

Former BJP MLA also said that in democracy everybody has a right to raise his or her voice and protest in a democratic way without hurting sentiments of anybody.

There are hundreds of examples to show there was no major difference in the religious beliefs and practices of the tribal people with those of the Hindus, she said.

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