Jharkhand Adivasis celebrate Birsa Munda Jayanti on Jharkhand formation day

Celebrating both the creation of Jharkhand state and the birth of Adivasi leader Birsa Munda, state MGNREGA coordinator addresses adivasis gathered at Putki neighbourhood.

Image Courtesy:indianexpress.com

“Community” has always been at the core of Adivasi identity, said Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) Jharkhand coordinator Gurjeet Singh on November 15, 2020 the 145th birth anniversary of Adivasi freedom fighter Birsa Munda and the twentieth anniversary of the creation of the state of Jharkhand, at the Memorial Trust office in Putki area of Dhanbad district.

On Sunday, that was also celebrated as the Jharkhand foundation day, Singh said talked about tribal beliefs and sentiments that helped people retain their land and ownership rights.

Following proper rituals and a warm welcome from Memorial Trust President Bagi, his wife Meena Bagi and Secretary Baleshwar Bauri, Singh remembered the Adivasi movement led by Birsa Munda that led to the creation of the Chhota Nagpur Tenancy Act that prohibited the transfer of tribal land to non-tribal people.

“Adivasis bestow the title of ‘mother’ to their land and believe that no one can hold ownership over their Mother. As a result, they did not believe in documenting a proof of their land. This led to the movement inspired by their eviction from ancestral land that ultimately gave them land, water and forest rights,” he said.

Speaking about Adivasis’ community sentiment, Singh said that Adivasis assumed equal land ownership rights to humans, birds, animals alike. Further Adivasis have always considered the water, jungle and land of Birsa Munda, a part of their heritage just as they consider cleanliness a traditional heritage.

“This priority to sanitation is the reason that not a single Adivasi has suffered from the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.

Birsa Munda was affectionately remembered as “Dharti Aaba” (Father of Earth) for his dedication to a healthy Adivasi community. Singh stated that Jharkhand could not become a truly independent state until Birsa Munda’s hope to reform the Adivasi community free of the belief of witchcraft came to fruition.


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