August 29, 2021

JHARKHAND: Pahariya Youth Forced to Migrate

Prakash Viplav

THE plight of the Pahariya tribe living in remote villages of Santhal Pargana division of Jharkhand came to light when CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat, during her visit to Jharkhand, visited their villages on August 15, the Independence Day. She, along with Party comrades, toured Gummapahari village in Gopikandar block and Murgathali village of Dumka block.

During the interaction with the villagers, it was learnt that the youth of these villages are forced to migrate to distant states in search of livelihood and that they have not been provided work under MGNREGA for the last four years. Only 24 per cent of the villagers are covered by the Birsa Awas scheme of the government. The villagers inhabiting the fringes of forests have not received plots under Forest Rights Act and severe irregularities persist in the public distribution system.

Students living in these villages expressed that their education has been severely hampered since the onset of the Covid pandemic as they cannot avail online courses because they cannot afford smart phones and have poor internet connectivity in the region.

The Party decided to take up their issues with the district commissioner, Dumka, and Brinda Karat assured the villagers that the matter would be taken up with the chairperson of the National Commission of Scheduled Tribes in New Delhi. The villagers belonging to tribal communities held the red flags and resolved to intensify their struggle for justice.

Addressing the media on the sidelines of the two-day CPI(M) state committee meeting, Brinda Karat said, “It is the responsibility of the central government to run the parliament but recently we have seen the ruling BJP government trying to run it (parliament) like an RSS shakha. We would not let the parliament be an RSS shakha or a place for gurudakshina where everyone would clap to the speech of Modiji. The business agenda was finalised without taking opposition into confidence and the BJP, in order to try to hide its failure, had disrupted parliament proceedings.”

"The ruling party was misusing its majority as a tool of arrogance and tyranny to suppress voices of opposition instead of debating on major issues inside the parliament. It was a shameful act that outside persons were called in as marshals to manhandle parliamentarians,” she said.

She added that it was not the opposition but the arrogance of the central government which should be blamed for the disruption. “Instead of debate on the use of Pegasus, the central government simply ignored the opposition demands on this vital issue. If the government tries to bulldoze opposition we will even take the issue to the streets,” she said.

Brinda Karat said that if the Modi-led government cares about the sanctity of the parliament it should have disclosed all materials on Pegasus. “It should have discussed the issue and disclosed all materials and documents about the authorisation and orders relating to the use of Pegasus. It is not only the Pegasus row; the prime minister has not even bothered to talk with the farmers who have been protesting against the new farm laws since nine months,” she said.

Explaining the decisions taken at the state committee meeting, she said the Party will be launching a massive awareness campaign in Jharkhand in September against the anti-people policies of the central government during which 10 lakh people would be contacted personally by the CPI(M) cadres in Jharkhand.