Himanshu Kumar: How should India Behave With Its Tribal Population
A large number of army troops are being sent to the tribal areas to establish peace.
Whereas past experience tells us that the entry of the army troops in tribal territory has never decreased unrest but escalated it instead.
For a long time now, the tribal people have faced oppression from the government. And if any one of them asks for justice against this oppression, they are branded as Naxalites and tortured again. The government has thus closed all doors of Justice for them.
Soni Sori, Linga Kodopi and Binayak Sen were a victim of government tyranny because they raised their voice against this injustice. We know that the educated and prosperous urban class of India does not see anything wrong with sending the army in large numbers to tribal areas in order to occupy the resources of the indigenous people.
Also, there are talks of using force to suppress the dissatisfaction caused by displacement due to this plunder of resources. But if India keeps killing its citizens like this, it will result in the moral degradation of the Indian community that holds power.
India will have to think, as a nation, on how should it behave with its native inhabitants.
Do we approve of occupying the lands of the tribal community on gun point? Do we believe that we can bring peace to the country after burning their villages, driving them out of their homes and occupying their land?
If once we get habituated to doing injustice to our own citizen, wouldn’t it make way for us to do it to everyone else tomorrow? Today, we will attack the tribals, then we’ll kill Dalits and go on to kill our villagers and then, one day, we will find ourselves surrounded by enemies that we created ourselves.
Hence, we need to review our behavior towards the tribal people as soon as possible.
It is my humble effort that we use this opportunity to ponder on this issue that how should the tribal people of this country be treated. To self introspect on this issue, I am sitting on an indefinite hunger strike from 1st June and I hope that you, wherever you are, will also introspect on it.
This is not just a question of the tribals but a question for all those who want to build a better society, where everyone gets justice because it is impossible to even think of peace without justice.
Please do visit Jantar Mantar if possible, we will be pleased.
Jantar Mantar, New Delhi