Adivasis want seperate state
In a rare unity of solidarity, the ''Adivasi Ekta Sammelan'' one of biggest convention ever held in Adivasi dominated Narmada District, in South Gujarat, demanded a separate tribal state in Gujarat and denounced the Sangh Parivar ''onslaught'' on adivasis.
The Sammelan, attended by hundreds of Advasis from different parts of the state to commemorate the first death anniversary of Father Joseph Idiakunnel, founder of the Rajpipla Social Service Society (RSSS), which is on a mission to unite the tribals of Gujarat under one roof to fight for their rights during the past 25 years, categorically stated and pledged that henceforth the first and foremost need of the hour was ''unity of all the tribals as tribals'' against the anti-tribal forces that have descended on them under various forms and masks.
Speakers at the meet warned that ''if we don't unite as tribals against these forces at this juncture we may not get an honourable place with distinct tribal identify in the plurality of our secular polity which itself is under threat from the Hindutva forces''.
The Advasis attending the sammelan tied ribbons around their forehead which read ''jai adivasi'' call to counter attack on the VHP and RSS slogan of ''jai Shri Ram''.
Presiding over the function, Former Vice-chancellor of Ranchi University Dr Ramdayal Munda, who is heading the All-India Confederation of Indigenous and Tribal people, emphasised the need to have a seprate tribal state in Gujarat.
Gujarat could set an example and the experiment could be replicated in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. Director of the RSSS, Fr Xavier Manjooran, in his speech said that unless the adivasis were united as adivasis they would not make any headway. Today with the arrival of Hindutva this adivasis identify was at stake.