Jharkhand BJP vs Church: Party says priests ‘misleading’ tribals, warns ‘keep away’

Protests over proposed amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Paragana Tenancy (SPT) Act have been on for the past few months

Written by Prashant Pandey | Ranchi | Published:March 21, 2017 5:21 am
Jharkhand BJP, Ranchi, ranchi church, Jharkhand church, Jharkhand church BJP, Laxman Gilua, BJP, latest news, latest india news State BJP chief Laxman Gilua

The BJP and Church are involved in open confrontation in Jharkhand over the issue of proposed amendments in the state’s tenancy laws, with the Church accusing the BJP of trying to drive tribals out of the state, and the party saying the Church is trying to keep them poor and gullible so as to continue to influence politics from behind the scenes. Underlying the tussle is the fight for the tribal vote base in the state, which has largely been with non-BJP parties.

Protests over proposed amendments to the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Paragana Tenancy (SPT) Act have been on for the past few months. Recently, a delegation of tribal Christian priests, led by Cardinal of Ranchi Telesphore Toppo, met Governor Draupadi Murmu, urging her not to allow the proposed amendments as it would deprive tribals of their lands.

Soon after, state BJP chief Laxman Gilua issued a statement, saying the meeting vindicated the party’s belief that the Church was fuelling the protests against amendments to the two Acts. He added, “Bhajapa in dharm-guruon ko aagaah karti hai ki wah Jharkhand ki janata ko apna swarth siddhi hetu bargalaane ki koshish na karen. Janata Church ki mansha samajh chuki hai aur kisi keemat par safal nahin hone degi. Dharm-guruon ko sirf apne karyakshetra mein seemit rehna chahiye (The BJP warns these religious gurus not to to mislead the people of Jharkhand for their selfish interests. People have understood their intentions and won’t let them succeed at any cost. The religious gurus should limit themselves to their sphere of work).”

The proposed amendments — cleared by the Assembly last November but lying with the Governor — seek to open up tribal land for non-agricultural purposes and earmark projects for which the government can take their land. The amendments also propose to dissolve the Scheduled Area Regulation (SAR) Court through which tribal lands can be taken over. Currently, tribals cannot sell agricultural land, to even fellow tribals, unless certain strict conditions are met. The tribal organisations and Church say that the amendments would expose tribal land to commercial use and to exploitation by corporates. And that the resultant influx of outsiders would change the demographics of the area.

The BJP argues, however, that the Acts have only served to keep tribals poor, and that it suits the Church to keep them thus. The BJP has also called the Church itself “the biggest violator of CNT-SPT Acts”, usurping large tracts of tribal land and, in the process, destroying their original culture.

Apart from the claims over land, the Church sees the amendments as a BJP ploy to divide tribal Christians from the followers of Sarna (tribal religion). The BJP government has been reaching out to the Sarnas — estimated to be over 40 lakh in a state with over 3.25 crore population — while RSS affiliates have been repeating from various fora that Sarna and tribal Christians are separate. While Cardinal Toppo could not be reached for comment, an aide close to him said they would wait for a response to their memorandum on the amendments.

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  1. R
    Raj
    Mar 21, 2017 at 6:18 am
    they are not converting,instead they are bringing tribal to mainstream society by providing them education which politicians don't like because rational brain can't be manited by stupid netas....that why they want to ban church
    Reply
    1. A
      Abhishek
      Mar 21, 2017 at 6:29 am
      Any proof there is only one creator? Any scientific study? Zilch. Nada. lt;br/gt;Belief in one God is as wrong or as right as belief in many.
      Reply
      1. A
        Abhishek
        Mar 21, 2017 at 6:28 am
        At least he is my brother. The neighbour is wicked and trying to lure my gullible, poor brother with money, medicine and emolument, trying to drive a permanent wedge for their own benefit.
        Reply
        1. A
          Abhishek
          Mar 21, 2017 at 6:33 am
          Slavery has existed only in xtian and Mslem countries until the arrival of 19th century. It was never there in India before the British rule.lt;br/gt;The Britisher, it must be remebered, declared million of people as 'criminal tribes' making their lives infinitely more difficult.
          Reply
          1. A
            Abhishek
            Mar 21, 2017 at 6:34 am
            Then why so much of hue and cry when RSS runs schools? WHy the 'church' doesnt like it? lt;br/gt;The church is playing a devious game. That is why the concept of secularism was developed- it mean, quite literally, separation of the CHURCH and the STATE!
            Reply
            1. A
              Ali Raza
              Mar 21, 2017 at 1:01 am
              Indians have to be careful before these Christian fanatics begin to make 'religious' interference in Indian polity. We don't want barbaric medievalism of Christian church being implemented in India. Say no to Popes and stupid evangelists.
              Reply
              1. A
                Ali Raza
                Mar 21, 2017 at 12:58 am
                What on earth is the Christian church playing politics for? Don't complain if you are then treated as noting more than politicians.
                Reply
                1. A
                  arati
                  Mar 21, 2017 at 10:44 am
                  Whites to be deported from america as they had taken it by force. The miniscule hindus can come back to india. The blacks can stay there as they were brought there by force. The matter is not yet solved.
                  Reply
                  1. A
                    arati
                    Mar 21, 2017 at 10:47 am
                    some hindus are productive here and there also just like all other religion people. The white should leave america as it is taken by force. They only belong to europe. Even australia should be empty of whites. Let the original cultures of the natives flourish there. Why christianity should be imposed on all of them?
                    Reply
                    1. B
                      bharat
                      Mar 21, 2017 at 5:51 am
                      so as per you mercenaries(missionaries) are correct in misleading them as per hindu tardition and shastras no one is untouchable , inferior or any analogies you british filth filled educated commies create, you have created a myth that never existed in hindu rajyams
                      Reply
                      1. I
                        IslamForFoools
                        Mar 21, 2017 at 10:30 am
                        Alien, get out of my land
                        Reply
                        1. I
                          IslamForFoools
                          Mar 21, 2017 at 10:32 am
                          Because cows are far more useful and superior than xchians and Muslims put together. Cows don't do suicide blasts, Muslims do
                          Reply
                          1. I
                            IslamForFoools
                            Mar 21, 2017 at 1:38 am
                            Ghar wapasi please. Enough with this abrahamic religious sh*t, they are pure evil ideologies. Xhcians are war mongers and Muslims are terror and violence mongers. Jews are little ok. Say no to abrahamic ideologies
                            Reply
                            1. P
                              P.A.Chacko
                              Mar 21, 2017 at 3:24 am
                              Has Gilua blissfully forgotten that dharamguru Adityanand is adorning the chair of CM in UP. There is no religious ma in politics? lt;br/gt;Why preach to Christians when they stand against violations of human rights and why accuse them of dabbling in politics? The church leaders who stand with the tribals are first and foremost tribals. Giluaji, standing for social justice and human rights are not just political issues. They are human and fundamental issues. Please read Indian Consution.
                              Reply
                              1. A
                                Antony
                                Mar 21, 2017 at 3:53 am
                                yes, we dont kill humans for a mere animal called cow you blood thirsty lunatic illiterate toiletless sanghi!!! stop your paid comments from nagpur on all articles!!
                                Reply
                                1. J
                                  J.Gopalan
                                  Mar 21, 2017 at 7:15 am
                                  The Government is correct.Tribals are misled and converted to Christianity.lt;br/gt;High time such mischief is stopped. Ilt;br/gt;wish the Government all success in itslt;br/gt;venture.
                                  Reply
                                  1. J
                                    J.Gopalan
                                    Mar 21, 2017 at 7:29 am
                                    When a person converts to Islam,he gets a proper Islamic name,of which he is proud,but a Christian has a Hindu name attached,as he is not proud to have a proper and full Christian name.
                                    Reply
                                    1. H
                                      harun
                                      Mar 21, 2017 at 7:04 am
                                      To all those going bonkers over the charges of conversion of Tribals by Christian Missionaires goes,do read what these act really mean and the implications for the Tribals.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The acts give Govt the Powers to take over Tribal land for non agriclutural use.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The danger is indiscriminate take over of tribal land and exploitation.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Forest land by an act has given the tribals the right to Forest produce and doing Agriculture till date.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Question is what happens to the Tribals if the very livelyhood is denied to them.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Nyamgiri Hills of Orissa is a standing example were Tribals livelyhood was under threat by allowing Vedanta to Mine Bauxite which directly affects water source and pollutes rivers.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The very same danger is a threat here as well.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;The Church is fighting for the rights of the Tribals,It is this suppression of Tribals which has Naxalite movement gaining ground in MP/Orissa and Chattisgarh.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Please dont ignore these facts and just go with what the local Govt is saying.lt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;Just look at the plight of kids in Tribal areas ,what they get to eat and if at all Noon meal scheme exsist on the ground.
                                      Reply
                                      1. M
                                        Manas Ranjan
                                        Mar 21, 2017 at 4:17 am
                                        How keeping own land make them poor BJP please explain. According to ur sastra tribal are which cast? BJP wants prepare more tribals to be slaves for upper caste . It want to end reservation for them again taking their land away.
                                        Reply
                                        1. M
                                          Manas Ranjan
                                          Mar 21, 2017 at 4:56 am
                                          And what u do for them? Making them slaves , untouchable. It is better to be die rather than lives like dog.
                                          Reply
                                          1. M
                                            Manas Ranjan
                                            Mar 21, 2017 at 5:34 am
                                            If ur brother goes with ur neighbour deserting you, due to your annoying behaviour, then it is fault of ur neighbour? What a hypocrisy? What u did with them for last thousand of years? What upper casts did with them only making them slaves.
                                            Reply
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