19 June, 2021

Out Of Vanvas?

The UPA govt readies its tribal policy that aims to regain political turf from the Sangh parivar

Jitender Gupta
Out Of Vanvas?
At first read, the UPA government's draft tribal policy seems like a rehash of the document the NDA had worked on when in power. A 'Yes Minister' effort of sorts by a bureaucrat trying to present his new political masters with old wine in a new bottle. Verbal jugglery apart, it is the new document's conclusion that is the key to the UPA's approach to the subject, one that strikes at the core of the BJP's ideology.

If the BJP-led NDA government's document had spoken of working towards "assimilation" of the tribal population—part of its Hindutva project—"integration" is the UPA's politically correct substitute. Here's Union tribal affairs minister P.R. Kyndiah's take: "Tribals don't want to be assimilated. They must be allowed to grow according to their native genius and talent. The Congress believes in their economic integration, not their social or cultural assimilation."

Indeed, if the BJP line is that tribals are a part of Hindu society, with former mos for environment Dilip Singh Judeo and the rss affiliates—the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and the Vishwa Hindu...

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