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Tribal gurus say no difference between missionaries and RSS

india Updated: Nov 03, 2015 08:20 IST
Saurav Roy
Saurav Roy
Hindustan Times
Tribal gurus

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat (centre) watches volunteers march during a three-day workers camp on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The RSS has seen its influence grow after the BJP came to power. (AP File Photo)

There is no difference between the Christian missionaries and the Rashtriya Swamsevak Sangh (RSS) except for the fact that the former tried to lure tribesmen to their religion and the latter wanted to force Hinduism on them, tribal gurus from Jharkhand said on Monday. Ther were reacting to the RSS’s claim that all of Sarna followers (nature-worshipping tribes) were Hindus.

“They (RSS and missionaries) are the same. One tries to lure us, the other forces its ideologies on us,” said Bandhan Tigga, Sarna dharmguru from Oraon clan.

Laskar Soren, a Santhali tribal guru, said the tribal community does not believe in any caste barriers, but the RSS preaches ‘caste-ism’, a major difference between Hindus and Sarnas.“They (Hindus) are divided into Rajputs, Brahmins, Shudras, Kayastas and more. We, on the other hand, are all equal,” Soren said.

The reactions came a day after Sarna followers in the tribal state took to the streets against the RSS, burnt effigies of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and leader Krishna Gopal, demanding an apology from the saffron outfit.

On the concluding day of RSS’s executive committee meeting in Ranchi on Sunday, RSS sah sarkaryavah, Dr. Krishna Gopal, sparked a controversy by saying that all tribesmen were Hindus and fell under the Hindu code.

Responding to a question on tribal community protesting union tribal affairs minister Jual Oram in Ranchi on Saturday for his statement that tribesmen are Hindus, he said, “There is no denial of the fact that tribal are Hindus and that the minister is right in saying so,” he said.