J’khand CM writes to Modi, seeks recognition of Sarna religious code for tribals | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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J’khand CM writes to Modi, seeks recognition of Sarna religious code for tribals

Sep 27, 2023 05:50 PM IST

On November 11, 2021, the Jharkhand Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution for adopting the ‘Sarna’ code

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking recognition of the ‘Sarna’ religious code for tribals, a long-standing demand in the tribal-dominated state.

The “Sarna” religious code has been a long-standing demand of the tribal community in Jharkhand. (HT file photo)
The “Sarna” religious code has been a long-standing demand of the tribal community in Jharkhand. (HT file photo)

In his letter, written on September 26 and released by his office on Wednesday, Soren underlined that protecting the traditional religious existence of tribals was a serious concern, and the demand for ‘Tribal/Sarna Religious Code’ is being raised so that the nature-worshipping tribal community can be confident about its identity.

“At present, when the demand for Uniform Civil Code is being raised by some organisations, constructive initiative on demand of the tribal community for Sarna code is absolutely necessary for their protection,” he said.

Seeking Sarna code as a separate religious code in the next Census has been a long-standing demand of tribal groups. On November 11, 2021, the Jharkhand Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution for ‘Sarna’ code.

Also Read: Soren government finalises much-awaited PESA rules in Jharkhand

On May 25, Soren wrote to President Droupadi Murmu to assist the state gain central approval for its proposal to include the ‘Sarna Code’ as a distinct recognised religious category.

Reiterating the demand to Modi in the letter, Soren said the tribal population in the state had declined to 26 % from 38 %in the last eight decades. Soren said the declining trend of tribal population was worrying as it would also affect the development policy for the fifth and sixth schedule areas.

“You are aware there are many such groups in the tribal community that are on the verge of extinction, and if they are not protected on the principle of social justice, their existence along with the language and culture will come to an end,” Soren said in the letter to Modi,” said Soren.

Soren said tribals had a separate religious column in the 1951 Census but it was removed from the list because of unknown reasons later. The JMM leader argued that a separate religious identity would help in ascertaining the actual tribal population and preserve the tribal culture and practices.

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