Staff Reporter

Parliament today passed the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Fifth Amendment) Bill, 2022 with the Rajya Sabha approving it today. The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill. The Bill seeks to amend the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order 1950. The Bill includes the Dhanuhar, Dhanuwar, Kisan, Saunra, Saonra, and Binjhia communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes in Chhattisgarh. The Bill seeks to include Bhuinya, Bhuiyan, and Bhuyan communities as synonyms of the Bharia Bhumia community.  It also includes three Devanagari versions of the name of the Pando community.

Replying to a discussion on the bill, Tribal Affairs Minister Arjun Munda said, the Narendra Modi government has worked to improve the lives of the people of tribal community and give them their fundamental rights. He attacked the Congress party for neglecting the tribals and their welfare. Mr Munda said, Narendra Modi-led government has changed the approach towards the tribals and is working with conviction towards their welfare. The Minister said, irrespective of their less population, Central government considered them equally. Mr. Munda appealed to the state governments to appraise the central government about the issues and problems of tribal communities of their respective states so that they can be addressed.

Earlier, initiating the discussion, Niranjan Bishi of BJD supported the Bill saying that this is in the interest of tribal people of Chhattisgarh. He said, development of tribal communities is directly linked with the progress of the nation. Samir Oraon of BJP said, the Central government has taken several initiatives for the welfare of the tribals by focussing on education, health and employment. Another party MP Saroj Pandey raised the issue of alleged forced conversion of tribal people in Chhattisgarh saying that repeated attacks have been made on the culture of the tribal community. Dr. Kirori Lal Meena of BJP also spoke on the Bill along with other party MPs Rakesh Sinha and Biplab Kumar Deb. Dr. M. Thambidurai of AIADMK, Dr. Sasmit Patra of BJD, and others also participated in the discussion.

Intervening in the discussion, Union Minister Ramdas Athawale said, a series of measures have been taken by the government for the welfare of tribal communities.