The resolution will seek a special column for followers of the ‘Sarna’ religion in the Census 2021.
RANCHI: During the one-day special session on Wednesday, Jharkhand Assembly passed a resolution for the provision of a separate ‘Sarna Code’ for tribals. Chief Minister Hemant Soren tabled the proposal, which was passed unanimously with a voice vote by the Assembly.
The resolution will seek a special column for followers of the ‘Sarna’ religion in the Census 2021. ‘Sarna’ followers are nature worshippers who do not consider themselves Hindus and have been fighting for a separate religious identity for decades.
At present, they are not classified as a separate religious entity.
Tribal leaders across the state had been demanding the implementation of the Sarna Code in census surveys, which would allow the tribals to be identified as followers of the Sarna faith during the census of 2021 which is round the corners, tribal outfits were exerting pressure on the government to bring the
legislation. So far, the census surveys have included them as “others” in the religion column.
During the discussion in the Assembly, Soren said that there have been attempts to make tribals extinct as no government showed any seriousness on the issue. The most prominent reason for the drop in the numbers of tribal population is their mental immaturity, he said.
The CM said he wanted no politics on Sarna Code and expected all support from the Opposition parties on the issue.
“Sarna Code is important for the tribals and government is committed towards it,” said Soren. It will give a good message in the Country, he added.
The opposition leaders, on the other hand, alleged the Soren government of doing politics on the issue.
“I wanted to raise some technical issues related to the proposal, but I was not given time to speak in the House,” said BJP legislative party leader Babulal Marandi.
Tribal leaders alleged that there was a separate Sarna Code from 1871 to 1951, but it was removed in 1961 under a conspiracy. They also claim that in 2011 the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes had recommended to the Centre to add Sarna code in the Census, but was not implemented.