January 4, 2018
Vivek Gupta speaks regarding recognition for Kurmis of Bengal
Sir, thank you for giving me an opportunity to speak. Sir, inspired by my leader, Mamata Banerjee, I am here today to talk about the 50 lakh Kurmis in Bengal . Sir, in 1930 they were part of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes list but in 1931, mysteriously they were removed from that list and they have been ignored. Even in 1951 when the master list was prepared they were again ignored.
Recently the West Bengal government has formed the West Bengal Kurmi Cultural and Developmental Board in 2017. Sir, my leader has tried in her own way to give them recognition and benefits. Sir she has tried to revive the kurmeli language which is dying and the jhumur dance form which has again been listed as a heritage dance form and is supposed to be protected by the National Planning Commission and the Niti Aayog as well.
Sir, these people are mostly living around the forest areas and somehow they are being described as tribals but they are not getting any benefits under the Tribal Act also and other benefits available to tribals.
Sir, the All India Kurmi Chatra Mahasabha which was formed in 1910 has been fighting to include the kurmis in the Central List for Backward Classes. Sir, through you I would like to request the to the government to give them their due recognition, include them as a Scheduled Tribe, as my leader has demanded, and give them their due benefits so that they can also get their recognisable dues.
Thank you Sir.