Lok Sabha

February 11, 2020

Saugata Roy speaks on The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019

Saugata Roy speaks on The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019


I support The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 2019. It includes “for the words Nayakda, Nayaka including Parivara and Talwara”. This is relevant for the Belgavi region, also known as Belgaum, Dharwad and Uttar Kannada districts, from where our Hon’ble Parliamentary Affairs Minister belongs.

I support this Bill.

I request the Tribal Affairs Minister to make the inclusion of new tribes in the Scheduled Tribes Order a little simpler. Now, if I write to the Minister, you will send it to the Registrar General and they will find out what is the percentage of such tribes. Then it will come again to him and then this order has to be passed. This whole process of inclusion of tribes should be made simpler. I request Mr Arjun Munda to take steps in this matter.

Sir, tribals in this country, somehow or the other, have turned against the BJP government. Mr Arjun Munda, who was himself the Chief Minister of Jharkhand, has seen how his party has lost in that State, mostly in tribal seats. Everywhere BJP has lost. People have seen the BJP as an upper caste party. They have neglected the tribals and that is why this has happened. I am sure after the Delhi experience of losing, they will give more attention to tribals and give more importance to tribal people like Mr Arjun Munda.

Sir, I just want to tell you that today the main problem, internal security problem of the country, is that by the Maoists. They are truly trying to capture through the force of arms. Now who are the cadre for these Maoist movements in Chhattisgarh, which has also spread in Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, in some places of Madhya Pradesh etc.?

They are all tribals and they are deprived and they are not getting the benefits and from the forest contractors and other people are taking advantage. When they are trying to collect the minor forest produce, they are set upon by the forest officials. Unless we take serious steps, maybe the Home Ministry may take steps against the Maoists, but the problem will remain. We must give attention to the problem of acute poverty in these times.

Sir, people want the inclusion of certain tribes among Scheduled Tribes. But, in our state, our experience is that we have been able to control Maoism by development of tribal areas. When it comes to jobs, say there is a reservation for a job – in most cases we do not get fit tribal candidates – as result of which the seats get de-reserved. Though we have not been really successful in this country of lifting the educational standards of the tribals.

I am sure, Mr Arjun Munda will play a very active role in lifting the educational standards. There are already a few schools like the Ekalavya school, tribal scholarships etc. That is not a problem. Sufficient number and sufficient qualities of tribals in education is not there. Main anurodh karunga Arjun Munda ji, aap zara attention dijiye, unko uthana hai. Nahi toh tribal reservation dene se fayda kya hain? Koi toh naukri ke liye fit nahi hota hai.

Lastly, I want to mention one of the reasons why Maoism spread in Chhattisgarh is that the big corporates like Vedanta and others, are trying to grab lands in the tribal areas. Because the tribal areas are rich in minerals. In Odisha as well, Malkangiri is full of tribals and full of Maoists. This again is because big corporate are trying to grab land.

There is already the fifth schedule of the Constitution which determines how tribal land can be taken which only with the permission of the village council. That is not being done, as we have seen in many cases. We should be very careful about land in scheduled tribal areas so that they are not usurped by big corporate. We are all for the lifting of tribals, but after 73 years of independence and programmes like NREGA and National Food Security Act, we have not been able to drive out hunger from the tribal areas, nor have we been able to really lift the standards of these people.

So, while I support this very much indeed, I want a concerted effort by the Government of India to improve the lot of tribals. By just making one tribal man from Jharkhand a minister is not enough. The whole government must give their attention to the whole problem of uplifting the financial and educational standards of the tribals.

With this, I support the Bill.