सोमवार, 24 अक्तूबर 2011

Adivasis Are Not Hindus: Dr. Ram Dayal Munda

डॉ. राम दयाल मुंडा के कुछ विचार -
उन्हें श्रद्धांजलिस्वरूप प्रस्तुत

‘Adivasis have been wrongly categorised as Hindus for administrative convenience’

‘A study of their practices will help in restoring self-respect to them’

News: The Hindu
Mangalore, Feb 12: Calling for more academic research into primal religions in the country, Padma Shri award winner and former Vice-Chancellor of Ranchi University Ram Dayal Munda has said that the Adivasis in India have been wrongly categorised as Hindus for the sake of administrative convenience.
“Adivasis are followers of ‘Adi-Dharam’ not Hindiusm,” Mr. Munda said, while delivering the keynote address at the inaugural session of a three-day seminar on “Spirituality of primal religions”, organised by the Mangalore Diocesan Chair in Christianity on Thursday.
Mr. Munda said that there were only six officially recognised religious classifications in the country, namely Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Sikhism and a grouping of small but organised religions termed “Others”.
Of the over 10 crore Adivasis in the country, 90 per cent had been placed within the Hindu fold and the rest had embraced Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. Stating that ancient Adivasi practices had nothing in common with the Vedic traditions of Hinduism, he said that Adivasis had been reluctantly accommodated at the bottom of the Hindu fold.

Ulterior motive
Despite the reluctance, the Adivasis were accommodated within Hinduism with the ulterior motive of forming a formidable political grouping in pursuit of cultural nationalism, he said.
He was equally critical of the other organised religions such as Christianity and Islam, which admitted Adivasis but kept them marginalised and diluted their ethnic identity, according to him.
Mr. Munda, who has co-authored a book on Adi Dharam, which is a compilation of various spiritual practices and beliefs of Adivasis, said that more efforts should be made to document the orally inherited cultural traditions of these people in the country.
Such studies across the country would help in scientifically establishing the already well-known belief that Adi Dharam ran like a common thread through Adivasi cultures across the country.
“Worship of forces of nature, ancestors and deification of local heroes is central to all Adivasi practices,” he said.

Study needed
An academic study into the practices of over 500 Adivasi communities would also help in restoring the self-respect of the Adivasis, who had always occupied an amorphous position, somewhere on the fringes of organised religions. “Such studies will help Adivasis notice that they are the same people. This will have powerful political ramifications that can lead to the emancipation of the community,” he said.
He said that Dalits too should be part of this social, political and cultural grouping, since their cultural practices too bore close resemblance to Adivasi traditions.
He was opposed to Ambedkar’s efforts on converting the Dalits into Buddhism. “Firstly, there is a concerted effort to project the Buddha as the incarnation of a Hindu god. Secondly, the act of conversion takes away Adivasi and Dalit pride in their primal spiritual beliefs,” he said.

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