Friday, December 14, 2007

Tea Tribes aren’t adivasis of Asom: Anjali Dwimari

GUWAHATI, Nov 30: The advisor of the Indigenous Women’s Forum of North-East India, Anjalee Daimari, today said the Tea Tribes of Asom, who call themselves adivasis, are not at all adivasis (aboriginal or indigenous) in the State. “They had migrated to Asom about 150 years ago as labourers for tea gardens and are not the sons of the soil here,” she said.

“When the Bodos are not given tribal status in other parts of the region like the hills district of Karbi Anglong in Asom and Meghalaya, how do the Adivasis consider themselves as indigenous tribals?” questioned Daimari, who is also the president of the Boro Women Justice Forum.

She also said it is beyond her understanding as to why people are demanding ST status when people in other parts of the country want to come out of their tribal status. “Despite being an ST since my birth, I have seen that my village is still without drinking water, electricity and proper road connectivity,” she said. However, she declined to clarify her stand on the demand of six ethnic communities of the State for ST status. “Though some of the organizations are opposing the demand, we are yet to consider the issue,” she added.

On the Beltola incident, she said: “We cannot deny that vandalism on that day was started by the Adivasi activists, and the AASAA leadership failed to control their activists.”

On the publication of the photograph of a stripped Adivasi girl in some of the newspapers, Daimari hoped the media would play a constructive role in the future.

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