PM urged to recognise Sarna Dharma of tribals

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Jamshedpur (Agencies): The Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP), a tribal outfit, Wednesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce the recognition of Sarna Dharma of the Adivasis as a fundamental right during his visit to Jharkhand and Odisha on Saturday.

Sarna Dharma is centred around the worship of nature. In a letter to the prime minister, JDP president Salkhan Murmu said the Adivasis across the country are neither Hindus nor Christians and they worship only nature. 

Murmu, a former MP from Mayurbhanj, demanded that Modi grant Sarna Dharma as a fundamental right under Article 25 to 28 of the Constitution, that guarantee religious freedom of individuals. The prime minister will visit tribal dominated Palamau in Jharkhand and Mayurbhanj in Odisha on January 5. In his letter, Murmu also demanded a separate code and column for Sarna Dharma in the Census. “The dignity of over 10 crore tribals of the country will not only be enhanced but their culture and identity would also be preserved, if you make an announcement in support of our demand during the Palamau and Mayurbhanj visit on January 5,” he said in the letter.

The JDP has chalked out an agitational programme in five states -- Assam, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha and Jharkhand -- on February 11 and a bandh in these states on May 21 to mount pressure on the government, the JDP chief said. Tribals are strong in these five states. Murmu was a former BJP MP who later formed the JDP that had observed Bharat Bandh last year for the same cause.

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