Assam communities demanding ST tag want to keep themselves in one place | Media Pyro


Don’t want to fight each other, say community leaders as Chutiya group breaks away

Don’t want to fight each other, say community leaders as Chutiya group breaks away

Leaders of six communities in Assam, who are campaigning for the status of Scheduled Tribes in their state, have stressed the need to unite in their fight. Leaders of the Tai-Ahom, Matak, Moran, Chutia, Koch-Rajbongshi, and Adivasi communities warned against pitting each other against each other, even as they headed for new meetings with the All Assam Tribal Sangha (AATS), an umbrella body. united with the existing STs, based on their demands.

Efforts to keep all the six agitating communities together have been renewed, especially since a group of the Chutia community – Chutia Yuva Sanmilan – announced recently that it will break away from the group that has been meeting with the AATS until now. and the government protesting the demands to be classified as STs.

While the All Assam Chutia Students’ Union continues to be part of the leading group in the negotiations, the withdrawal of Chutia YS came within days of a meeting between Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, the six agitating communities, and the AATS. In this meeting, a consensus was reached on the inclusion of only two of the six rebel communities – Mataq and Moran – while other meetings were scheduled to discuss the possibility of including other communities.

“We have no problem with the Matak and Moran communities getting ST status, but our fight is for all the six communities and we are trying our best to do that now while also ensuring that our community is not left behind,” said Raju Chutia, General Secretary. All Assam Chutia Students’ Union, adding that they are “not willing to accept half measures”.

Udayan Kumar Gogoi of Ahom Jatiyatabadi Juba Parishad said The Hindu“Now, the student unions of the six communities are together, and we will demand that the six communities be included in the upcoming meetings. But the meetings have not yielded any results so far. It seems that AATS has some understanding with the government.”

“We do not want to fight each other or the existing ST communities. Our demand for inclusion does not call for the exclusion of any existing community,” added Mr. Gogoi.

An informed source who specifically explained the meetings held by the six communities and the AATS organization explained that the Tea communities are facing obstacles because they are not indigenous people in the first place, and at the same time brought from the State by force and brought from other places. It is also not clear that a tribe can be classified only by possession.

Other considerations that rejected the recognition of communities like Tai-Ahom were that they were already well off and that their population was too high and spread across the region, which would affect the fair share of the existing STs. Further, there was no consensus on whether the Koch-Rajbongshi community should be declared ST in general in many districts or only in a few constituencies.

One source added that Matak and Moran communities are more likely to be included before others because of their small numbers and concentration in small places like Dibrugarh and Tinsukia.

In total, the six communities that have stood up for ST status in Assam constitute at least 30% of the State’s electorate. The inclusion in the ST list will greatly increase the number of ST population in the State and will reduce the entitlement ratio of the existing ST communities unless the existing quota of 10% for plain tribes and 5% for hill tribes is increased.

Former Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram, in January 2019 introduced a Bill in the Rajya Sabha, seeking to amend the Scheduled Tribes Order, 1950 to include 41 communities in the list of STs in Assam, including ” Tai-Ahom , Koch-Rajbongshi, Matak, Moran, Chutiya”, and some listed sub-groups of Tea Tribes. However, this law is still before the parliament.


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