Hyderabad: On June 1 last year, all Adivasi communities collectively declared ‘self-rule’ with the slogan ‘Maava Naate Maava Raj’ (‘our land our rule’ in Gondi). They denied entry to officials and even teachers from the Lambada community into their villages.
The Adivasis say that Lambadas, who traditionally are from Rajasthan, have been added to the Centre’s Scheduled Tribes list. With this, though they are outsiders in Telangana state, the Lambadas have bagged government jobs and are availing the benefits under the SC quota, the Adivasis say.
The Gonds have called for the Lambadas to be removed from the SC list. The case is now in the Supreme Court.
Word is that IAS officer Divya Devarajan and Vishnu Warrier of the IPS were sent there to deal with the tinder box situation.
The seniors are pleased that they handled the situation peacefully.
To classify a tribe is the domain of Parliament but the Agency area laws and rules are made by the Governor, as advised by the government. The Constitution states under the 5th Schedule that the Governor can make special laws or exclude certain areas from specific laws by means of regulation.
That is how the land transfer regulation came in. That is how the reservation of jobs took place.
“There is a lot of distrust on both sides. The trouble is created by a policy which did not anticipate this issue. There has to be a sustainable solution,” says Ms Devarajan.
She would like to give land rights to thousands of tribals. “They have a revenue vs forest boundary issue and because of this thousands of acres of land is stuck,” she said.
The second major issue is education and jobs. “I want to start an Adivasi study circle which would help them get decent jobs and empower them from within,” She wants to start an ‘ippavanam’ in every village, where they should have a group of Mahua trees. “They should start being proud of their language, their culture and that will be my endeavour,” she says.