Rahul Gandhi: Modi Government Wants To Take Away Tribal Rights

Today marked the 53rd day of the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, which resumed after a half-day break. It was the last day of the yatra in Madhya Pradesh. The day started with a public rally in Badnawar, addressed by Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge and party leader Rahul Gandhi. The crowd eagerly awaited the Congress leaders for hours, chanting slogans in support of the party and its leaders.

After the welcoming speeches from Congress leaders on the stage, Mallikarjun Kharge addressed the gathering. In his familiar style, he launched an attack on the BJP, beginning with a strong criticism of Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the former Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh and the current BJP in-charge of Karnataka. Kharge said, ‘In Madhya Pradesh, there is chaos everywhere today. Even before this, there were continuous disturbances. I am surprised that whoever comes to my Gulbarga area speaks ill of us in some way. Fifteen days ago, Shivraj Chouhan came to Gulbarga; he said that Rahul ji and Kharge ji are working together to finish Congress. When I landed at the airport, people asked me, and I said one thing – if BJP representatives are here and if media personnel meet them again, ask them why Shivraj Chouhan was removed. What is the reason behind it? Tell us first. Is it because BJP is disappearing, or did Modi not allow him to come close? Let them answer first, and then we will respond. Shivraj Chouhan forgot that there was a massive scam like Vyapam during his rule. We raised this issue in Parliament; we kept saying it repeatedly, but Shivraj Singh said nothing at that time. Now he is saying things about us.’

Kharge emphasized that the first rights to Jal, Jangal, and Zameen belong to the tribals. He urged the people to unite and stop those encroaching on these resources. He said, ‘I appeal to you all that the people who are encroaching Jal, Jangal, and Zameen should be stopped. Unity is needed to stop them. We should say that these resources belong to us, not to you or Modi, and we will not sell them. In the upcoming parliamentary elections, you should also say that more than 3 lakh forest rights titles have been canceled in Madhya Pradesh. Are those working for the poor? Those who are canceling our titles? Those who loot the Jangal, those who loot the zameen, can such people be faithful to the poor or work for the poor?’

Kharge then criticized a BJP leader in Madhya Pradesh for urinating on an Adivasi youth. He slammed the local government, stating, ‘The BJP government always talks about the poor these days. I ask Modi ji, when they come here, ask them too – when Shivraj’s government was in power, a tribal child was urinated in his mouth. And later, they bring him home, wash his feet, worship him, and feed him. First, feed him, finish the untouchability, and then wash his feet. Is anyone happy after washing their feet? You insulted him and did not consider him a human being. This is Shivraj.’

Kharge continued. He continued to criticize the Prime Minister, stating, ‘In Modi’s era, everything has become an event. The government should fight for the poor, not just showcase. Amit Shah and Modi ji, their people used to go to the homes of the poor and Dalits in the first term and claim that they were eating there. If they ate in their homes, is that a big deal? Are they not humans? This is your mentality – if they ate there, untouchability is gone, according to you. I say until the caste system exists in this country, these four castes exist, till then, there will be no upliftment of Dalits and Adivasis. Rahul ji is raising this issue repeatedly, I will also say, there should be a census. Why is the central government afraid today? Why don’t they want to conduct a census? Because their reality will be exposed. Therefore, they do not want to conduct the census. Rahul ji has announced that if we come to power, the first task will be to conduct a census.’

Kharge did not hold back on criticizing the Modi government’s promises. He concluded his speech by reading a poem, stating:

‘Vada kiya tha Ujalon ka kya hua,

Zannat ke un haseen hawalon ka kya hua,

Shahon ke sair ke liye raste to banaye gaye,

Lekin humare paon ka chaalon ka kya hua?’

The speech by Mallikarjun Kharge reflected the Congress party’s stance on various issues, particularly highlighting the rights of tribals and the need for Samajik Nyay. After the speech of the Congress President, Congress leader Mr. Rahul Gandhi addressed the public. He also started his speech by condemning the atrocities against a tribal youth in Madhya Pradesh. Rahul Gandhi said, ‘Some time ago, someone sent me a video on my mobile phone. In that video, a BJP leader was urinating on an Adivasi youth. I wondered, what kind of mindset is this, that a BJP leader is urinating on a tribal youth, and someone is recording it. The video went viral across the country. Perhaps it went viral internationally as well. This is the ideology of the BJP. It is not just with the Adivasis; it is with Dalits, backward classes, and everyone. Wherever they can humiliate you, they do it.’

Rahul Gandhi explained the difference between Adivasi and Vanvasi. He talked about how the BJP government wants to displace Adivasis from their own land by manipulating the distinction between Adivasi and Vanvasi. He said, ‘Some time ago, in their speeches, I heard them start calling Adivasi as Vanavasi. There is a difference between Adivasi and Vanavasi. Adivasi means the person who was the first owner of this land. You are the first owners of the country. You should not be called Adivasi because if they call you Adivasi, then they have to give you the rights to the Jal, Jangal, and Zameen. Vanavasi means those who live in the forest. Adivasi means the original owner of India, and Vanavasi means people who live in the Jangal. There cannot be a bigger insult than this. We consider you Adivasi. Based on this, the Congress party passed the Tribal Bill, Land Acquisition Bill, and PESA Act, returned your land to you, and gave you rights in the Jangal because we consider you Adivasis. They say you are Vanavasi, so stay in Jangal. We won’t give you the right to the Jal, Jangal, and Zameen. Gradually, they will take away the Jangal from you. One day will come when you won’t see the Jangal in Hindustan. Then they will say to you that you are Vanavasi, but there is no forest, so go do labor, beg, and die of hunger. There is a difference between these two words.’

He also addressed the discrimination between the rich and the poor in India. Rahul Gandhi criticized the policies of the BJP government and mentioned the caste-based census. He stated, ‘In India, your population is around 8 percent, and in Madhya Pradesh, it is 24 percent. Among the owners of the 200 big companies in India, you will not find a single Adivasi owner. Make a list of media owners and big anchors, you will not find a single Adivasi. Ninety people run the government of India, they decide the entire budget. Out of these 90, only one officer is Adivasi. If the government of India spends 100 rupees, then only 10 paise worth of decisions is taken by the Adivasi officer. One or two percent of people have captured entire India. Adani takes away your land here, runs apple orchards in Himachal, operates the airport in Mumbai, holds all the ports of India, does mining, and owns food storage. They do everything, and you keep watching. You go to school and college, study, and when the time comes to get a job, they say there is no employment. You got a certificate, but you won’t get employment because Modi Ji closed all small businesses with demonetization and GST. This needs to change. The first step is the caste-based census. We will do this as soon as we come to power.’

Speaking about the farmers’ interests, the Congress leader once again expressed his support for their demands. He said, ‘We want Samajik Nyay, Arthik Nyay, and Kisan Nyay in this country. Farmers have asked for only one thing – MSP. The BJP government says they won’t give it. They waived off 16 lakh crore rupees of 100 corporates, but they can’t waive off the debt of farmers. If our government is formed, the first decision will be a caste-based census, and the second decision will be a legal guarantee of MSP for farmers. We want to do this, and I just want to say that we support you. If you support us, stand with us, whatever you want from us, we are ready to do it. The fight for Jal, Jangal, and Zameen is our fight. We will fight it together and win.’

Following this address, the Nyay Yatra embarked on its yatra to Ratlam, India. In Ratlam, Rahul Gandhi led a vibrant roadshow where a multitude of people marched alongside the Nyay Yatra. The streets buzzed with anticipation as everyone sought a glimpse of the Congress leader, eager to hear his words. During this roadshow, the Congress leader engaged with the crowd, delving into discussions about the Paanch Nyay upheld by the Congress Party – Naari Nyay, Kisan Nyay, Sharmik Nyay, Yuva Nyay, and Bhagidaari Nyay. The crowd warmly welcomed the Nyay Yatra, embracing the speeches with unwavering enthusiasm. Post-address, the convoy of the Nyay Yatra set its course towards the camp.

After this address, the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra set off for Ratlam. The yatra will enter Rajasthan tomorrow morning, and by afternoon, it will enter Gujarat.

“Any individual in the country who feels subjected to injustice, experiencing any form of unfair treatment, holds the potential to transform into a Nyay Yoddha. If you harbour the aspiration to become a Nyay Yoddha, give a missed call at 9891802024.”

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