People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 39

September 27, 2009



DYFI Organises All India Tribal Youth Convention


JHARKHAND is the land of great Santal revolt and Ulgulan. Under the leadership of great heroes of history like Sido-Kanho, Chand-Bharaw, Birsa Munda, Fulo-Jhano, Nilamber-Pitamber, several great struggles against British rule and local landlords were fought. Even before the first independence movement of India in 1857, the land of Jharkhand had witnessed the great peasantry movement, the Santal Hull. In this land of several great struggles, DYFI, the largest youth organisation of India organised its third all India tribal youth convention demanding employment and development on September 12-13, 2009 at Birsa Munda Nagar (Ranchi), the capital city of Jharkhand.

 A colourful rally exhibiting the cultural heritage of Jharkhand with thousands of youth from all over India and several parts of Jharkhand, was organised on the first day of the convention. Later, DYFI�s all India president P Sreeramakrishnan hoisted the DYFI flag and paid tributes to the martyrs and then the open session began in Gossner Theological Hall. Dr Satyanarayan Munda, president of the reception committee warmly welcomed the delegates and participants. Ravindra Nath Hembrom, minister of Forest and Welfare, government of West Bengal, inaugurated the convention. Addressing the open session, he said that there is about 9 crore tribal population in India comprising 60 percent of only youth. Even after 62 years of independence, still they are far away from the socio-economic and political development. The governments are not providing even the basic requirements to this community. There are thousands of vacant posts for Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in India but the government has failed to give them employment. Further, he added that the education ratio of tribals is too low. The Left Front led West Bengal government has distributed land among the tribes, dalits and Minorities by implementing Land Reform Act and due to this policy, not a single tribe in West Bengal is landless. He called for a big struggle for implementation of Land Reform Act to distribute land among the tribals and other deprived people.

Participating in the open session, prominent writer Ramnika Gupta quoted that tribes were the first to fight against the British rule but these facts of history are not brought out. Tribes are always treated as neglected community and now the conspiracy is going on to demolish there cultural identity. So, it is a must for the tribal people to identify their friends and enemies. Addressing the session, CPI(M)�s Jharkhand state secretary, Jnansankar Majumdar emphasised the fact that after the formation of Jharkhand state, the attack on the rights of tribals has increased despite the truth that all the chief ministers of Jharkhand were tribals. Jharkhand is still waiting for holding panchayat elections according to the  provisions of PESA Act. According to the Forest Right Act 2006, not a single family from the tribal community owns the forest land allotted by the government. The land of Ranchi Airport is the example of historical injustice on the tribal people. This land was occupied temporarily by the British rulers during the period of Second World War. But still this land has not been returned back to those it belonged. He warned that the identity of Jharkhand will be annihilated if the tribes are destroyed.

 All India general secretary of DYFI, Tapas Sinha said that during the period of 62 years of independence, the Congress party has ruled for more than 50 years but there is no change in the situation of education, employment and development among the tribals due to its anti tribal policies. So, to change the situation, he called on the tribal youth to organise and intensify the struggle on their issues.

DYFI�s all India president, P Sreeramkrishnan presided over the open session and Suknath Lohra, president of Jharkhand state committee gave the vote of thanks. Central treasurer of DYFI, Pushpendra Tyagi, ex MLA, and veteran leader of Jharkhand, Rajendra Singh Munda, Sanjay Paswan, Suresh Munda, Tapas Dutta, Abhay Mukherjee, Suresh Soi, Prafull Linda, Prakash Toppo, Subhash Munda were present on the dais.

The delegate session started on the same day at HRDC Hall. A five member presidium comprising P Sreeramkrishnan, Radhacharan Devverma, Sukhnath Lohra, Paresh Hansda, Jeevlata Devverma  presided over the convention. Tapas Sinha presented the convention report which noted that the problems and struggle of tribal youth is a part of wide spread democratic movement and so it becomes necessary to raise the specific issues of tribal youth jointly with the struggle of other deprived sections to move forward. It was also noted in the report that the tribes are the most vulnerable section of our society, the policy of providing them reservation in education and jobs was accepted by the Indian government. When India became independent, our government had got the recommendation, from the committee headed by Dr B R Ambedkar, which (Article 16(4)) provide reservation for SCs and STs without any condition.  Apart from the reservation, many other special components have been announced by both central and state governments. Article 46 of our constitution provides the state to promote with special care the educational and economic interests of the weaker sections of our society particularly that of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes and shall protect them from social injustice and all forms of exploitation. Even after 62 years of our independence, our country is lagging behind in fulfilling the constitutional obligation for the upliftment of this particular section. As per the statistics made available by the government, 47 per cent tribes in rural India and 40 per cent in urban India are below poverty line. Till 2006, the infant mortality rate of tribes was 83 per cent. This is significantly higher than other disadvantaged sections. 55.6 per cent of tribal children are under weight. More than 40 per cent of tribal students drop out in primary school itself and the dropout at elementary education level is more than 62 per cent. In the age group of 15-40 years, 79 per cent of tribal women remain illiterate. Many tribal areas including  Jharkhand, are worst affected by starvation deaths.


The report further noted that many organisations are working among tribes which are creating non-political environment to push them back. They are promoting individualist culture. On the other side RSS related organisations are conspiring to divide them on religious and ethnic lines in order to cut them from the main stream of democratic mass struggle. Terrorist groups are also approaching tribal youth to confuse them.  To fight against these challenges, the democratic youth movement inheriting the legacy  of Sido-Kanho and Birsa Munda would intensify the struggles in the days to come.

On the second day of the convention, 19 delegates from 18 states took part in the discussion on the report and enriched the report with their suggestions. The report was adopted and passed unanimously. The delegates were later divided into five commissions- situation of tribes and development, central government schemes related to tribes, education system and culture of tribes, displacement and Forest Right Act 2006. They held detailed discussions and made suggestions to the convention on the related issues.

Addressing the delegate session, former leader of DYFI and Forest, Industry and Rural Development minister of Tripura government, Jiten Choudhary said that there is no tribe in Tripura that is landless because of the effective implementation of land reforms in Tripura. There is free education facility in their mother language which resulted in development among these sections. It is a fact that in spite of a tribal chief minister in Jharkand, during the period of BJP led NDA and Congress led UPA governments, the tribes are yet very far away from development. He said the anti tribal policies of the government should be fought by uniting the entire tribal youth on their issues.

A delegation would meet the prime minister with the demand charter consisting of 12 issues passed by the convention. It was also decided to observe the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda on November 15 and the martyrdom day of Sido-Kanho on  June 30 at the all India level.

          An all India tribal sub committee with 21 members  was formed  and Pranav Devverma, MLA from Tripura was elected as convener and Sukhnath Lohra from Jharkhand as co- convener.