The Golden Jubilee Workers Sammelan of Kalyan Ashram wants that the Central and state governments, historians, scholars and educational institutions across the country should provide due place to all freedom fighters, martyrs, saints and social reformers from the Vanvasi communities. ?Their works, lives and contribution should be recognised and incorporated into textbooks and syllabus of schools and colleges. For this, history needs to be reviewed and re-rewritten after due studies and research work,? said the Sammelan.
In a resolution the Sammelan expressed concern over the displacement of 84.4 lakh Vanvasis due to different government projects and the failure of the government in rehabilitating them. ?Displacement results not only in dismantling of the production system, scattering of kinship system, disruption of traditional structure of authority and solidarity, it also leads to abandonment of their social and cultural institutions. The Sammelan demands that the government should acquire the minimum land for construction of dams, mines or industries only after consultation with the village Panchayats. The Vanvasis must be provided land for the land taken and representatives of social organisations should also be involved in the process,? the resolution said.
The Sammelan disapproved the constitutional system that says that Scheduled Tribes can belong to any religion. As per the Kerala High Court decision, those who have left the traditions of their ancestors due to conversion, cannot be called Scheduled Tribes. Therefore, the resolution said only the scheduled tribes belonging to Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism should be recognised as Scheduled Tribes. ?Today 18 per cent of the neo-Vanvasis are enjoying 70 per cent benefits of reservation, whereas 72 per cent Vanvasis are getting only 30 per cent benefits of reservation?. The Sammelan demanded that in the Presidential order, specifying the STs in respect of various States/UTs, it should be incorporated that ?no person who has given up Vanvasi faith or faiths and has embraced either Christianity or Islam shall be deemed to be a member of any Scheduled Tribe,? the resolution said.
Demanding immediate ban on illegal conversions going on in Vanvasi areas, the Sammelan called upon the youth to understand the conspiracy behind the conversions and to fight unitedly against it. In another resolution on the problems of north-eastern states the Sammelan demanded immediate scrapping of IMDT Act of Assam, a check on smuggling of weapons and drugs, and enactment of anti-conversion laws in all the states.