Thousands of Vanvasis from all parts of Chhattisgarh reached Raipur and participated in a huge rally organised to press the government for the strict implementation of Section 170 (B) of Chhattisgarh Land Revenue Code 1959, return of Vanvasi land that is in possession of non-Vanvasis and to delete the names of those people from the list of Scheduled Tribes who have been converted to other religion. The rally was organised by Janajati Suraksha Manch.
Leading Vanvasi leaders from across Chhattisgarh and other parts of the country addressed the huge public meeting at Sapre School ground in Raipur and called for Vanvasi resurrection to reclaim their lost land.
Addressing the meeting, former Union Minister Kariya Munda came down heavily on Christian missionaries. He said that people should understand the real intention behind the conversion activities of missionaries and added that their aim is to divide the country into three parts. Shri Munda further added that missionaries are trying to have a separate state spreading from Kamrup to Kutch, which is predominantly inhabited by Vanvasis. Citing the clause in which a person belonging to a Scheduled Caste (SC) had to forfeit all benefits after religious conversion, Shri Munda said that similar case is not with Scheduled Tribes (STs). Keeping this in view, he exhorted the Vanvasis to start a mass movement to have a similar clause.
The Member of Parliament from Sarguja and senior Vanvasi leader Shri Nand Kumar Sai also took strong exception over the conversion activities of the missionaries and said that an Indian needs no religious preacher to understand religion.
In his address Shri Sai said that India has been worlds'sguru in terms of religious teaching. So people from other countries need not teach us what dharma is. He called upon the Vanvasis to unite and fight against conversion.
Speaking on the occasion, national convener, Janajati Suraksha Manch, Shri Moren Singh Purty said that it was cultural invasion by others that forced Vanvasis to come to street. He made it clear that such invasion on culture would not be tolerated.
Speaking on the occasion MP from Bastar, Shri Bali Ram Kashyap said that conversion is the biggest threat to Vanvasi society. He called upon the Vanvasis to unite and fight against conversion.
Shri Murarilal Singh, state convener Janajati Suraksha Manch, Chhattisgarh, informed that the Manch was basically constituted to take up the problems faced by Vanvasis and added that the Manch would organise a mass movement for securing the Vanvasi rights.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Shri Prem Singh Marko and Shri Narendra Das Shastri.
Before the public meeting, Vanvasis took out three processions in Raipur. Since morning Vanvasis had started reaching from the far-off places like Sarguja, Jashpur, Bastar, Dantewada and other districts. Later, Janjati Suraksha Manch submitted a memorandum to Governor and Chief Minister.