Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das has tried to reshape the framework of the state after forming the first majority government in the state. The Bharatiya Janata Party led government in Jharkhand is trying to ensure that the state develops at a rapid pace and naxalism and other problems are sorted out at the earliest. The problem the Jharkhand CM is facing are numerous, ranging from efficient distribution of aids and grants owing to the large tribal population to the lack of proper infrastructure. CM Raghubar Das has tried to change all this with renewed gusto and has proved his capability and efficiency in changing the face of the mineral rich state. With one bold decision after another he has also tried to curb the influence of Christian missionaries operating in the state whose only goal is conversion of the tribal people. He passed the Anti-Conversion bill in the state assembly following which the missionaries and their organisations could be punished for luring people to leave their culture and traditions. In what could be another big news coming from the mineral rich state, Raghubar Das is likely to bring an end to the practice of reservations being granted to the converts.
More than 7 million Scheduled Tribe (ST) population lives in Jharkhand, together they constitute a staggering 26 percent of the total population of the state. The ST population which is yet to join mainstream and is largely dependent on agriculture and other forest related activities. These tribal people are the main target of these conversion agents. The proposed plan will dissuade the tribal population from changing their religion as it would take away the benefits of reservation in education, jobs and other activities from them. This will dampen the spirits of the churches and other missionary organisations operating in the state. These missionary organisations and churches have tried to manipulate and control the tribal population. They are hell bent on conversions and lure the tribals with promises of food, medicine, studies and jobs. The Jharkhand government must work towards preserving these tribes’ indigenous ways of life, their customs and traditions from the clutches of the missionaries. The tribal way of life is diminishing because of the conversions taking place in the state.
According to the new rule if it sees the light of the day, the caste certificates will not be issued to the converts, even the certificates which had been given earlier could also be revoked. The person who wants to get a caste certificate will have to prove that he has not foregone his traditions and family customs. The Jharkhand government took this decision after it got to know that several people had fraudulently taken benefits reserved for ST population after converting to Christianity, both in the state and in India. The background including the custom, traditions, inheritance amongst other things will be scrutinised before issuing a new certificate from now on. A very much needed and welcome move by CM Raghubar Das indeed, this is surely going to break the backbone of the evangelists. Other states too should follow the lead of Jharkhand and should take a few things into consideration if they too are suffering from problems owing to missionary organisations.