The Kamal Nath government is often in the news for all the wrong reasons and has stoked yet another controversy as Bhil tribe termed alcoholic and criminal-minded in the Madhya Pradesh Public Service Commission (MPPSC), forcing CM Kamal Nath to order probe into the matter after outrage from both within the party and the opposition.
The question paper states that one of the main reasons for the economic disasters of the Bhils is excess spending on alcohol, adding that “Bhil is a tribe that is drowning in the bottomless ocean of liquor.”
The paper also described the tribe’s people as daily labourers in farms, in animal husbandry and involved in selling of wild commodities. They also work as construction labourers in cities to earn a living, the paper said. To add insult to injury, one of the questions, based on a passage on the tribe, read: “The primary reason for the criminal nature of Bhils is”, with the four options as “inability to pay liabilities”, “working with honesty”, “carrying out immoral work” and “migrating from villages”.
Unsurprisingly, these derogatory remarks created a furore as BJP state Vice-President Rameshwar Sharma has also attacked the Kamal Nath government and said that the MPPSC question paper is an insult to the Bhil tribe.”Kamal Nath now thinks that this community, which played an important role in India’s struggle for independence, is an alcoholic and criminal one? Drunk on power, the Congress government has been repeatedly insulting our tribal brothers,” Rameshwar Sharma said.
Kamal Nath wasn’t even spared from within the party as Congress leader Digvijay Singh’s brother, Laxman Singh, has demanded an apology from the chief minister in the matter. “I am hurt by the indecent remarks by the state government on the Bhil tribe. The concerned officer must be punished, but, the Chief Minister should also apologise in the house,” Laxman Singh tweeted.
Seeing the uproar, Kamal Nath took to Twitter and claimed: “In my lifetime, I have always respected and honoured tribals and Bhils. For this condemnable act, those responsible should surely be punished, so that it is not repeated in the future.”
This nothing but an insult to the tribal community and only exposes the party’s hypocrisy as the INC on one hand in Jharkhand wants to be perceived as the party who always protects the interests of the tribals whereas in Madhya Pradesh, they are openly insulted under the party’s rule. A special probe on the matter is required to ensure that such a contentious and hateful remark is not made ever again against any community or tribe.