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Sikkim, Darj MPs puts major points on tribal status of 12 Gorkha communities, strongly demands tribal status

Sikkim lone member of parliament, Indra Hang Subba along with Darjeeling MPs (LS and RS) Shanta Chettri and Raju Bista puts strong points in regard to inclusion of 12 Gorkha Communities tribal status.

During the winter session 2022 of the Lok Shaba and Rajya Sabha precedings all the three MPs extended their support for the bill proposing tribal status for communities of 4 diffrent states.

MP (LS) Darjeeling Raju Bista mentioned reasons to support his stand on 12 gorkha communities tribal status, “As people have already been referring to the 11 communities that were left out as outsiders or citizens of Nepal, grant them tribal status so that they won’t have to deal with the label of alien in their own country.” Bista said

“Don’t grant them tribal status in order to get them into college , but assist them declare that they are Indian citizens, not outsiders or foreigners.”

In addition, Bista set demand that the central government should immediately restore tribal recognition of the 11 Gorkha subtribes

Similarly, Shanta Chettri, MP Darjeeling Rajya Sabha said, “Under the leadership of PM, Union Cabinet this year allowed various communities from 4 states to be included as tribal community as per the constitution except Gorkha Communities”

“Centre established 3 committee to include left out Gorkha communities to provide them a tribal status yet it feels like centre is just trying to avoid the inclusion of left out gorkha communities” she added

“Whenever questions is asked regarding inclusion of left out communities, centre always says that state and RGI has to produce documents, if that’s the case so why did centre constitutes 3 committees?” Questioned Chettri

Pointing on the same direction, Sikkim lone MP Indra Hang Subba stated, ” I support the tribal status bill of the proposed four states, with that I would like to bring to the notice that, even in Sikkim just like the communities who have been recently included in the list of ST there are 12 communites which are yet to get listed into. When Sikkim was merged in 1975. Out of three major communities two major communities Lepcha And Bhutia was enlisted likewise in the year 2003 Limbu and Tamang were also enlisted. However there are still 12 communities who share a similar kind of tribal tray as the rest of the tribal communities in Sikkim and have been demanding inclusion”

“I’d also like to bring into notice that get tribal status is not just to bring justice in terms of socio economic aspect of the communities, infact it is important in terms of identity of the community. The government of India must have a policy and promote it in the regional universities to develop these languages for the future generations to come. I being the lone MP from my state would like to request the centre to consider inclusion of 12 Gorkha Communities” he concluded

Earlier on December 1 Lok Sabha issued a general Information relating to Parliamentary and other matters for the “Process to submit notice and procedure for raising Matters of Urgent Public Importance during ‘Zero Hour’” in which the four states i.e. Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh submitted bills for revision in list of Scheduled Tribes. In case of 12 left out communities the bill couldn’t be processed, as before any placing bill in the house in regard with tribal status the state government has to get clearance from the office of Registrar General & Census Commissioner. However the 12 Gorkha Communities failed to get clearance.

Previously in the year 2014, Sikkim submitted its ethnographic report for the mandatory process, in reply Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India claimed 12 communities, Thami, Bahun, Chhetri, Sanyasi (Jogi), Newar, Kirat Khambu Rai, Kirat Diwan, Sunuwar, Gurung, Mangar and Bhujel as ‘eleven communities have social structure akin to the Caste Hindus occupying comparatively higher rank in caste hierarchy’ and denied the clearance.

“The analysis conclude that the members of eleven communities have social structure akin to the Caste Hindus occupying comparatively higher rank in caste hierarchy. The communities viz. Rai, Yakkha, Sunuwar, Mangar, Gurung and Bhujel are descendants from Kirati group like the ST’s of Sikkim. But with the passage of time and due to their close interaction with Caste Hindus they have imbibed all the elements of the caste system under the process of enculturation and acculturation. They have been engaged in diversified economic activities viz. trade, transport, public administration, military services etc along with their traditional occupation since long which has not only enhanced their social mobility but also has established inter-community linkages.” Reads reply of Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India

“The distribution of communities based on religion in several divisions of Sikkim during the census years 1881-1921 shows that there were no Animists i.e. follower of primitive/tribal religion in Sikkim. Thus the said communities do not fulfil the criterin set forth for granting the status of the Schedule Tribe. In view of the above facts, this office is constrained not to support the proposal for inclusion of Thami, Bahun, Chhetri, Sanyasi (Jogi), Newar, Kirat Khambu Rai, Kirat Diwan, Sunuwar, Gurung, Mangar and Bhujel in the ST’s list of Sikkim.” Added the report

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