Jharkhand, deny food rations to poor tribal Christians

In September 13, families did not receive the benefits they are entitled to. The rations canceled because Christians did not want to pay the fee for a Hindu festival. Sajan K George: "These policies want to divide tribals."

Ranchi (AsiaNews) - In a small village in Jharkhand, food rations to 13 poor tribal families have been denied only because they are Christian. This is a complaint to AsiaNews Sajan K George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (Gcic). He complains that in the Indian state, "the right of the poor to food has been denied, utilizing the policies of conversion. The social boycott of people in extreme need is not just a question of human rights or a religious affair, but it wounds the soul of the individual deep inside. "

The case occurred in the village of Rehaladag, in the administrative committee of Pasarar, district of Latehar. It is a small town of nearly 100 houses where tribal tribes live in different ethnicities: Thakur, Sondik, Sa, Uroon and Bhuyian.

The families in question are of Uroon and Bhuyian origin and converted to Christianity. They are holding a food card granted by the state to the deprived persons. Christians report that the problems started in September when the villagers asked them to pay a "fee" of 551 rupees [7 euro, ed ] to finance the Hindu festival of Durga Puja. Following their rejection, it was decided that Christians will no longer receive the government subsidies they are entitled to under the extreme conditions of their indigence.

Interviewed by BBC , Vinay, the official in charge of the destruction of food rations, said he had "received a written order with the ban on giving food to those who became Christian." When asked to clarify who had received the order, he replied: "From all 20 people involved in the distribution."

In Jharkhand tribes account for 26.2% of the population. Of these, about 4.5% are Christians. Sajan K George complains that the conversion of tribals has become the source of their social discrimination. "To give a religious connotation to food subsidies," he says, "is a discreet discrimination that wants to create division and enemies among tribal groups. This is bad for the tribes themselves. On the contrary, it is necessary that they remain united and not get rid of politics because of their conversion. " In his view, "tribals must remain united to fight against acts that threaten their future, such as amendments to the Land Acquisition Act ." Even the new anti-conversion lawconcludes, "wants to polarize them. Instead they have to resist the divisive forces that want to weaken them. "