Adivasis gained least,lost more- Guha

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 8 (UNI) Adivisis have gained least and lost more during the past 60 years giving opportunity to Maoists to gain space, eminent historian and author of ''India after Gandhi'' Ramachandra Guha said.

The adivasis, he said, were the worst sufferers in comparison to Muslims and Dalits in all spheres of development. They lag behind the Dalits in literacy rate and the percentage of drop out rate.

The BPL rate was higher among the adivasis than the dalits as the Central government and different state governments had failed to honour the Constitutional pledges and provide equal opportunities to them.

Mr Guha warned that the progress of democracy in the country would be undermined if the predicament of the adivasis were not addressed by the political systems and social activists.

He was delivering the memorial lecture at the 75th Birth anniversary of eminent journalist and social activist Pradyumna Bal here today.

Mr Guha said though adivasis constituted eight per cent of the total population they formed 14 per cent of total people displaced for the construction of dams, hydro electric projects and big industries due to the wrong polices of the government.

The political system also discriminate the adivasis as they were confined to specific hilly region had less influence over the electoral politics in comparison to Dalits and Muslims.

As a result of which while the Dalits and the Muslims had a number of leaders to take up their causes, it was not the case with the Adivasis.

The Adivasis, the noted historian said, suffered as the government had failed to honour the constitutional provision to provide them equal opportunities on one hand, while on the other hand the Maoists who moved in later failed to provide any long term solution to them.

Mr Guha said initiatives should be taken at the earliest to solve the predicament of the adivasis otherwise it would undermine the democracy in the country.

Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Vice-Chancellor of Biju Patnaik University of Technology Omkarnath Mohanty recalled the contribution of Mr Bal to the field of Oriya Journalism.

A social activist of Kalahandi district Udit Narayan Pradhan was honoured by the Pradyumna Bal Memorail Trust on this occasion.

UNI

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