Way of ballot better than bullet: VP Naidu at Adivasi Mahotsav

New Delhi: The Vice President, M Venkaiah Naidu called for active participation from all sections of the society for preservation and promotion of tribal culture.

Addressing the ‘Adivasi Mahotsav 2020’ at Ramnagar, in Madhya Pradesh today the Vice President said that tribal communities represent the ancient culture and values of India.

Naidu expressed his deep concern over the fact that around 250 languages have disappeared in the last 50 years and most of these extinct languages belonged to tribal communities. He urged the universities to preserve and promote tribal culture. “When a language dies, it symbolises the downfall of a culture, a civilisation, a creative tradition,” he said.

Naidu stated that preservation of tribal culture was not the responsibility of the Government alone. He exhorted the country’s youth to care for India’s tribal history and heritage.

Expressing happiness that National Tribal University in Amarkantak has become functional, VP urged scholars to conduct research on tribal languages, literature, folk songs, and crafts.

“We should include the traditional tribal knowledge in our intellectual and academic discourse else these knowledge systems may go extinct in future,” he said.

Bringing out the relevance of tribal way of life, the Vice President said that while the world is beset by the problems such as global warming, climate change and increased frequency of natural disasters, tribal communities can show us the path toward sustainable development.

Naidu appreciated tribal communities for respecting nature and keeping harmonious relations with their environment and all living beings. Calling these as the great characteristics of the tribal cultures, the Vice President said that the world can learn a lot from these communities. “Mindless exploitation of nature will lead to disastrous consequences,” he added.

Naidu further said that even while preserving their unique lifestyle and culture, the tribals should be made equal partners in India’s development journey. There is a need for constant and constructive dialogue between the administration and local communities, he added.

Highlighting that violence is not a solution, the Vice President said that left-wing extremism has not solved any problems and way of the ballot is better than that of the bullet.

Citing various constitutional provisions for the welfare of tribal areas, he called the development of our tribal communities a prerequisite for inclusive development.

Citing various Government schemes for the welfare of tribal communities such as Van Bandhu Kalyan Yojana and minimum support price (MSP) for forest produce, Naidu expressed happiness over the recent announcement by the President for setting up of 400 new Eklavya schools.

Naidu expressed deep concern at the lower than average literacy rates among the tribal communities and appealed to them to send their children to schools. He specifically asked everyone to send their daughters to schools and turn ‘Beti Bachao -Beti Padhao’ into a successful movement.

Emphasising the need for the promotion of entrepreneurship among the tribal youth, Naidu opined that linking the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (TRIFED) with the wide marketing network of Khadi and Village Industries Commission would provide access to a larger market for tribal handicrafts. He also suggested giving a further push to online marketing of tribal products.

The Vice President expressed satisfaction that in this year’s Padma awards the Government recognised people who dedicated their lives for the enrichment and promotion of tribal culture and the welfare of tribal communities.

Mentioning various tribal struggles and movements such as Munda revolt, Santhal revolt, the Vice President said that tribal communities were the first to wage war of independence against colonial exploitation and oppression.

“Heroes such as Birsa Munda, Sidhu, Kanhu and Rani Avantibai are an inspiration for all and their life stories should be taught to children in our schools and only then our history would be complete and inclusive,” Naidu suggested.

Union Minister of State for Tourism and Culture, Prahlad Singh Patel, Union Minister of State for Steel, Faggan Singh Kulaste, Union Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Renuka Singh and representatives from the area were among the dignitaries who graced the occasion.


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