Ganmukti Parishad (GMP), the tribal wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPI(M)], has vehemently opposed the planned rally by Janajati Suraksha Manch (JSM) in Tripura. The RSS-backed JSM is advocating for the withdrawal of Scheduled Tribe (ST) status from those tribals who have converted to Christianity. GMP state president Naresh Jamatia dismissed the rally’s agenda as a communal appeal, emphasizing that reservation benefits are not determined by religion.
RSS-Backed Rally Faces Resistance
The GMP, known for its historical role in countering the outlawed National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) during the 1990s, expressed its commitment to upholding secular values. The opposition to the JSM rally is grounded in the belief that withdrawing ST status based on religious conversion would be a detrimental and misguided step.
Reservation Benefits and Communal Harmony
Naresh Jamatia stressed that reservation benefits are not granted on the grounds of religion. He cautioned against the potentially disastrous consequences of withdrawing such benefits, citing the reduction of tribal identity and the denial of proportional representation in various sectors.
Historical Secular Stand
Highlighting the GMP’s history, particularly its fight against religious restrictions imposed by the NLFT, Jamatia reiterated the organization’s dedication to secular principles. He emphasized the importance of preserving communal harmony and secularism in the region.
Parallel with Manipur Situation
Drawing parallels with the communal strife in Manipur, Jamatia pointed out the prolonged suffering faced by the people in the neighboring state due to communal polarisation. The reference to Manipur underscores the potential dangers and repercussions of religiously motivated actions, reflecting the GMP’s stance on maintaining peace and harmony.
The opposition by the CPI(M)’s tribal wing reinforces the significance of secular values and the potential consequences of religiously driven initiatives, as the communal landscape in Tripura faces a contentious situation.