In a passionate address to tribal communities during his visit to Wayanad, senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi championed the cause of Adivasi rights and criticized the use of the term “Vanvasi” to describe them. Gandhi expressed his concern over the distortion of Adivasi history and traditions and pledged the Congress party’s unwavering support for their rightful place in society.
During his first visit to Wayanad after the restoration of his Lok Sabha membership, Rahul Gandhi underscored the fact that tribal communities are the original owners of the land. He condemned the practice of labeling them as “Vanvasis,” a term that confines them to jungles and restricts their opportunities. Gandhi called out the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) for using this term and accused them of attempting to limit Adivasis’ potential.
Gandhi engaged with tribal communities in Rajasthan and highlighted the ideological struggle between using the term “Adivasi” and “Vanvasi” in the country. He asserted that the term “Adivasi” signifies their integral connection to the land and environment, respecting their historical ownership. He argued that Adivasis possess a unique wisdom and understanding of the earth, which should be acknowledged and celebrated.
The former Congress president expressed his belief that the original landowners deserve rights to both land and forests. He stressed that these rights should empower Adivasi children to pursue education, careers, and ventures of their choice, without being confined by categorizations. Gandhi’s address underscored the importance of inclusivity, ensuring that all opportunities are accessible to Adivasi communities.
Furthermore, Gandhi highlighted the longstanding conservation efforts of Adivasis, which predate current environmental discourse by thousands of years. He acknowledged their wisdom in preserving and respecting the environment and encouraged learning from their traditions and way of life.
Speaking at the inauguration of a high-tension electricity line at the Dr Ambedkar Memorial District Cancer Centre at the Government Tribal Hospital in Nalloornadu, Gandhi allocated ₹50 lakh from his MPLAD fund for the project. He expressed hope that this new electricity line would alleviate the power cut issues faced by the hospital, ultimately benefiting patients and medical staff.
Gandhi extended gratitude to the people of Wayanad for their unwavering support during his period of disqualification. He expressed his strong connection with the people of Wayanad, transcending political affiliations, and referred to them as part of his extended family.
Rahul Gandhi’s renewed focus on Adivasi rights comes after his recent restoration of Lok Sabha membership on August 7, following a Supreme Court stay on his conviction in a defamation case. The Congress leader’s visit to Wayanad reaffirmed his commitment to advocating for marginalized communities and upholding their rightful place in society.
Sources By Agencies