Tuesday, April 13, 2021
Home Government and Policy Union government approves granting of ST status to 6 OBC communities in Assam

Union government approves granting of ST status to 6 OBC communities in Assam

The decision will turn Assam into a tribal dominated state.

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh announced today that the union cabinet has approved the demand of six communities in Assam to be granted Scheduled Tribe (ST) status. He said that the government has adopted a draft bill for the same, which will be tabled by the Tribal Affairs minister in the parliament during the current session.

On 7th January 2019, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) accepted the proposal of the Assam government to award ST status to six communities in the state. The Koch Rajbongshi, Sutiya, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom and Tea Tribes are listed as OBCs at present, and they are demanding ST status for a long time. Following the clearance from NCST, the union government decided to go ahead with the next step in granting the ST status.

Before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, BJP had promised the six communities that if it comes to power, it will take steps in granting ST status to them. After BJP won the elections and formed the government, they had started the process of the same. After BJP formed the state government in Assam in 2016, the home ministry had formed a committee to recommend the modalities to grant the ST status.

Although the government had planned to grant the ST status before Assam elections in 2016, they could not do that due to the complexities involved. For example, the tea tribe does not refer to a single tribal, it consists of as many as 96 communities working in tea gardens. There was also opposition from the existing communities in the ST category, launching counter-agitations against the proposal. They felt that inclusion of new communities in ST category will hamper the existing Scheduled Tribes. Due to these reasons, the proposal got delayed. The delay had also prompted the six communities to re-start their agitations in support of their demand.

While clearing the proposal, NCST has asked the state government to revise the quantum of reservation for OBCs and STs, so that the interests of the existing STs can be protected. It is expected that the reservation for OBCs will be reduced while the same for STs will be increased, to accommodate the new communities under ST category.

Among the six communities, the Koch Rajbongshis have been the most vocal in the demand, and they are also demanding a separate state for them named Kamatapur, comprising the adjoining parts of Assam and West Bengal. Most people of this community are located in the districts of western Assam. The people of Sutiya, Moran, Matak, Tai Ahom communities are mostly concentrated in Eastern Assam. While the people of Tea Tribes are scattered across the state in various tea estates, which includes Santhals and other communities traditionally working in tea gardens.

Among the six, three communities were rulers in the state in past. The Tai-Ahoms ruled over the Ahom Kingdom for 600 years in Assam, while the rulers of the Kamata kingdom belonged to Koch Rajbongshi community, known as the Koch dynasty. The Sutiya kingdom was located on eastern Assam, and lasted almost 500 years.

Granting the Scheduled Tribe status to the six communities will mean that more than 50 percent population in the state will be tribal, making Assam a tribal dominated state. It will also increase the number of assembly constituencies reserved for ST candidates. At present, 16 out of 126 seats are reserved for 126, which may increase considerably after the expansion of ST category. This will also have an impact on the issue of illegal immigrants from Bangladesh in the state. One of the fears about rising number of Bengali Muslims from the neighbouring country is that they will gain political power by electing their own representatives. The areas where most Bengali Muslims live overlap with the area dominated by the six communities. When assembly seats in that places will be reserved for STs, that fear will go away in that places.

After the hostilities BJP is facing in Assam due to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, this announcement is expected to bring some relief to the party and the government in the state. The support of these communities will be crucial in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

Related Articles

Trending now

Uttar Pradesh: Gyanvapi mosque management committee seeks a stay on ASI survey, Sunni board supports them

The Gyanvapi mosque management committee had filed an urgent petition in Allahabad High Court seeking a stay on ASI survey of Gyanvapi mosque complex.

Maharashtra: Viral video shows corpses of Covid patients wrapped in garbage bag and polythene being taken for cremation

One of the corpses had a black garbage bag taped over it while the face was wrapped in a polythene bag.

Pfizer wanted Brazil, Argentina to put military bases, Federal reserve as collateral: Why India kept Pfizer away and how the usual suspects are wrong

Pfizer has been accused of countries in Latin America of pledging their sovereign assets, military bases and financial reserves to protect itself from any adverse fallout of the vaccine

OpIndia Exclusive: Tata Communications suffers data leak, hackers claim to have sold access to company’s servers, over 50GB data still up for sale

As per two posts by hackers on a hackers' forum, they have gained access to Tata Communications servers and sold them.

‘Victim card’: Netizens react as ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqui vows to quit social media, political jokes

Munawar Faruqui has now announced that he would quit making political jokes and leave social media platforms.

While opposition leaders claim credit for Sputnik-V vaccine approval, here’s how it is the latest step in a process that began in Sep 2020

The approval for Sputnik-V vaccine today has suddenly given some people cause to fall prey to their own false notions.

Recently Popular

Pfizer wanted Brazil, Argentina to put military bases, Federal reserve as collateral: Why India kept Pfizer away and how the usual suspects are wrong

Pfizer has been accused of countries in Latin America of pledging their sovereign assets, military bases and financial reserves to protect itself from any adverse fallout of the vaccine

After explosive Clubhouse confessions, Prashant Kishor starts building ground to blame only Mamata Banerjee if Bengal is lost: Here’s how

While trying to fire-fight fall-out from Clubhouse conversation, Prashant Kishor has set narrative to blame Mamata Banerjee and TMC for West Bengal loss

Attempts to draw false equivalence between the Kumbh Mela and Tablighi Jamaat congregation do not make sense: Here’s why

Attempts are being made to draw false equivalences between the Kumbh Mela and the Tablighi Jamaat congregation last year.

Shops burnt, stones pelted on police in Baran, Rajasthan after 3 Muslim men stabbed one Kamal Singh: What we know so far

Shops burnt, police personnel injured, stone pelting, fire department vehicles attacked in Chhabra, Rajasthan.

‘Victim card’: Netizens react as ‘comedian’ Munawar Faruqui vows to quit social media, political jokes

Munawar Faruqui has now announced that he would quit making political jokes and leave social media platforms.
- Advertisement -

 

Connect with us

254,077FansLike
528,725FollowersFollow
24,200SubscribersSubscribe