It is well known that RSS has always been calling Adivasis as Vanvasis (forest dwellers) instead of Adivasis. There is a great trick behind this which needs to be understood.
Who are the Tribals?
It is known to all that there are different communities living in our country who have their own religions and different identities. Adivasis, who are called Scheduled Tribes in the Constitution, are also a separate community, which has its own religion, its own gods and goddesses and a distinct culture. At the international level, they are also called Indigenous People. They have different geographical regions and have different identities.
Tribal Area in our Constitution
In our constitution too, these geographical areas have been called Tribal Areas and there is a provision for a separate administrative system for them. Under this system, the administrative system of these areas is not under the Chief Minister of the State, but directly under the Governor and the President, for whose assistance there is a Tribal Area Council, which has a separate structure. There is also Schedule V and VI of the Constitution to protect their rights.
What is PESA?
In these areas, instead of the general Panchayat Raj system at the village level, there is a special Gram Panchayat system called Panchayats (Extension to Scheduled Areas Act, 1996) i.e. PESA and this is the traditional Gram Panchayat system for Gram Swaraj. In this, the panchayat has the right over all the natural resources/minerals in the panchayat and the profit from them can be spent only on the development of the village. But this is a conspiracy of the governments of different political parties, under which this system has been implemented in only a few Tribal areas.
Tribal areas are being exploited by implementing general administration system in most of the areas, for opposing which tribals are being killed. Those areas are not being developed intentionally and Tribals are being displaced for exploitation of minerals. Tribal lands are being got vacated and given on lease to various corporates and minerals are being exploited indiscriminately. As a result, the entire Trribal area is in the grip of exploitation and government terror.
Apart from this, it is also noteworthy that Dalits and Adivasis have been listed as Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in our Constitution. Apart from political reservation, they have been given reservations in government services and education. In our census too, their sub-caste-wise enumeration is done separately.
Apart from this, the Hindu Marriage Act and the Hindu Succession Act also do not apply to Tribals. For these reasons, the tribal community has its own separate religion, separate gods and goddesses, separate rituals, and separate culture.
Hindutva model of RSS and hatred of Tribals
For the reasons mentioned above, the RSS calls Adivasis Vanvasis (forest dwellers) instead of Adivasis, because calling them Adivasis would create a compulsion to consider themselves as Aryans and Adivasis as non-Aryans (natives). This will destroy the Hindutva model of the RSS which talks about Integralism. That is why the RSS is constantly engaged in Hinduizing the Tribals. In this, they have also got success in some areas in which they are used to attack and harass non-Hindus. It is also a fact that Christian missionaries have also Christianized some Tribals, but they have not used them to attack non-Christian people.
The main aim of the RSS is to call the Tribals Vanvasi instead of Adivasi and to Hinduize them, to pull them into the model of Hindutva and to use them to suppress non-Hindus. Along with this, to stop their conversion, they resort to stopping them by making anti-conversion laws, while our Constitution gives the right to religious freedom to all citizens.
In many states, Christianized Tribals are being forced to return home and converted into Hindus. On the other hand, RSS has started the Hinduization of tribal children by setting up single-teacher schools in tribal areas where “Jai Shriram” slogan and establishment of Ram as a deity is being introduced. Apart from this, RSS has already been Hinduizing tribal children by running many Vanvasi Kalyan Ashrams. With the establishment of BJP governments in many states of the country, this process has become even faster. That is why the Tribals must understand the trick of RSS to Hinduize them by calling them Vanvasis and fighting to save their identity, their religion, and their culture.
SR Darapuri, National President, All India Peoples Front