‘Hard physical labour is an important component of Banjara tradition'

Agrahara Krishnamurthy, Secretary of the Central Sahitya Akademi, has said that Gorboli (Banjara) should be included in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution.

He was speaking at the two-day convention on ‘Banjara Language and Culture', organised by the Akademi and the Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP) of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU). Mr. Krishnamurthy said that 24 languages had been listed by the Akademi as priority languages for study, including Gorboli (Banjara).

Vimala Thorat, academic, and writer-activist Motiraj Rathod emphasised the need to see Banjara language within the matrix of the cultural, social, economic and political life of the community, and not in isolation.

Mr. Rathod said that hard physical labour forms an important component of the Banjara tradition. Banjaras are divided among different States into different identities, he said, adding that while they are categorised as Scheduled Caste in some States, they are Scheduled Tribe in others.

S. Japhet, Director of CSSEIP, said that marginalised communities such as the Banjara community, being one of the largest nomadic communities in the country, need to be studied more closely.

Thirty scholars will present papers on Sunday.