Staff Reporter

NEW DELHI: Accusing the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and its affiliated organisations of spreading a hate campaign against Christians in Dang district of Gujarat, an independent citizens inquiry on the upcoming Shabri Kumbh in the small tribal belt has warned of ecological destruction and cultural indoctrination of the tribals.

The report, "Untold Story of Hindukaran (Proselytisation) of Adivasis in Dang, Gujarat,'' was released at a press conference here on Tuesday. Conducted to study the preparations of Shabri Kumbh that is slated to begin on February 11, two fact-finding committees have visited Ahva, Subir, Unai and Saputra to interact with the locals, activists, district authorities and workers of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

Five lakh visitors expected

Expected to witness around five lakh visitors, the Kumbh, notes the report, will not just cause ecological damage but also divide the Dang Adivasis on communal lines.

The committee has supported its argument with a letter written by the Deputy Conservator of Forests to the District Collector, which clearly states that "it would be impossible to protect the forests when large number of people congregate in such a location.'' According to the report, the issues at stake "are tribal culture, tribal identity and their livelihoods, the freedom to pursue and propagate one's faith guaranteed under the Constitution and the security of minorities.''