The hero who inspired the tribals

November 13, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 05:43 am IST - MYSURU:

The current furore and violence over Tipu Jayanti, and the high-profile Nadaprabhu Kempegowda Smaranothsava slated here on Saturday, is set to mask the birth anniversary of tribal legend Birsa Munda slated for this month.

Birsa Munda Jayanti will be celebrated by the tribal communities of the region from November 15 to commemorate the tribal leader from Chota Nagpur region who rebelled against the British in the late 19th century and died when he was 25 years old.

He went on to become a folk hero inspiring other Adivasis in their struggle for forest rights in modern times. The tribals of Hunsur and H.D. Kote were introduced to Birsa Munda in the mid 1990s and is today an icon among them.

“When the tribal rights movement gained momentum in the region and we researched similar struggles elsewhere in India, the life of Birsa Munda came prominently to the fore and he was co-opted to inspire the local struggle,” said Sreekanth, who is spearheading tribal rights through Development through Education (DEED) organisation in Hunsur. “Today there is hardly any forest-dwelling tribal involved in the forest rights movement who is not aware of Birsa Munda whose anniversary is celebrated on November 15 every year,” he added.

Though Adivasis celebrate Birsa Munda Jayanti every year, the government is oblivious to his importance and has never partnered with tribals to observe it. “In the current atmosphere in the State over Tipu Jayanti and the high profile celebrations of Kempegowda to be held in Mysuru, little attention will be paid to the tribals celebrating the Birsa Munda Jayanti peacefully,” rue the tribal activists.

Adivasis belonging to Kadu Kuruba, Jenu Kuruba, Soligas etc are prominent in Mysuru region and found mainly in Hunsur, H.D.Kote, taluks.

Birsa Munda Jayanti will be celebrated by the tribal communities of the region from November 15

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