Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday reached out to tribals, inaugurating the Birsa Munda museum in Ranchi as well as a slew of welfare schemes in Bhopal on what was the first-ever ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ or tribal pride day.
Addressing the event in Bhopal, Mr. Modi said, “After Independence, for the first time in the country, on such a large scale, the art-culture of the entire country's tribal society, their contribution to the freedom movement and nation-building is being remembered and honoured with pride.”
Some people were surprised when the contribution of tribal society in nation-building was discussed as these details were not told to the country. “This happened because those who ran the government in the country for decades after Independence gave priority to their selfish politics,” he stated.
Mr. Modi also dedicated several railway projects to the nation, including the redeveloped Rani Kamalpati Railway Station in Bhopal.
Earlier in the day, he inaugurated the first of 10 new museums dedicated to tribal culture and contribution to the freedom movement and also marking the birth anniversary of tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda in Ranchi.
Mr. Modi inaugurated the Bhagwan Birsa Munda memorial-cum-freedom fighter museum on what was the first ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ or tribal pride day.
Addressing the gathering virtually, he said that as the country celebrated 75 years of Independence next year, it had been decided to honour the contributions of tribal people. “For this, a historic decision has been taken that from today, every year the country will celebrate November 15 i.e. the birth anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas,” he stated.
Nine other tribal museums - one each in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Mizoram and Goa - would be opened soon, he stated.
“This museum [Birsa Munda museum] will become a living venue of our tribal culture full of diversity, depicting the contribution of tribal heroes and heroines in the freedom struggle,” he noted.
Birsa Munda knew that social welfare could not be achieved by eschewing India’s diversity, ancient identity and nature in the name of modernity. He believed in modern education and speaking out against societal ills. Mahatma Gandhi was fighting against racial discrimination in South Africa and Birsa Munda was fighting against British rule in India.
Vajpayee behind Jharkhand formation
Mr. Modi pointed out that former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s strong will was behind the formation of Jharkhand on November 15, 2000.
“It was Atal ji who was the first to form a separate Tribal Ministry in the government of the country and linked the tribal interests with the policies of the country,” he added.