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Can Demarcation Of Domicile In Jharkhand Through 1932 Land Survey Define Dikus?

Overlap Political

Can Demarcation Of Domicile In Jharkhand Through 1932 Land Survey Define Dikus?

The move came two years after the Soren government’ historic decision to pass the Sarna code bill, asking the Centre to provide a separate religion column for Adivasis who do not self-identify as Hindus

A thumbs up: Tribals celebrate the new domicile policy Ranchi Photo: Rajesh Kumar

At his ready-made garment shop, Mohd. Faizi, once a firebrand leader of the Jhar­khand movement, recounts how ‘Bih­ari’ policemen had once demolished his small business amid a volley of choicest abuses. “My fat­her’s shop was there for decades and suddenly we got evicted. ‘They’ never learnt our culture. ‘They’ were here to rule. It is our state, not ‘Their’ paternal property,” says Faizi, a former central committee member of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), who is now in his mid-50s.

Rage against the ‘outsider’ has been the ‘in-thing’ in the native Jharkandi ethos. A government not­i­fication, issued on September 14, said that a 1932 land survey will now be used as the ben­chmark for the state domicile policy and only those whose anc­estors find mention in the khata (land records) will be termed as ‘locals’. It has come as a shot in the arm in the sub-nationalist identity politics of the state. The move of the Jharkhand government came around two years after Chief Minister Hem­ant Soren’s historic decision to pass the Sarna code bill, asking the Centre to provide a separate religion column for Adivasis who do not self-identify as Hindus, in 2021 Census. For the Adivasis, Sarna is the religion of sacred groves that connects them to their eternal claims over jal, jangal aur jameen (water, forest and land). While the recognition of Sarna was Sor­en’s first step to promote the separ­ate identity of Adivasis, declaring the 1932 khatiyan as the basis of domicile is being billed as a mas­terstroke to assert the sub-national identity.

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