The Marang Buru To Adivasis Is What Ayodhya Is To Hindus, Mecca To Muslims, Golden Temple To Sikhs: Salkhan Murmu

The month-long nationwide march by Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA) seeks to garner support from across the country to "free" Parasnath Hill or 'Marang Buru.


Rooting for Their Code: Sarna followers protest in Ranchi against the conversion of Adivasis to othe

Tribal outfit, Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA) on Tuesday launched 'Marang Buru Bachao Bharat Yatra' (Save Parasnath Hill) to free it from the alleged "clutches" of the Jain community. Tribals and locals in the Giridih district situated village have alleged that the Jain hegemony over the tribal lands and Marang Buru hills (Parasnath) has deprived them of their own rights and customs.

The month-long march by Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA) seeks to garner support from across the country to "free" Parasnath Hill or 'Marang Buru'. ASA president Salkhan Murmu in Jamshedpur said that its members staged demonstrations in front of 50 tribal-dominated district collectorates in Assam, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand simultaneously to press for its demand.


The ASA activists waved placards and staged dharnas during the day at Kokrajhar, Chirang, and Baksa in Assam,  Malda, Purulia and Bankura in West Bengal, Keonjhar, Mayurbhanj, Balasore in Odisha, Kishanganj, Katihar, and Purnia in Bihar and Jamshedpur, Bokaro and Dumka in Jharkhand, he said. The tribals consider Parasnath Hill as the holiest 'Jeherthan' (place of worship) by the tribals.

Murmu, a former MP who led the dharna in Jharkhand's Jamshedpur during the day, said that meetings will be organized in other tribal pockets of the country by ASA to mobilize support for its demand. The Association will also submit a memorandum to President Droupadi Murmu through district magistrates of all 50 districts in the five states in support of its demand before the Yatra ends in the last week of February. Salkan had earlier written to the president and appealed to her to restore the sanctity of the Marang Buru and hand it over to the tribals.


He also accused the JMM-led Jharkhand government for handing over Marang Buru to the Jain community. "The government has betrayed the Adivasi community. Marang Buru is an identity of the tribals who believe that it protects them," Murmu said. The Jain community is protesting against the Jharkhand government's decision to turn the hill, which it considers among its holiest places, into a tourist destination.

Shortly after the Union government accepted the demands of the Jain community protesting against a 2019 government notification to make the Jain pilgrim site of Parasnath an eco-tourist hub, the Jharkhand's tribals have also become vocal for their rights and access to the tribal land which they have been worshipping for centuries.

At a distance of about 160 km from Jharkhand's capital Ranchi, Giridih's Marang Buru or Parasnath hill rises up to 4,500 feet above sea level. There are about 30 temples there dedicated to Jain Tirthankars and monks who attained moksha on this mountain. Many temples are said to be more than 2,000 years old.

Murmu said that the Marang Buru is as significant for the devout tribals as is Ayodhya Ram Mandir for Hindus, Mecca and Medina for Muslims, Vatican city for Christians, and the Golden Temple for Sikhs. ASA, he said, will also raise the issue of the inclusion of 'Sarna' religion in the census and its opposition to the government's move to include the Kurmi caste in the category of scheduled tribes.


ASA will also hold a Marang Buru-Sarna Mahadharna on February 11 and Rashtriya Adivasi Ekta Mahasabha on February 14 in Ranchi.

(With PTI inputs)