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ISSUE OF SCHEDULING OF KOCH-RAJBONGSHI COMMUNITY IN THE S.T LIST OF ASSAM”

ISSUE OF SCHEDULING OF KOCH-RAJBONGSHI COMMUNITY IN THE S.T LIST OF ASSAM”

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Ckrsd    press meet presentation Ckrsd press meet presentation Presentation Transcript

  • PRESS MEET “ISSUE OF SCHEDULING OF KOCH-RAJBONGSHI COMMUNITY IN THE S.T LIST OF ASSAM” Organized by: 24/10/2013 CENTRE FOR KOCH RAJBANSHI STUDIES AND DEVELOPMENT Presented by: Vikram Rajkhowa www.kochrajbanshicentre.org
  • PRESENTATION STRUCTURE PART – A: MAIN GROUNDS FOR GRANTING S.T STATUS TO KOCH-RAJBONGSHI 1. Report of the Tribal Research Institute, Govt. of Assam 2. Comments of the Registrar General of India 3. Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 1996 4. Report of the Select Committee of Lok Sabha 5. Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 9 of 1996 PART – B: POLITICS OF SABOTAGE 6. Conspiracy to separate Koch and Rajbongshi (Rajbanshi) 7. Delaying the process by asking the view of Karbi Anglong & N.C Hills 8. Combining the S.T demand of the Six Communities PART – C: CKRSD’s OPINION
  • PART – A MAIN GROUNDS FOR GRANTING S.T STATUS TO KOCH-RAJBONGSHI COMMUNITY
  • 1. REPORT OF THE TRIBAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE, GOVT. OF ASSAM (Dtd.: 09/08/1994)  The Government of India had adopted (five) criteria viz., (i) Indication of Primitive Traits, (ii) Distinctive Culture, (iii) Geographical Isolation, (iv) Shyness of contact with community at large and (v) Backwardness, in order to determine the tribal status of a particular community.  For the purpose of considering the demands of the Koch-Rajbongshi people of Assam for their inclusion in the list of Scheduled Tribes, the Tribal Research Institute, Government of Assam undertook a detailed field investigation in the light of the aforesaid criteria in various Koch-Rajbongshi inhabited areas of Lower Assam and Upper Assam.
  • REPORT OF TRIBAL RESEARCH INSTITUTE  CONCLUSION: “From our analysis we come to know that the Koch-Rajbongshi Kshtriyas of Assam are of Mongoloid tribal origin and linguistically, they belong to the Tibeto-Burman family. Moreover, it may be said that KochRajbongshi-Kshtriyas are simply three terminologies adopted by the people of the Koch ethnic group on various socio-religious-political situations. Our field investigation reveals that most of the elements of the criteria earmarked for scheduling a community are in existence among the community, under study. Taking into consideration all the relevant aspects we find adequate justification for the inclusion of Koch-Rajbongshi-Kshtriyas in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Assam.”
  • 2. COMMENTS OF REGISTRAR GENERAL OF INDIA  A proposal has been forwarded by the Ministry of Welfare with the suggestion that the matter may be re-examined in the light of the report on this subject prepared by the Tribal Research Institute, Assam.  “In the light of the empirical data furnished by the Tribal Research Institute, Assam, this office has no objection to include Koch-Rajbongshi in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Assam.”
  • 3. CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED TRIBES) ORDER (AMENDMENT) BILL, 1996  Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 1996, a Bill* to provide for the inclusion of Koch-Rajbongshi in the list of Scheduled Tribes specified in relation to the State of Assam was introduced by the Minister of Welfare (now Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment) in the Lok Sabha on 14/02/1996 and again on 12/07/1996.  The House, at its sitting held on 02/08/1996, during discussion on the motion for consideration of the Bill, authorized the Speaker to refer the Bill to a Select Committee of Lok Sabha. Accordingly, the Speaker, constituted the Select Committee consisting of 15 members and referred the Bill to it. * Published in Part II – Section 2 of the Gazettee of India, Extraordinary dated the 12/07/1996.
  • 4. REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE OF LOK SABHA  Select Committee held 8 sittings in all, the first being on 26/08/1996.  281 Memoranda on the provisions of the Bill were received by the Committee  Committee heard the views of Shri. K.B Saxena the then Secretary, Ministry of Welfare on 25/09/1996  The Committee visited Guwahati and Bongaigaon from 15/11/1996 to 18/11/1996 and heard the views of the representatives of  (i) Tribal Research Institute, Guwahati, Assam;  (ii) Various Association/ Organizations/ Individuals; and  (iii) Department of Welfare, Government of Assam.
  • REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE OF LOK SABHA (Contd…)  The Committee also visited Dibrugarh and heard the views of various non-official organizations on 06/02/1997.  The Committee heard the views of  Smt. Asha Das, Secretary, National Commission for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes;  Dr. Vijayanunni, Registrar General and Census Commissioner India; and  Shri. K.K Bakshi, The Secretary, Ministry of Welfare, Government of India, New Delhi on 13/03/1997.  The Committee considered and adopted the Report at their sitting held on 05/08/1997
  • RECOMMENDATIONS OF SELECT COMMITTEE OF LOK SABHA (RELEVANT PORTION)  “The Committee finds that there is good indication about the tribal origin of the Koch-Rajbongshi in Assam. They possess most of the tribal characteristics among them. Moreover, Registrar-General of India has also raised no objection to include Koch-Rajbongshis in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Assam. The Committee also finds that in Meghalaya the Koches are notified as Scheduled Tribes which was a part and parcel of erstwhile Assam. As such there is adequate justification for inclusion of KochRajbongshi community in the list of Scheduled Tribes of Assam. Keeping in view all these aspects, the Committee, therefore, recommend that the Koch-Rajbongshis should be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes so that they may come in the mainstream of the public life.” (Para 22)
  • 5. PRESIDENT’S ORDINANCE – CONSTITUTION (SCHEDULED TRIBES) ORDER (AMENDMENT) ORDINANCE  Prior to the introduction of the Bill’s in the Lok Sabha, the President of India promulgated the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Ordinance, 9 of 1996 on 27/01/1996 to give effect to the Scheduling of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the S.T lists of Assam as the Parliament was not in session.  The said Ordinance was re-promulgated three times, vide Ordinance No. 19 of 1996, Ordinance No. 30 of 1996 and Ordinance No. 3 of 1997 but as the Bill was not enacted on time the said Ordinance lapsed and since then the issue of the inclusion of the Koch-Rajbongshi community in the S.T lists of Assam is hanging.
  • PART – B: POLITICS OF SABOTAGE
  • 6. CONSPIRACY TO DIVIDE KOCH AND RAJBONGSHI (RAJBANSHI)  “It may be said that Koch-Rajbongshi-Kshtriyas are simply three terminologies adopted by the people of the Koch ethnic group on various socio-religious-political situations.” – Report of Tribal Research Institute, Govt. of Assam.  In the report of the Select Committee, comments of Registrar General of India, in the Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Amendment) Bill, 1996, in President’s Ordinance’s, etc. it is stated as Koch-Rajbongshi.  Central Lists of OBC’s for the State of Assam it is stated as Koch-Rajbongshi.  In all Govt. of Assam Notifications, Orders, etc, it is stated as Koch-Rajbongshi. Koch-Rajbongshi’s are people of the same ethnic group.
  • 7. DELAYING TACTICS – ASKING VIEW OF KARBI ANGLONG & N.C HILLS  Reference by the Central Govt. to take the views of the Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council’s is simply a delaying tactic for the simple reason that the demand of the Koch-Rajbongshi people is for scheduling as S.T (Plains) only and had not made any demand for S.T (Hills) of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar.
  • 8. COMBINING THE S.T DEMAND OF KOCHRAJBONGSHI’S WITH FIVE OTHER COMMUNITIES  While we strongly support the demands of five other communities for granting of S.T status, based on their specific community wise justifications.  We would like that immediate positive action is taken on our demand in view of the fact that our case, i.e., that of the Koch-Rajbongshi community was already at a very advance stage of consideration for a final decision by placing the Bill in parliament.
  • OUR POSITION  Having highlighted earlier the main Grounds and Justifications for granting of S.T status to the Koch-Rajbongshi community, and in view of the failure of the State and Central Govt. to resolve the issue satisfactorily declaring the KochRajbongshi’s as S.T (Plains) and by keeping the matter hanging, CKRSD has filed a Writ Petition being No. 5978/2013 at the Hon’ble Gauhati High Court seeking adequate relief.  The Hon’ble Gauhati High Court after hearing the matter is pleased to admit the petition by issuing Rule giving 3 months notice to both the State and Central Govt. to respond by 20/01/2014.
  • OUR POSITION  However we have no objection to various Koch-Rajbongshi organizations, having Tripartite dialogues with the Central and the State Govt. to pursue the case for urgent settlement by placing of the Bill discussed here in the up-coming Winter Session (2013) of Parliament.  We are also of the view that the organizations from the Koch-Rajbongshi community who are participating in the Tripartite Meeting should insist the Central Govt. on having a Senior Officer / Representative from the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (earlier Ministry of Welfare) and from the Office of the Registrar General and Census Commissioner of India.
  • THANK YOU