Andhra Pradesh government has very quietly made changes in its Household Survey software by including ‘Tribal Religion’ option which can be exercised by citizens of the state belonging to various Scheduled Tribes. Till now, neither the Constitution of India nor any law enacted in the country has permitted use of a separate religion for Scheduled Tribes. This is in keeping view that in a vast country like India there is variety and complexity amongst Scheduled Tribal communities in practising their ancestral faith and belief systems.
Across the country, Christian organisations have been making serious attempts since the last 100 years to convert Scheduled Tribes into Christianity. Having brought a sizeable chunk of Scheduled Tribes under their religion, especially in North-East India and in states like Jharkhand, they are making serious efforts to make it official – allow Scheduled Tribes to declare tribal religion. The game plan of the Christian Evangelist lobby is to officially alienate Scheduled Tribes from the recognised religions of the country like Hinduism, Buddhism etc., and then, in the second stage, make Scheduled Tribes declare themselves as ST-Christian.
The passing of a resolution by Jharkand state assembly is to be seen as part of the attempt to alienate Scheduled Tribes from Hinduism. During the one-day special session on 11th Nov., 2020, Jharkhand Assembly passed a resolution for the provision of a separate ‘Sarna Code’ for Tribal people. The resolution will seek a special column for followers of the ‘Sarna’ religion in the Census 2021.
A similar attempt is now being made in Andhra Pradesh through changes in household survey software. In the last two decades, Christian Evangelist lobby has converted a significant number of people into Christianity in AP. Now that the state is headed by a Christian Chief Minister, it is flexing its muscles.