Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on September 27 wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking recognition of the ‘Sarna’ religious code for tribals.
Mr. Soren said the population of tribals in the State has declined to 26% from 38% in the last eight decades.
“The concern of protecting the traditional religious existence of tribals… is certainly a serious question. Today, the demand for Tribal/Sarna Religious Code is being raised so that this nature-worshipping tribal community can be confident about its identity.
“At present, when the demand for Uniform Civil Code is being raised by some organisations, positive initiative on this demand of Tribal/Sarna community is absolutely necessary for their protection,” he said.
Earlier, the Jharkhand Assembly had unanimously passed a resolution for inclusion of ‘Sarna’ as a separate religion in the census.
“You are aware there are many such groups in the tribal community that are on the verge of extinction, and if they are not protected on the principle of social justice, their existence along with the language and culture will come to an end,” Mr. Soren said in the letter to PM Modi.
The CM had earlier this year urged President Droupadi Murmu to assist the State gain central approval for its proposal to include the ‘Sarna Code’ as a distinct recognised religious category.