BJP leader and Author Tuhin Sinha on Thursday challenged Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren to an open debate over his recent remark that tribal people "were never Hindus". During an exclusive interview with Republic TV's Ankit Prasad, Sinha said that Soren's comment on Adivasis was meant to mislead people and to create a division between tribal and non-tribal people in the state.
Standing firm on his claim is tribal people are Hindus, the BJP leader and author during the interview with Republic TV said that in the past, he has had a detailed discussion in regards to this matter and he himself has spent 18 years of his life in Jamshedpur, after which he can put forwards multiple proofs to refute Jharkhand Chief Minister's claim.
Sinha said, "I can prove that tribal people are also a part of Sanathan Dharm. The only reason that their cultural practices are a little different from that of Hindus is just because of their habitat. I believe that when one is living in a jungle, it is very obvious for him/her to adopt certain practices which are unique and slightly different from others."
Citing a few examples, the BJP leader, who is also writing a book on Birsa Munda, who was a famous Indian tribal freedom fighter, said that just like tribal people worship forests, nature, wind, river, etc, Hindu people also worship the sun. Speaking further he said that on the occasion of Chhath Puja, the Hindu people offer their prayers to the sun god. He also said that Hindus also worship the neem tree and tulsi. Basing his argument on these facts, he said that this is the reason why Soren's claim that Adivasi people are not Hindus is absolutely baseless and wrong.
Accusing the Chief Minister of playing Congress-like cheap politics, the BJP leader said that it was very important to counter him because claims like these will not only create differences between Hindus and trials but also divide tribals belonging to different communities.
When asked about Hemant Soren's demand for the 'Sarna Code' for tribal people to mark them separate from Hindus during the census, Tuhin Sinha said that such practices were only prevalent during the British era and India can't uphold that now. He said, "Soren's demand to ask for separate codes is a direct attack on India's demography." He further mentioned that if codes like 'Sarna Code' will come into existence then the rate of conversion will shoot at a great speed, just like it increased during the British rule.
Slamming Jharkhand CM's claims on the religion of tribal people, Sinha said although Soren is a follower of Birsa Munda, he himself is not aware of the freedom fighters beliefs and goals. Informing that he is writing a book on Birsa Munda, which will be released on August 15, 2021, the author said that he has studied Munda's life in detail and would want to share a few things with the CM through an open debate. He said, "In the past Munda has many times opposed Christian missionaries, who were forcing conversion on people, but so far there has been no documentation which can prove that Munda every opposed the Hindu religion."