Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Supremo Sharad Pawar voiced his support on Sunday for the tribal community's demand for recognition of their indigenousness from the United Nations. "Tribals are the original inhabitants of the country, we support their demand for recognition of their indigenousness from the United Nations," said Pawar.
Earlier on Sunday, the NCP chief had insisted on the installation of statues of social reformers including Tantia Bhil in the premises of the Parliament.
"On January 26, the birth anniversary of Tantia Bhil will be celebrated across the country. I will try to have deliberations with the President, Prime Minister and the Speaker regarding the installation of statues of those who have contributed to the country including Tantia Bhil in the Parliament premises," the NCP leader said in a programme organized for celebrating the birth anniversary of Tantia Bhil.
Asserting that Tantia Bhil and the architect of the Indian Constitution Babasaheb Ambedkar were born in the land of Madhya Pradesh, Pawar emphasized on the need to work for the tribals in the state. Pawar said, "The Kamal Nath-led government will work for the tribals in the state. Great Bhil and Ambedkar were born here, in this land. I feel that there is a need to take some steps for the development of our society", said Pawar.
Tantia Bhil was a member of the Bhil tribe which is the indigenous Adivasi community. Tantia who was considered a dacoit by the Britishers was recognised as a heroic figure by the Indians. Some accounts of the pre-independent era have also described him as an Indian "Robin Hood". He is known for his contributions to the society and the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Tantia who was first arrested around 1874 for his aggressive stand against Britishers, turned to more serious crimes of theft and kidnapping after serving a year's sentence. He was again arrested in 1878 but could manage to escape in three days and from then on took on the role of a dacoit.
(With ANI inputs)