Bharat Adivasi Party Challenges BJP's Efforts to Appropriate Adivasi Identity in Rajasthan

The Bharat Adivasi Party accuses BJP and RSS of appropriating Adivasi history and identity for political gain, sparking a tussle over the narrative around Adivasi communities in India.

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Bharat Adivasi Party Challenges BJP's Efforts to Appropriate Adivasi Identity in Rajasthan

Bharat Adivasi Party Challenges BJP's Efforts to Appropriate Adivasi Identity in Rajasthan

The Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP) in Rajasthan is accusing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ideological parent, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), of appropriating the history and identity of Adivasi communities in the state. The BAP alleges that the BJP is trying to reclaim Adivasi resistance stories and build a nationalistic tribal identity for political gain.

The Union government, through the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes, is attempting to replace existing literature on Adivasi histories and resistance movements with new material created by indigenous people themselves. However, the BAP views this as an appropriation of their identity by the BJP and RSS.

The BJP has been using the iconography of Adivasi leaders like Punja Bhil and Govind Guru to highlight its government's efforts in recognizing and honoring forgotten Adivasi heroes who fought against external forces. But the BAP criticizes this, saying the BJP and RSS are merely offering "lollipops" while refusing to call them Adivasi, instead using terms like "Vanvasi" and "Janjati".

Why this matters: The tussle between the BAP and BJP reflects the ongoing struggle for control over the narrative around Adivasi identity and history in India. It highlights how political parties seek to appropriate and reframe the stories of marginalized communities for electoral gain, often leading to the erasure or distortion of those very communities' authentic voices and experiences.

The BAP is determined to reclaim the narrative around Adivasi identity and resist what it sees as the BJP's attempts to appropriate their history for political purposes. As BAP leader Velaram Ghogra stated, "The BJP-RSS are trying to impose their own version of Adivasi history and identity on us, but we will not let them succeed. We know our own stories and will continue to tell them in our own voice."

Key Takeaways

  • BAP accuses BJP-RSS of appropriating Adivasi history and identity in Rajasthan.
  • Govt. aims to replace existing Adivasi histories with new material by indigenous people.
  • BJP uses Adivasi icons like Punja Bhil to highlight its efforts, but BAP calls it "lollipops".
  • Tussle reflects struggle for control over Adivasi narrative, with parties seeking to reframe it.
  • BAP vows to reclaim Adivasi identity and resist BJP-RSS's attempts to appropriate their history.