More than one lakh people were estimated to have turned up.

Reservation fight reaches Hyderabad Adivasis demand Lambadas be removed from ST list
news Reservation Sunday, December 10, 2017 - 08:26

The fight between the Gond Adivasis and Banjara Lambadas found its way to Hyderabad, as tribal people made a beeline to the city, to participate in the ‘Adivasi Mahagarjana’ held at the Saroornagar stadium on Saturday.

More than one lakh people were estimated to have turned up, demanding that the state and Central government must remove Lambadas from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) list.

The attendees included several prominent figures including former MLAs, MPs and other political personalities. Kumaram Soni Rao, grandson of legendary tribal leader Kumaram Bheem, was also present.

“From political posts like MLAs or MPs to jobs, our opportunities are being taken away by the Lambadi tribes, there is not even an IAS or IPS officer in our Adivasi,” Girijana Aikhya Vedika, Telangana, general secretary K Sammaiahdohra was quoted as saying.

Former Union Minister Faggan Singh Kulasthe, who also spoke at the gathering, said that he would put the demand to remove Lambadas from the ST category before the Centre, and demanded an inquiry into complaints that the Lambada population had grown to 24 lakh in the state against 60,000 in 1981, Deccan Chronicle reported.

Background

The Gond people are Adivasis, originally believed to have spread from central India, to parts of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha. They have a sizable population and a long history of settlement in Telangana. The Gond people primarily speak Dravidian languages.

Banjara Lambadas are a community that settled across the Indian subcontinent, from the state of Rajasthan. While they are listed as Backward Class (BC) or Other Backward Class (OBC) in some states, they are listed as Scheduled Caste (SC) or ST in other states. 

The Gond Tribals have been pointing out that the Lambadas were included in the ST list only in 1976 in erstwhile Andhra Pradesh, and have dubbed it a 'backdoor entry'. 

The rivalry came out in the open in the first week of October, after an incident of vandalism, that took place at the tribal museum at Jodeghat in Asifabad district on October 5.

The Lambadas allege that some Gonds damaged the statue of a Lambada woman kept at the museum, stating that the Lambadas did not participate in the uprising against the last Nizam of Hyderabad, led by Komaram Bheem, in the 1940s. 

Jodeghat carries a lot of historical importance for the Gonds, as this was the place that gave them the slogan of "Jal, Jungle, Zameen" (Water, Forest, Land), when the tribal people were fighting the Nizam Osman Ali Khan's police force.

The tribal people were led by Komaram Bheem, a Gond himself, who died during battle, and became an eternal hero to the community.

 

 

Show us some love and support our journalism by becoming a TNM Member - Click here.