Koraput: The National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) and the Central University of Odisha (CUO) jointly organized a national seminar on the ‘Role of Tribal Heroes in the Freedom Struggle of India’ on Saturday at the Central University of Odisha, Koraput. His Excellency Governor of Odisha, Prof. Ganeshi Lal inaugurated the Seminar and an exhibition on Tribal heroes.
The students are sons and daughters of life longing for itself, asserted the Hon’ble Governor Prof. Ganeshi Lal. Emphasizing the contribution of tribal leaders in the freedom struggle of India, the Governor said that “The simple tribal find goodness in everything, they worship nature, and nature means AdiShakti (considered to be the original creator of the universe).”He also asserted that the father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi was inspired by tribals of Koraput and their concept of Swaraj. The governor acknowledged the contribution of tribal freedom fighters, especially the son of the soil of Koraput ‘Shaheed Laxman Nayak’. He added that we were never really enslaved, because everywhere in the nation revolutions were taking place. No one is a Vanvasi or Brahman by birth. We must be aware of our rights to claim those. All students should unite to explain the rights of Vanvasi to society.
The Vice-Chancellor, CUO, Prof. Sharat Kumar Palita said that “the Tribal played a prodigious role during the Independence struggle. The way of treating Tribal people should be changed and we have a lot to learn from them. The academic departments of CUO are doing research on various Tribal issues.” He also announced that CUO is going to launch a new department of Tribal Language as Culture as approved in Statutory bodies of the University. During the program, his excellency, the Governor of Odisha, Prof. Ganeshi Lal was felicitated by Prof. Sharat Kumar Palita. During the inauguration of the Exhibition and other guests went round 86 posters displayed on tribal heroes.
The second part of the program was devoted to the seminar on the contribution of tribal leaders in the foredoom struggle of India.
The honourable member of NCST Shri Anant Nayak, who spearheaded this programme in 175 universities across India, emphasised on three things- “Asmita, Astitva and Vikas” as essential pillar for NCST. Sadly, these are missing nowadays. “Our Prime Minister Narendra Modi has bought out various developmental programs for citizens,especially for STs. He narrated the events from the time of the invasion of Alexander the Great who was first opposed by a tribal kingdom, to the tribal heroes across the country who revolted against the British. Britishers deliberately distorted the role of tribals. He added that efforts are undertaken by NCST to bring these facts into common knowledge as well as to put these evidences into our history books.
The Chief Speaker of the Seminar, Shri Pabitra Kumar Kanhar, Vice Chairman of the Tribal Cooperative Marketing Development Federation of India (TRIFED), Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India said“that tribals are the descendants of Rishis who were forest dwellers. A tribal symbolises bravery and sacrifice. However, the contribution of tribes has notbeen documented to date. The British first attacked the tribal people who were the backbone of our nation. They imposed arbitrary taxes and enacted cruel acts to deteriorate them.” He also talked about a few other tribal heroes ‘Chakra Bisoyi, Laxman Nayak,and Veer Surendra Sai’ from Odisha.
On the occasion, two videos were shown, one on NCST, its establishment, role and constitutional mandate given under Article 338A. The other short video shown to the audience from the film RRR which revolves around the bravery of Alluri Sitarama Raju, a tribal hero from Andhra Pradesh who fought against the British atrocities.
The Vice Chancellor felicitated Shri Anant Nayak and Shri Pabitra Kumar Kanhar. The Coordinator from NCSR, Dr.Jalendra Tripathy, coordinated the programme in the first part. The second part of the programme was anchored by Dr. Saurav Gupta and Dr.Minati Sahoo, members of the faculty. The programme was concluded with vote of thanks by Dr. B.K. Srinivas member of the faculty and Academic coordinator of the programme..
Large number of faculty, doctoral scholars and students with maximum representation from ST students’ intelligentsia and administrative officers of the District administration attended the programme.