Double benefit to promote mass conversion: IFCSAP

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Itanagar, December 17: The Indigenous Faith and Cultural Society of Arunachal Pradesh (IFCSAP) has urged the National Commission for Schedule Tribe (NCST) not to give double benefit to a person or community in the state.

A team of IFCSAP led by its president Dr Ligu Tacho yesterday called on NCST Chairperson Dr Rameshwar Oraon along with his team members who are currently on tour to the state to know the status of implementation of various tribal welfare schemes and the socio economic condition of the tribal people, a press release informed.

The other members of the NCST include Director K D Bansal Director and Under Secretary Rajesh Kumar.

During the course of discussion the IFCSAP team pointed out that double benefit would promote mass conversion to the faiths classified as minority community resulting adverse effect on the preservation and promotion of the indigenous faith, tradition and culture of the state.a

“Anti–Conversion Bill for Arunachal Pradesh Freedom of Religion Act 1978 was passed in 1978. However conversion activities are very much in rampant. Therefore a strong directive to state government be given to implement the same,” the team pleaded the NCST.

The IFCSAP also desired that steps should be initiated by the state government to issue minority certificates to the converts of Arunachal Pradesh and let the converted person surrender their ST certificates at the earliest.

“A draft Schedule Caste and Schedule Tribes Orders (Amendment) Bill, recommended by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), was placed in Lok–Sabha in the year 1967 which, unfortunately could not be passed at that time for certain reason. We strongly demand the Centre to pass the Bill at the earliest,” the Society said.

They further pointed out that in Arunachal Pradesh Schedule Tribe form a religion column was compulsory to obtain APST certificates. However, it had been deleted from the various government certificates, employment form and other application forms. Therefore it should be reinserted so that genuine ST applicants may get the benefits. “The Centre should give a serious thought on introduction of a tribal development oriented schemes in the state and try to reintroduce the MsDP scheme only for the development and welfare of the state tribes instead of minorities,” they said. The IFCSAP also demanded for sufficient funds for the promotion, protection and preservation of indigenous cultural heritage and indigenous faiths of the people saying that the traditional heritage of the tribes would extinct very soon.

“For promotion and preservation of tribal literature, languages, the Centre must try to give sufficient funds for establishment of heritage schools with hostels, libraries and documentations,” they added

The NCST chairman had assured to look into the grievances placed by the IFCSAP, the release added.

(The Sentinel, 18-12-2014)