India celebrates Janjatiya Gaurav Divas

New Delhi : The nationwide celebrations of Janjatiya Gaurav Divas yesterday were led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and were marked by a large number of important  programmes, colourful cultural events, social activities as well as programmes at the birth place of Bhagwan Birsa Munda at Ulihatu in Khunti, Jharkhand. The Government has declared 15th November as Janjatiya Gaurav Divas dedicated to the memory of brave tribal freedom fighters so that coming generations can know about their sacrifices for the country. The date is the birth anniversary of Birsa Munda who is revered as Bhagwan by tribal communities across the country.

The Prime Minister inaugurated the “Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial Park cum Freedom Fighter Museum” at Ranchi on Monday, 15th November 2021. On the occasion of the 146th Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda, the iconic tribal freedom fighter, the Prime Minister also launched  week-long celebrations from 15th to 22nd November 2021 across the country.

The Prime Minister also paid floral tribute at the statue of Bhagwan Birsa Munda in the Parliament Complex, New Delhi, and met the tribal representatives of various states.

On the occasion of ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’, the Prime Minister made an appeal to the people of the country to come together and salute the contribution of the tribal communities in India’s freedom struggle and nation-building. He has consistently highlighted the invaluable sacrifices of the brave tribal freedom fighters towards the cause of India’s freedom struggle. In his previous speeches, he had envisaged building museums, dedicated to the memory of the brave tribal freedom fighters so that future generations acknowledge their sacrifices for the country and take forward the legacy of these tribal freedom fighters.

In pursuance of this goal, the Ministry of Tribal Affairs has to date sanctioned the construction of 10 tribal freedom fighter museums. These museums will cherish the memories of tribal freedom fighters hailing from various states of India.

Birsa Munda was an iconic freedom fighter, social reformer and revered tribal leader of the country, who fought bravely against the exploitative system of the British colonial government, and became a legendary figure in his lifetime, often referred to as ‘Bhagwan’. He organized and led the tribal movement, giving a call for “Ulgulan” (Revolt) to the tribals. He encouraged tribals to understand their cultural roots and observe unity. The Government of India has declared 15th November as the ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ which also coincides with the 146th Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda. The Bhagwan Birsa Munda Tribal Freedom Fighter Museum has been built in association with the State Government of Jharkhand at the Old Central Jail location in Ranchi, where the legendary Birsa Munda had sacrificed his life.

The Ministry of Tribal Affairs, in association with the State Tribal Research Institutes(TRIs), is celebrating ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ to commemorate the contribution of the tribal freedom fighters and various activities are being undertaken by all the 27 TRIs across the country. These celebrations will inspire the citizens to contribute in the fields of education, health, entrepreneurship, employability and livelihood for the tribals and the conservation of tribal culture, art and rich tribal heritage.

Inaugurating the Bhagwan Birsa Munda Memorial Park cum Freedom Fighter Museum virtually in Ranchi on his 146th Birth Anniversary, the Prime Minister expressed delight over the celebrations of ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’ and said, “It gives me immense pleasure to unveil the tribal museum of Bhagwan Birsa Munda at Ranchi. On the occasion of Jharkhand Foundation Day,  this initiative will be a true tribute to the sacrifice of the tribal freedom fighters for the nation and tribal communities,”.

He said that Bhagwan Birsa Munda dedicated his life to India’s freedom struggle, heritage & culture. “His Birth Anniversary is another way of remembering him & getting inspired to follow in his footsteps to be good citizens. Our Tribal freedom fighters envisioned a progressive India based on the pillars of ‘Asmita & Atmanirbharta’. I urge all of you to continue to enhance Indian glory & heritage. The museum will play a significant role in preserving and promoting tribal culture and history.”

The Governor Sh. Ramesh Bais, Chief Minister Sh. Hemant Soren, Union Ministers Sh. Arjun Munda and Sh. G Kishan Reddy along with other dignitaries were present at the launching ceremony at Ranchi, Jharkhand. After the launch, the Union Minister Sh. Arjun Munda and Sh. G Kishan Reddy visited the Birth Place of Bhagwan Birsa Munda in Jharkhand.

The Prime Minister also congratulated the people of the state on the Statehood Day of Jharkhand.

Later in the day, the Prime Minister attended the Janjatiya Gaurav Divas Maha Sammelan held at Jamboree Maidan, Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh. 

The tribal artists from across the States performed folk dances showcasing the rich tribal culture of Madhya Pradesh to welcome the Prime Minister. The  PM also inaugurated various exhibits of self-help groups and tribal products and also visited the photo exhibition of various tribal freedom fighters. The Prime Minister also launched multiple key initiatives for the welfare of the tribal community at Janjatiya Gaurav Divas Mahasammelan in Bhopal.

The Prime Minister also laid the foundation stone of 50 Eklavya Model Residential Schools across the country. Recognizing the distinct tribal culture and language of tribals, Sh. Narendra Modi said, “Under Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (India @ 75) a resolution has been taken to establish nearly 750 Eklavya Model Residential Schools to support the education of tribal students. Out of these, a large number of schools are already functional.” He also highlighted that per-student expenditure borne by Central Government has increased from approximately Rs. 40,000 per student to more than Rs. 1,00,000 and this would definitely enable tribal students to access quality education opportunities.

The Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda and Union Minister for Culture, Tourism and DONER, G. Kishan Reddy took part in the programme from Ranchi for launch of Birsa Munda Memorial Park cum Freedom Fighter Museum by the Prime Minister.

Later, they garlanded the statue of Birsa Munda at Birsa Chowk, Ranchi, Jharkhand.

After that, Arjun Munda and Sh. G. Kishan Reddy paid a visit to the birthplace of Birsa Munda at Ulihatu in Khunti district, Jharkhand. They garlanded the staute of Bhagwan Birsa Munda at his Janamsthali and also the statue installed at the Birsa Munda Complex.

On this occasion, several states undertook special activities to celebrate this initiative. Andhra Pradesh is holding a five-day state level tribal craft mela (exhibition cum sale) at Visakhapatnam. Arunachal Pradesh is organising an event-‘Remembering Birsa Munda’ in EMRS. Assam has organised a health camp on the occasion. Chhattisgarh has organised a Tribal Craft Mela. Gujarat organised a Traditional Tribal Art & Craft Mela, Tribal Herbal & Food Mela. They also organised traditional tribal dance event. Jharkhand organised a blood donation camp, launched 45 books, released primers and grammar books on Malto, Bhumij, Asur and Birhore, A documentary on Mal Paharia, Banjara, Kondh, Karmali, Karma and Sorhrai. Kerala organised a work shop on Forest Rights Act. Meghalaya organised a program at Kongthong. Mizoram organised a spot painting competition on the portrait of Bhagwan Birsa Munda.  Nagaland organised an event on Catapult target hitting. Odisha organised a national webinar on the contribution of Bhagwan Birsa Munda for the struggle of India’s Freedom. Rajasthan organised a symposium on the contribution of Tribal Freedom Fighters. Sikkim organised a blood donation camp. Tamil Nadu organised a workshop on medicinal plants and drawing competition for tribal youths.