Niraj Lakra
JTICI Vol.5, Issue 1, No.2, pp. 13 to 21, March 2018

The amendments in CNT and SPT act – A Crucial Conjuncture in the Lives of Adivasis of Jharkhand

Published On: Saturday, August 4, 2018


From the past nine months Jharkhand is burning over the issues of amendment in the Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act (CNT) and Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act (SPT). The Adivasis have a long of history of struggle and movement against state repression. All these struggles are related to protection of land, Adivasi identity and esteem. The CNT and SPT act were a result of continuous Adivasi movements and revolt against the oppression of Britishers, zamindars and local money lenders. These revolts were done under the leadership of various Adivasi leaders, prominent among them were Birsa Munda and Sidhu-Kanhu. The CNT act was enacted in 1908 (Eight years after the death of Birsa Munda) and the SPT act was enacted in year 1949. These acts safeguarded the land and identity of the Adivasis. Since time immemorial the Adivasis have demanded autonomy and freedom from the oppression of the ‘dikus’. The Jharkhand movement was based on such ideals, drawing leadership from the likes of Jaipal Singh Munda, N.E. Horo, Bagun Sumbrai, Sibu Soren etc. Finally, after a long struggle, Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in the year 2000. From then on, the state had never received a stable government, with BJP ruling the most in short tenures.

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Land has always been a contentious issue in Jharkhand. The Adivasis, who have always been betrayed and faced the brunt of development induced displacement, will certainly not trust the present government over its captivating claims. The government might have taken back the decision of amending few sections of the law, but its intention is still duplicitous as its eye is fixed over the land and mineral resources of Jharkhand. The civil society should not relax after a temporary victory, as the resistance over autonomy, rights and survival should continue. It is certainly one of the most crucial conjunctures in the history of Adivasis in Jharkhand. It is time we put aside our personal ego and work together in one force to take the community out of this danger.

1Invitation for rally towards Rajbhavan and public meeting for CNT & SPT amendment agitation organized on 13th May 2017.

2Madhuca indica

3Rourkela Development Authority is body created by the Odisha government in the year 1995. This was formed under the Orissa Development Authorities Act 1982. The main objective of this body is ‘planed and systematic development’ of area covering Rourkela civil township, Rourkela Industrial Complex, Rajgampur, Birmitrapur and Sundergarh.

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