Tuesday, July 16
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Adivasis: India’s True Original Owners, Asserts Rahul Gandhi

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi calls Adivasis the original owners of India, advocating for land and forest rights during his Wayanad visit. He stresses indigenous wisdom and environmental stewardship.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, while inaugurating a power facility at a cancer center in Wayanad, passionately emphasized the significance of tribal rights and acknowledged Adivasis as the “original owners” of the country. During his two-day visit to his Lok Sabha constituency, Gandhi criticized the use of the term ‘vanvaasi’ and called for granting indigenous communities rights over land and forests.

In a speech that resonated with the local population, Rahul Gandhi highlighted the invaluable wisdom and unique connection with the environment that Adivasis possess. He stated, “The word ‘Adivasi’ encapsulates a particular understanding of the earth we inhabit, a distinct relationship with our planet, and a deep respect for the fact that our tribal brothers and sisters were the true owners of this country.” Gandhi urged for these original inhabitants to be accorded their rightful ownership of land and forest resources.

Gandhi passionately advocated for Adivasi children to access quality education, top-notch healthcare facilities, and employment opportunities, while simultaneously safeguarding their rights to forests and land. “We are here to support you, to collaborate with you,” he assured the gathering.

Taking a stance against the term ‘vanvaasi’, Gandhi asserted that it distorts history and undermines the authentic relationship between indigenous communities and the nation. He remarked, “The notion behind ‘vanvaasi’ is to confine you to the jungle and detach you from the rest of the country. We reject this notion. For us, you are ‘Adivasis’, and there’s much we can learn from you.”

Drawing a parallel between the modern discourse on environmental protection and the ancient wisdom of Adivasis, Gandhi commended their preservation efforts spanning thousands of years. He noted, “While the term ‘environmental protection’ has recently gained popularity, Adivasis have been advocating for it for millennia.”

Gandhi’s visit also encompassed the foundation laying ceremony for a disability management center in Kozhikode. He reaffirmed his strong bond with Wayanad, asserting that adversity had only strengthened the connection between him and the region. Additionally, Gandhi continued to criticize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s handling of situations such as the ongoing Manipur violence. He vowed to restore harmony and love to the affected regions.

The Congress leader’s impassioned plea for tribal rights and recognition of their historical significance has sparked conversations on indigenous rights and environmental preservation across the nation.

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