West Bengal Government said that it will table two motions in the Assembly — one against “attempts to divide West Bengal” and the other to “recognise Sarna religion of the tribals”.
Tribal communities of five states, including Jharkhand, Odisha, and Assam, demanded that the Central Government recognise their religion as ‘Sarna’ and ensure their enumeration under this category during the upcoming census.
About Sarna Religion –
- Followers of the Sarna faith are nature worshippers.
- The holy grail of the Sarna faith is “Jal (water), Jungle (forest), Zameen (land).”
- Its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.
- Believers of the Sarna faith do not practice idol worship, nor do they adhere to the concept of the Varna system, heaven-hell, etc.
- They are concentrated mainly in the tribal belt states of Odisha, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, and Assam.
- Several surveys and reports have indicated that over 50 lakh tribal people in the entire country put their religion as ‘Sarna’ in the 2011 census, although it was not a code.