ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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KERALA- Break with Communal Alliances

to the scheduling of the tea and ex-tea garden people. The provision for reservations for the indigenous tribals of Assam has been scuttled by the invidious distinction that has been made between the plains tribals and the hills tribals. Thus the Garos, the Karbis, the Hajongs, the Dimasas, the Mon-Tai speaking peoples, the Singphos, the Hmars, the Nagas, etc, essentially hill tribals, lose their scheduled status once they come down to the plains. And the Bodos, the Lalungs, the Mech-Kacharis, etc, who are plains tribals lose their scheduled status if they go to the hills. With this bureaucratic sleight-of-hand, most of the indigenous tribal people of Assam have been deprived of reservations and, consequently, of education and some occupational mobility and diversification. The abolition of this distinction is one of the demands of the URMCA. Similarly, Nepali tribes like the Limbu, Rai, Gurung and Lama, whose migration goes back to 1826 when they came as soldiers, and who had been considered 'foreigners' by the Assam agitationists, should be designated as ST, similar to their recognition in West Bengal and Sikkim. So also the castes of Damai, Kami, Bhujel, and Sarki are to be designated as SC Besides, reservation should be extended to post-graduate education in all the Universities of Assam, also to Central government and semi-government undertakings like banks, LIC, ONGC, Railways, etc. The back-log in jobs reserved for SCs and STs should also be filled immediately.

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