By Anil Poddar
A joint forum of several Tea Tribes Adibasi organisations of Assam organised a rally at Chowkidinghee playground in tea-rich Dibrugarh district today to counter “the conspiracy” to label them non-indigenous issue.
Besides thousands of people , The All Assam Tea Tribes Students’ Union, Assam Cha Majdoor Sangha, Assam Tea Labour Union, Assam Tea Tribes Mahila Samiti and the International Santhal Parishad are taking part in this rally .
The All Adivasi Students’ Association of Assam has called on intellectuals, including litterateurs and several organisations to participates in this rally.
Former central minister Paban Singh Ghatowar, Ex-President of Axom Sahitya Sabha Dr Nagen Saikia, AASU advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya, Advocate Upamonyu Hazarika, Prithivi Majhi and representatives of various organizations are present in the rally.
It must be mention here that a recent claim of Ulfa leaders that tea garden workers are not indigenous people of Assam.
The general secretary of the association, Deben Orang, said: “The public statement made by leaders of a section of communities that tea garden workers are not indigenous people is nothing but an insult to us.
Some have said that the Adivasis did not live in Assam before the Treaty of Yandaboo in 1826, but there are many references to the presence of Austric and Dravidian people in this part of the country.
Khilonjiya Mancha, Asom, an umbrella organisation of indigenous communities led by pro-talks Ulfa leader Anup Chetia, last month claimed that those who resided in Assam before the Treaty of Yandaboo on February 24, 1826 (when Assam was annexed to the British Empire) were the only indigenous folk. ( More details awaited )