Bhopal: Reaching out to tribals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday lauded their contribution to Indian culture through the ages and said Lord Ram drew inspiration from them during his exile as he slammed the Congress for “neglecting” adivasis during its previous rules.
Tribals were now partners in the country’s development and benefitting from various welfare schemes launched by the BJP-led government, he said.
The PM also announced that henceforth Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas, the birth anniversary of revered tribal icon Birsa Munda, will be celebrated like Gandhi Jayanti, Sardar Patel Jayanti and Ambedkar Jayanti.
“When we talk about tribesmen’s contribution some people get worried. They don’t believe in the immense contribution of tribals to Indian culture. Their contribution had not been explained to the countrymen. People were kept in the dark,” Modi said, addressing a mega tribal meet organised on Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas here.
“Those who ran governments in the past did not give priority to them. The country’s 10 per cent (tribal) population was neglected,” he said, attacking the Congress without naming the party.
“Tribals were not given their dues by the earlier governments and were deprived of basic facilities,” he said.
Drawing on history and referring to the Ramayana period, the PM said Lord Ram drew inspiration from life of tribals when he was in exile and stayed inside forests. —PTI