Tribals seek action against writer, publisher of translated Bible

October 19th, 2008 - 6:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Oct 19 (IANS) Around 15,000 tribals from seven states held a mass meeting Sunday in the Jharkhand capital and demanded stern action against the writer and publisher of a translated Bible that reportedly calls for destruction of tribal places of worship. Tribals from the states of Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Maharashtra attended the mahapanchyat with their traditional weapons like bows and arrows.

The Bible Society of India came out with a translated version of the Bible in Kuduk language known as “Nemha Bible”. Kuduk is a tribal language.

The translated Bible reportedly calls for the destruction of tribal places of worship.

Different tribal organisations, tribal pahans (priests), tribal scholars and others attended the mahapanchyat.

The mahapanchyat passed a resolution seeking action against the writer and publisher of the translated book.

“The Christian Society has made a deliberate attempt to hurt the sentiments of tribal people,” said Bahura Ekka, former vice chancellor of Vinobha Bhave University while addressing the gathering.

“The mahapanchyat has directed the Christian Society not to prepare or publish any book related to tribal culture, tradition and prayer system. Christian Society should take it as a ban imposed on them not to write or publish anything related to tribal society,” says the resolution.

The resolution further says: “All forms of tribal festivals, tradition, cultural exhibitions in educational institutions and churches should be banned. Do not use any word related to tribal culture, tradition and religious faiths in your books.”

The translated Bible issue had also rocked the monsoon session of the state assembly.

The Jharkhand government had announced recall of the books.

This is the second time in less than a year that a book published by the Christian Society has created controversy. Previously a book had made some adverse comments against a freedom fighter from Jharkhand.

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