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Webinar On‘Contributions of Bhagwan Birsa Munda for the Struggle of India’s Independence’

Bhubaneswar:15/11/21: Realising the sacrifices and contributions of tribal freedom fighters, the Government of India, has announced 15th November the Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as ‘Janjatiya Gaurav Divas’. Declaration of Birsa Munda Jayanti as Janajati Gaurav Divas is a mark to pay tribute to the great tribal leader and will inspire millions of tribals across the country to follow his footsteps and contribute to the nation-building process.

As a part of the nationwide celebration of the Iconic Week of Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda (15th — 22nd November 2021).  SCSTRTI (TRI, Odisha), ST & SC Development Department, Government of Odisha with support of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India organised a National Webinar (Virtual Mode) on ‘Contributions of Bhagwan Birsa Munda for the Struggle of India’s Independence’ on 15th November 2021, the Birth Anniversary of Birsa Munda.

The Inaugural session of the national webinar was graced by Sri Jagannath Saraka, Hon’ble Minister, ST & SC Development, Govt. of Odisha, Smt. Ranjana Chopra, Principal Secretary ST & SC Development Department, Govt. of Odisha and Dr. Navaljeet Kapoor, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India. Prof. Vijay S Sahay, Professor (Emeritus), Former Head Department of Anthropology, University of Allahabad gave the Keynote Address on “The making of Bhagwan Birsa Munda Cult: Journey of a Tribal Hero from Agrarian Movement to War of Independence” during the inaugural session.

Prof. (Dr) A.B Ota, Advisor cum Director & Special Secretary, SCSTRTI welcomed the participants and shared as a part of the celebration of the 75th year of India’s Independence ‘Azadi ka Amrut Mahatsov’  SCSTRTI (TRI, Odisha), ST & SC Development Department, Government of Odisha with support of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India has organised the National Webinar to commemorate the  Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda. Birsa Munda was a young freedom fighter and tribal leader whose spirit of activism is remembered as a strong mark of protest against British rule in India. Due to his immense contribution to India’s struggle for independence from the British Birsa Munda is associated with names like ‘Dharti Abba’ or ‘Father of the Earth’. Birsa Munda encouraged tribals to know their cultural roots and observe unity. He was such a charismatic mass tribal leader accepted by all cross-sections of tribal communities that ascribed the status of GOD by the masses.

Smt. Ranjana Chopra, Principal Secretary, ST & SC Development Department highlighted that as a mark of tribute to the great tribal freedom leader, SCSTRI, ST & SC Development Department, Govt of Odisha with the support of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India has organised this National Webinar on ‘Contributions of Bhagwan Birsa Munda to struggle for India’s Independence’ which will go a long way in unraveling many hidden truths to limelight about Bhagwan Birsa Munda.

Dr. Navaljeet Kapoor, Joint Secretary Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India mentioned that as a part of the year-long commemoration of 75 years of Independence, `Azadi Ka Amrut Mahatsov’ the Union Cabinet chaired by Hon’ble Prime Minister Sri Narendra Modiji has announced to commemorate 15th November, the Birth Anniversary of Bhagwan Birsa Munda as `Janjatiya Gaurav Diwas’ to remember the contributions of tribal freedom fighters. He mentioned that the webinar will provide a platform for sharing the great valour and courage of the tribal freedom fighters and carve out ways to protect, preserve and promote the culture and heritage of the tribal communities.

Sri Jagannath Saraka, Hon’ble Minister ST & SC Development, Govt. of Odisha in his address mentioned that the tribal communities have enriched the country’s cultural heritage, through their exquisite art and craft. They have played a leading role in the promotion, protection, and conservation of the environment through their traditional practices. There are many tribal rebellions (about 85) which have taken place against the British Raj to restore Independence and many tribals have been martyred in the process. He congratulated SCSTRTI, ST & SC Development Department, Govt. of Odisha to have organised the National Webinar in collaboration with Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Govt. of India on November 15, the birth anniversary of Saheed Bhagwan Birsa Munda which has been declared as Janajatiya Gourav Divas by Govt. of India.

The Webinar had technical sessions on the contributions of Bhagwan Birsa Munda to India’s struggle for Independence. Prof. Vijay S Sahaya, Professor (Emeritus), Former Head of Department of Anthropology, University of Allahabad gave the Keynote Address on ‘The making of Bhagwan Birsa Munda Cult: Journey of a Tribal Hero from Agrarian Movement to War of Independence during the inaugural session.

Eminent personalities and academicians like Prof. Kishore Kumar Basa, Vice-Chancellor Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University, Baripada, Odisha, Prof. Sumahan Bandyopadhyay Professor, Department of Anthropology, Vidyasagar University, Gunjal Ikir Munda, Coordinator of Spoken Mundari Language Classes at Ranchi, Jharkhand Dr. Satya Narayan Munda, Former Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University, Ranchi participated as panelists in the technical session which was chaired by Prof. Vijay Sahay, Former Head of Department of Anthropology, University of Allahabad.

The webinar had the participation of more than 1000 representatives from Tribal Research Institutes (TRIs), Centre of Excellence (CoEs), eminent personalities, academicians, researchers, practitioners from across the country working on tribal culture, and development.

 

About Editor in chief

Ashok Palit has completed his graduation from Upendranath College Soro, Balasore and post graduation from Utkal University in Odia Language and literture.. He has also carved out a niche for himself as a scribe of eminence after joining the profession in 1988. He is also an independent media production professional. He brings loads of experience to Advanced Media, Ashok Palit as a cineaste has been active in film criticism for over three decades. As a film society activist, he soared to eminence for his profound commitment to the art film appreciation and aesthetics of cinema. His mode of discourse is often erudite but always lucid and comprehensible marked by a perfect acumen so rare in the field. A film aesthete with an immense fond of critical sensibilities, he wrote about growth and development of odia cinema in New Indian Express, The Times of India, The Hindustan Times, The Asian Age and Screen. He has been working as an Editor for Cine Samaya from 2002-2004.. He had made solid contribution on cinema in many odia Dailies and weekly such as Samaj, Prajatantra, Dharatri, Samaya, Satabadi, and weekly Samaya.

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