Demand for recognition of state revolutionaries as freedom fighters

AJSU leader and Silli MP Sudesh Mahto during the budget session underway on Wednesday raised the demand to grant freedom fighter status to split state crusaders in the House. State Parliamentary Affairs Minister and Rural Development Minister Alamgir Alam responding to the question posed by the Silli legislator said that currently there is no policy of this type in the state government, but the government has taken notice of the legislator’s request.

Mahto said that if the government considered honoring and recognizing the contribution of activists of the separate state movement (aandolkaris) by offering them government jobs, those jobs should be on par with status. He said: “The government, while providing employment to the militants of the separate state movement, must bear in mind that they should not be asked to perform menial jobs such as bringing water or tea. The minister, on Mahto’s remark, said that the government was considering providing third or fourth year jobs for separated state crusaders and that they would be appointed directly.

The deputy, on the assurance of the minister, urged him to improve the skills and quantification of these crusaders of a separate state. Mahto also suggested that the state government formulate a policy under which the children of Crusaders from the separated state should receive an education at the boarding school in Netarhat.

Mahto also asked the minister for a medical allowance for these state crusaders, saying medical assistance of Rs 30,000 per year is insufficient.

It can be noted that recently, the State Cabinet gave the go-ahead to increase the amount of pension and job reservation in the category of third and fourth years for the participants of Jharkhand separate state movement.

As per the Cabinet decision, aandolankaris (separate state movement activists), who had been imprisoned for more than six months, will now receive Rs 7,000, while those who have been imprisoned for a period of three to six months will receive Rs.5,000, likewise those aandolankaris, who had served a prison term of less than three months, will receive Rs.3,500 as a pension amount by the state government.

Also according to the decision of the Cabinet, depending on the aandolankaris, who were killed by police fire or in prison or who have a disability of more than 40%, will be given preference in third and fourth grade government jobs. The JMM/BJP government in 2012 had announced a lifetime monthly pension for participants in the separate state movement.

JMM and AJSU, the two political parties, have their origins in separate state movements. JMM supremo Shibu Soren is one of the greatest leaders of the separate state movement. Similarly, Sudesh Mahto who formed the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) party also has its origins in a separate state movement.

Thelma J. Longworth