Gavri is a dance festival celebrated by Bhil community in Mewar
Gavri is a dance festival celebrated by Bhil community in Mewar

Desire for Autonomy: Bharat Adivasi Party's Victory to Highlight Tribal Community's Demand for Separate 'Bhil Pradesh' in Lok Sabha

The Bhil community is demanding the formation of this separate state under Article 244(1) of the Indian Constitution, which provides for the creation of an autonomous state for certain tribes in India. This demand was first raised by Govind Guru, a Bhil social reformer and spiritual leader, after the tragic event of the Mangarh massacre in 1913.

Udaipur- So far, the demand for a separate Bhil state has been raised and reiterated in the legislative assemblies of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh.

However, with the victory of Rajkumar Roat at the Banswara-Dungarpur tribal-dominant Lok Sabha seat of Rajasthan, the first parliamentarian of the Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP) will now take these demands to the highest institution of democracy—the Parliament.

Roat defeated seasoned politician Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya by a margin of over 2,47,000 votes, securing a significant victory.

Rajkumar Roat, the newly elected Member of Parliament (MP) from Banswara-Dungarpur and leader of the Bharat Adivasi Party (BAP), shared his vision for his five-year term with media persons.

Roat stated that he will bring the demand for a separate Bhil state to the floor of Parliament. Additionally, he plans to advocate for education, employment, and the elimination of malnutrition in the Vagad region, which includes Dungarpur and Banswara districts.

Roat emphasized that both he and his party have long advocated for the creation of Bhil Pradesh. Now, as an elected MP, he is committed to raising this demand in Parliament. He aims to create Bhil Pradesh with the support and confidence of everyone involved in this movement.

Addressing the critical issues in his constituency, Roat highlighted that education in rural areas of the Banswara-Dungarpur Lok Sabha constituency is severely lacking. He plans to focus on improving the education sector. Moreover, he intends to address the issue of migration for employment to Gujarat by creating local job opportunities. Roat also aims to tackle the severe malnutrition problem in the Banswara and Dungarpur districts. He plans to clarify the reservation policy in this region to ensure its proper implementation.

Gavri is a dance festival celebrated by Bhil community in Mewar
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Expressing gratitude for his electoral victory, Roat stated, "The people of the region have wholeheartedly supported me, and I will strive to meet their expectations in the coming years."

Discussing the issues in the Banswara-Dungarpur area, Roat criticized previous parties for failing to provide basic amenities. He accused them of neglecting areas such as reservation policy, constitutional provisions, education, and health, and instead misleading the tribal population.

Regions Proposed for a New Bhil State

The Bhil community is demanding a separate state or Pradesh with scheduled tribe privileges. This demand was first raised by Govind Guru, a Bhil social reformer and spiritual leader, after the tragic event of the Mangarh massacre in 1913.

On 17 November 1913, the Mangarh massacre occurred in the hills situated on the border of Rajasthan and Gujarat. British forces ruthlessly killed hundreds of Bhils, an indigenous community.

This brutal incident is sometimes referred to as the "Adivasi Jallianwala" in reference to the infamous Jallianwala Bagh massacre in 1919.

This proposed state would be formed by carving out 43 districts from four states, namely Gujarat , Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Maharashtra.

The Bhil community is demanding the formation of this separate state under Article 244(1) of the Indian Constitution, which provides for the creation of an autonomous state for certain tribes in India.

According to the Indian Constitution, Article 244(1) of the 5th Schedule applies to the administration and control of Scheduled Areas and Scheduled Tribes in any state other than the states of Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura, and Mizoram.

The Bhil community is demanding the creation of a separate state under these provisions, as they believe it would give them greater autonomy and control over their own affairs, as well as provide them with better opportunities for social and economic development.

The demand for a separate Bhil state involves the inclusion of the districts of Dungarpur, Banswara, Pratapgarh, Udaipur, Chittorgarh, and Sirohi, along with parts of Bhilwara and Jalore in Rajasthan. In Madhya Pradesh, the demand extends to the districts of Ratlam, Jhabua, Raisen, Barwani, Mandla, Vidisha, Alirajpur, Dhar, Balaghat, Petlawad and Khargone. In Gujarat, it includes the districts of Dahod, Dang, Tapi, Narmada, Navsari, Panchmahal, Bharuch,Godhra and Botad and Nashik and Dhule in Maharashtra.

Rajkumar Roat with his supporters at Kushalgarh in Banswara.
Rajkumar Roat with his supporters at Kushalgarh in Banswara.

Who are the Bhils?

The Bhils, also spelled as Bheels, constitute the largest tribal community in India. Predominantly found in the states of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, the Bhils have a significant presence and cultural influence in these regions.

The Bhils inhabit various districts in central India, primarily Dhar, Jhabua, Khargone, and Ratlam in Madhya Pradesh. Additionally, a substantial population of Bhils resides in the neighboring states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.

According to the 2011 Census of India, the Bhils are the most populous tribal group in the country, with a total population of 4,618,068, which constitutes 37.7% of the total Scheduled Tribe population.

Bhilli is the common language spoken by the Bhils. It is derived from Gujarati and encompasses around 36 identified dialects, with variations in pronunciation depending on the region. The linguistic diversity among the Bhils reflects their widespread distribution and cultural richness.

Gavri is a dance festival celebrated by Bhil community in Mewar
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Gavri is a dance festival celebrated by Bhil community in Mewar
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