The present Adibasi and Janajati movement is waiting and watching. The movement has now adopted a two-track policy:
If the Constituent Assembly drafts the new constitution ensuring Adibasis and Janajatis their rights including that of self-determination, autonomy, ownership and authority over their land, the country can head towards peace and prosperity. Those in the movement believe that their issue will be taken up by the Adibasi and Janajati leaders in major parties. If they are disappointed, they will rebel against their own leaders and parties. The formal caucus built by all the parties and independent Adibasi and Janajati CA members is an indication that their efforts will soon take a concrete form.
A section of Adibasi and Janajati leaders, intellectuals, party activists and CA members do not believe that the CA will ensure their rights. There is growing sentiment that the government will not listen to them unless they burn tyres on the street or pick up the gun. They believe that rights are not given, but have to be forced out and this can be only done through revolution. If the draft gazette of the constitution does not guarantee the right to self-determination and establish Adibasi and Janajati autonomous regions, the present movement may take an extreme form.
Let's hope that the government, parties and the CA will immediately work to address Adibasi and Janjati grievances and give them ownership.