This piece was sent to us by a student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) as part of the expose of Communist Student Unions like AISF who are running a propaganda and poster campaign against Hindu festivals. This article is written by a tribal student studying at JNU on behalf of the JNU Tribal Students Forum:
WE ARE TRIBALS AND WE WORSHIP GODDESS DURGA
ॐ जयन्ती मङ्गला काली भद्रकाली कपालिनी ।
दुर्गा क्ष्यमा शिवा धात्री स्वहा स्वधा नमोस्तु ते ।।
A crazy group of selfish people should not tell us whom to worship, and you are certainly not our representatives. Since our childhood, we tribals of India worship Mother Goddess Durga and it is our religion and culture. If you go to the hills of Darjeeling and Sikkim “dasain” or Durga Puja is a joyous occasion. We believe in Goddess Durga and we seek her blessings. We do not care if you bunch of nutheads try to be too intellectual but we tribal students warn you, NEVER EVER TRY TO PLAY WITH OUR FEELINGS AND OUR RELIGION!
We tribals revere our mother Goddess Durga and all her forms, we go into the battlefield invoking her name, when our Gorkha brothers captured territories from the invading Pakistani army in 1999 we invoked the name of Durga Mata and this is our religion and culture! We Tribals from Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh also worship Goddess Durga. It is unfortunate that some of our brothers and sisters have fallen prey to the evil activities of invading Christian evangelical missionaries who have tried to lure us away from our culture and religion but we have resisted their nefarious designs and we shall continue to do so.
Durga Puja is a very important part of our identity. We tribals from this region have not forgotten how the missionaries have tried to ridicule and attack our religion and now a small group of people in JNU are trying the same with the backup of these evil missionaries. We again repeat, WE ARE TRIBALS WE WORSHIP GODESS DURGA AND WE SHALL DO SO FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!
The Santhal tribe of West Bengal and Jharkhand also worships Durga, and Durga Puja is a very important festival for us, we remember the sacrifices of our leaders against the British and the Evangelical missionaries years ago when we went to war with them for defending our lands, culture and beliefs. “We remember our leaders Brojo Murmu and Durga Murmu who invoked the name of the Mother Goddess and fought against the British. What’s more, we still follow the age old custom of sacrificing a white goat to the Goddess seeking her blessings in defending our culture and religion. We are proud worshipers of Goddess Durga and we are tribals. We have not forgotten what the Christian evangelical missionaries have done to us, they have played with our feelings and have tried to destroy us but because the Mother Goddess is with us they have failed and will always fail! (http://zeenews.india.com/news/jharkhand/santhal-durga-puja-symbolises-revolt-against-british_659842.html — this article is a strong testimony of our Hindu roots).
We tribals know what imperialist evangelical missionaries have done to our brothers all over the world. They have changed their history in Ethiopia, caused war between brothers in Rwanda, they forced our brothers to convert in Ecuador and they have for years tortured, harassed and hurt us all over the world. This is the holy land of India where we exist and we shall exist. We shall not bow down before this imperialist agenda, we tribals have resisted these evil peddlers and we shall defend our religion and culture no matter what.
To those who have sold their souls to these imperialist agents, we are not like you and we despite you, we are Hindus, we are tribals and we worship our Mother Goddess. We dance and sing in her honour and we revere her! You do not represent us, you are not one of us and we are capable of representing ourselves. We are tribals we are hindus and we are proud of it! Jai maa durga jai maa kali! We swear by our religion and we swear by our goddess. We warn you dont forget jai maa kali aayo gorkhali.
JNU TRIBAL STUDENTS’ FORUM