Jaipal Singh's assertion on Nehru's Objective Resolution

Shri Jaipal Singh, popularly known as Jaipal Singh Munda, was among the honorable members of the Constituent Assembly. He was educated at St. Paul's School (Ranchi) and St. John's College (Oxford). He was an ace hockey player who earned India her first-ever Olympic gold medal at Amsterdam Olympics. In 1946, Singh was elected to the Constituent Assembly from Bihar as an Independent Candidate.

He was indomitable champion of adivasi or tribal rights.

On 13 December 1946, Jawaharlal Nehru moved Objective Resolution in the Constitution Assembly. This was followed by rigorous debate in the Assembly. Jaipal Singh observed on 19 December 1946:

Mr. Chairman, Sir, I rise to speak on behalf of millions of unknown hordes-yet very important-of unrecognised warriors of freedom, the original people of India who have variously been known as backward tribes, primitive tribes, criminal tribes and everything else, Sir, I am proud to be a Jungli, that is the name by which we are known in my part of the country. Living as we do in the jungles, we know what it means to support this Resolution. 

On behalf of more than 30 millions of the Adibasis (cheers), I support it not merely because it may have been sponsored by a leader of the Indian National Congress. I support it because it is a resolution which gives expression to sentiments that throb in every heart in this country. I have no quarrel with the wording of, this Resolution at all. As a jungli, as an Adibasi, I am not expected to understand the legal intricacies of the Resolution. But my common sense tells me, the common sense of my people tells me that every one of us should march in that road of freedom and fight together. 

Sir, if there is any group of Indian people that has been shabbily treated it is my people. They have been disgracefully treated, neglected for the last 6,000 years. The history of the Indus Valley civilization, a child of which I am, shows quite clearly that it is the new comers-most of you here are intruders as far as I am concerned-it is the new comers who have driven away my people from the Indus Valley to the jungle fastnesses. This Resolution is not going to teach Adibasis democracy. You cannot teach democracy to the tribal people; you have to learn democratic ways from them. They are the most democratic people on earth. What my people require, Sir, is not adequate safeguards as Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru has put it. They require protection from Ministers, that is the position today. We do not ask for any special protection. We want to be treated like every other Indian. 

There is the problem of Hindusthan. There is the problem of Pakistan. There is the problem of Adibasis. If we all shout in different militant directions, feel in different ways, we shall end up in Kabarasthan

The whole history of my people is one of continuous exploitation and dispossession by the non-aboriginals of India punctuated by rebellions and disorder, and yet I take Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru at his word. I take you all at your word that now we are going to start a new chapter, a new chapter of Independent India where there is equality of opportunity, where no one would be neglected. There is no question of caste in my society. We are all equal. Have we not been casually treated by the Cabinet Mission, more than 30 million people completely ignored? It is only a matter of political window-dressing that today we find six tribal members in this Constituent Assembly. How is it? What has the Indian National Congress done for our fair representation? Is there going to be any provision in the rules whereby it may be possible to bring in more Adibasis and by Adibasis I mean, Sir, not only men but women also? There are too many men in the Constituent Assembly. We want more women, more women of the type of Mrs. Vijayalakshmi Pandit who has already won a victory in America by destroying this racialism. My people have been suffering for 6,000 years because of your racialism, racialism of the Hindus and everybody else. Sir, there is the Advisory Committee. My people, the Adibasis-they are also Indians and are deeply concerned about what is going to happen about the selection to the Advisory Committee.

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