Bhopal: The reference of Madhya Pradesh’s Bhil tribe as ‘drunkards’ and ‘criminal minded’ people in the Public Service Commission question paper has kicked up a row in the state with several leaders and lawmakers taking an exception.
Among the top leaders who took strong notice of the 'disrespectful' mention of the the Bhil tribe were Vyapam scam whistle-blower Dr Anand Rai and BJP MLA Ram Dangore. Dangore, too, had appeared for the exam.
Bhil is a major tribe in Madhya Pradesh and has been an important part of the freedom struggle. Population-wise, Bhils have 60 lakh strong presence in Madhya Pradesh.
Reacting to the controversy, Dangore said that being a Bhil community member, he is aware of rich history of the community and its role in the freedom struggle. “It’s shocking to see the derogatory reference in the MPPSC question paper about the community,” said Dangore, an MLA from Pandhana.
In the reading comprehension section of the paper, a paragraph mentioned that the Bhil tribe members are under the grip of liquor and that the community engages in unlawful and immoral activities after failing to repay dues out of limited income.
Seeking action against the question paper setter, Dangore said he would lodge a complaint with police under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act).
Terming the incident as an insult to the Bhil tribe, Vyapam whistleblower Dr Anand Rai too demanded action into the matter. He demanded immediate removal of MPPSC secretary Renu Pant and called action against Chairman Bhaskar Chaubey.
Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS) state chief Antim Mujalda termed the derogatory reference in MPPSC question paper on Bhils a well-planned attempt to malign the image of the tribal community. “The tribals are anguished over this misdeed and demand to sack PSC chairman and secretary,” Mujalda said.
However, the MPPSC was yet to issue a clarification on the said controversy till the report was filed.