CM, Nath, Babaria, Digvijaya have invited me.
BHOPAL : Jai Adivasi Yuva Sangathan (JAYS) has turned out to be a challenge for the BJP and the Congress in the 47 tribal-dominated Vidhan Sabha seats.
JAYS is becoming popular among tribal youths who are joining the group.
It is led by a 36-year-old doctor Hiralal Alawa, who was born in Bhaislai of Kukshi in Dhar district.
Alawa, a post-graduate in medical science from Gajraraja Medical College in Gwalior, has a good rapport with tribal youths.
He has also worked in All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for four years.
Ignited by the desire for uplifting his community, Alawa has left his job and swung into action.
Free Press interviewed Alawa on various issues related to tribal people and MP. Excerpts:
FP: What were the reasons for you to quit medical profession and join politics?
Alawa: After doing MBBS from Rewa and MD from Gwalior Medical College, I worked as senior resident in AIIMS. From that time, I began to bond with tribal youths through social media. I convened a meeting in Badwani in 2014. In 2016, I felt that it was necessary to give full time to solve the problems of the tribal people. So, I left my job and began to serve the society.
FP: What does your becoming active before the assembly polls mean?
Alawa: We want a tribal Chief Minister in MP. We shall neither go with BJP nor with Congress. We shall field our candidates in 75 seats. These candidates are selected after a meeting with the people of the community. Our aim is to bring tribal leadership into the mainstream of state politics.
FP: Don’t you think that both the parties have significant number of tribal leaders?
Alawa: Both parties have simply exploited the tribal leaders. They have nothing for them. These politicians have reached the top. But the condition of the tribal people has not changed. This will not be tolerated. We have a 25-point agenda which emphasises on the welfare of tribal community.
FP: Did CM invite you?
Alawa: CM has asked us to join BJP, but we have refused. We held a meeting and gave a letter to him. Yet, we have not received any response. We have decided not to go with BJP.
FP: Why are you dissatisfied with the BJP?
Alawa: BJP works on the RSS ideology. And it is not acceptable to us. RSS wants to change our culture, but we will not let it happen.
FP: Did you meet the Congress leaders?
Alawa: Kamal Nath, Deepak Babaria and Digvijaya Singh, all three have met us. We have told them they can talk to us only after changing their party leadership with the one from the tribal community. We have a clear thinking. BJP and the Congress have looted the tribal people. We have been used as vote bank.
FP: How could your organisation, which is new, counter these parties?
Alawa: We have five lakh members across the country, including one lakh in MP. Tribal people are joining our organisation. Besides, we are holding talks with Gondwana Student Union. This time we are going to give them a tough fight.
FP: What are the main problems of the tribal people?
Alawa: Lack of education, health facility and displacement are the main problems. A medical college has been set up in Vidisha, only 50 kilometres from Bhopal. But it could not be set up in a tribal area. People of 32 villages are being ousted to allot land to Ultratech Cement Company. We are being thrown out of jungles. Our lands are being grabbed for industries. Schools in tribal areas are in bad shape. Why doesn’t government tell us how the funds allotted to welfare of the tribal community were spent?
FP: How would you solve these problems?
Alawa: We are not a recognised political party. We will field our candidates in areas dominated by tribal people. We will try to win 30/40 seats and support any party that makes a tribal chief minister. Our problems can be solved only when community gets important role in society.