Jamshedpur: With witchcraft and dowry killings being increasingly reported among the Santhals, the tribe, living mostly in eastern India, is engaged in framing a "codified rule guide book" to do away with the social ills.
A decision in this regard was taken at a recent meeting of the two frontline Santhal organisations `All India Majhi Pargana Mandwa` and `Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan` which are working to bring about reforms in the lives of the tribes.
Twenty-four representatives of the two organisations from Assam, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal and Jharkhand had taken part in the meeting, the chairman of Adivasi Sengel Abhiyan (ASA), Salkhan Murmu, said.
The ASA, which has launched an awareness campaign among tribals to stay away from killing of innocent women branded as witches, said the codified rule guide book was necessitated by some cases of `Gonong` (dowry) demand made by employed Santhal families in Malda district of West Bengal recently.
Claiming that the practice of dowry was against tribal customs, Murmu said the Santhals do not give any kind of dowry to the bridegroom side, though cases of dowry demand by some employed youths were narrated in the May 2 meeting.
Murmu said that the codified rule guide book had been framed already and only final touches were being given at present.
He said that the rule book, which would be released on `Hul Diwas`, the birth anniversary of martyrs Sidhu-Kanhu, was aimed at eradicating superstitions, taboos and witchcraft practices among the tribals.
Murmu expressed confidence that the rule guide book would motivate the tribals to intensify nature worship known among the tribals as `Sarna`.
The ASA, which is garnering support for recognition of Sarna, has filed a writ petition in the Cuttack High Court demanding its recognition by the central government.
The rule guide book also strongly advocates against killing of innocent animals during `Sendra festival`, the annual festival of tribals.
Animal sacrifices had resulted in the dwindling animal population, Murmu said.