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Sarna Dharam Code

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    12th Dec, 2020


  • The Jharkhand State Assembly sent a resolution to the Union government asking for a separate religion code for the tribal population in the upcoming Census 2021 exercise.

What is about the Sarna resolution?

  • The resolution named it ‘SarnaAdivasiDharam’.
  • The followers of ‘Sarna’ are usually nature worshippers.
  • They have been demanding recognition of it as a distinct religion for decades.

Why they are demanding it?

  • At present, under the census, there are codes for only six religions: Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.
  • While filling in these columns, a tribal resident has to identify himself or herself as one of these or as ‘others’, but cannot specify his / her religion as a different one.
  • In census surveys during 1871-1951, there was a separate category for the tribal population. But later, this was dropped.
  • For the Census 2011, the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes did recommend the addition of this code.
  • It is believed that 50 lakhs tribal in the entire country put their religion as ‘Sarna’ in the 2011 census, although it was not a code.

What is the Sarna religion?

  • The followers of Sarna faith believe pray to nature.
  • The holy grail of the faith is “Jal, Jungle, Zameen”.
  • Its followers pray to the trees and hills while believing in protecting the forest areas.