- February 1, 2021
- Posted by: OptimizeIAS Team
- Category: DPN Topics
Subject: Social Issue
Context: For years, the Matuas were demanding an amendment to the Citizenship Act of 2003, whose provisions made it difficult for refugees to get citizenship. The proposed National Register of Citizens (NRC) only added to their insecurity.
- Matuas are Namasudras, a Scheduled Caste group who trace their ancestry to East Bengal.
- Many of them entered West Bengal after Partition and after the formation of Bangladesh.
- Today, Matuas constitute the second largest SC population of West Bengal. Mostly concentrated in North and South 24-Parganas, they also have a presence in other border districts such as Nadia, Howrah, Cooch Behar, and Malda
- While no official count is available, community leaders put their population at 3 crore.
- The Matua Mahasangha, is a religious reforms movement and a sect which was formed by Harichand Thakur in East Bengal in the mid-1800s.
- Thakur attained atmadarshan at an early age and would subsequently preach his Darshan in Twelve Commandments.
- The teachings of Thakur establish education as pre-eminently important for the adherent and upliftment of the population, while also providing a formula for ending social conflict.
- Matua-mahasangha believe in Self-Dikshitisation (“SelfRealisation”). Therefore, anyone who has faith in the Darshan or Philosophy of God Harichand belongs to the Matuamahasanhga.
- Harichand’s grandson P R Thakur established West Bengal’s Thakurnagar as headquarters of the sect after 1947.