Darjeeling, July 23: ‘Khambu Rai’ has its own history of culture and religion for last more than five thousands years back. Khambu Rai has its own festival which is celebrated twice a year distinguished by two names Ubhauli and Udhauli. Khambu Rai believe in Shamanism and are worshipers of Mother Nature and has its own language and script. However, due to ignorance, illeteracy and political oppression, majority of Khambu Rai is heedlessly found their religion as Hindu, which is absolutely wrong, which is now need to be rectified as Kiranti not Hindu, stated in a press release by Central Committee, Kirati Khambu Rai Association (KKRA).
KKRA has been also appealed to all the Khabu Rai to write their Religion as ‘Kiranti’ in current Socio-Economic Survey being conducted in the hills, which will push forward their demand of “Schedule Tribe” in Darjeeling hills.
Among the Gorkha community, the highest population in the Darjeeling hills, Khambu Rai has been demanding a Schedule Tribe status in India since 1993. Tamang and Limbu have been given Tribal Status in the year 2003.
Currently, 10 different ethnic group of Gorkha community including Bhahun, Chettri, Newar, Dewan, Mukhia, Gurung, Rai, Magar, Jogi etc. have been demanding Tribal Status and backed by GJMM. Tribals are officially benifited on various government jobs and other priviledges, reservations by Central and state governments, to uplift the Tribal community into mainstream of Country.
Meanwhile, officials from CRI (Cultural Research Institute) has been visited in the hills for their preliminary report on ethnic group of Gorkha community regarding Tribal status, the delegation of CRI, accordingly investigated and observed the cultures and rituals of every Gorkha community in hills apt for Tribal Status.