Who Is Babita Kacchap Of Pathalgadi Movement?

What is the Pathalgadi movement and why is it political?

STP Team
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babita kachchap

Babita Kacchap is a worker of the Pathalgadi movement who was recently arrested by the Gujarat Police Anti Terror Squad (ATS). She has been in the news with her supporters seeking her release. The ATS, reports say, arrested Samu Oreya and Birsa Oreya from Khunti district of Jharkhand, from Vyara in Tapi district and Babita Kachhap of Ranchi in Jharkhand from Mahisagar district on Friday (Jul 25th).


The campaign to support those arrested was started by Bharatiya Tribal Party (BTP) leader and Gujarat MLA from Jhagadia Assembly Constituency in Bharuch district, Chhotu Vasava. Kacchap trended on Twitter where many of her supporters said, "समाज को अपने संवैधानिक हक-अधिकार के लिये जागृत करना नक्सलवाद नही हो सकता," insisting that raising one's voice is not unconstitutional. Vasava further questioned the definition of the term Naxal, and insisted mainstream parties had convoluted the definition. He asked on Twitter, "Naxali ki paribhasha batao?"

The Police's Version

As per Deccan Herald, "They were trying to incite people against the present government in Gujarat's Vyara and Mahisagar. They were inciting people of Satipati community," said ATS. The special force also said that they were trying to raise money for the Pathalgadi movement.

What's the Pathalgadi Movement?

Pathal-gadi means “carving a stone”. This was first used to create political awareness when the Panchayat (Extension of Scheduled Area) Act or PESA came into force in 1996.

The Pathalgadis display excerpts from the PESA Act, an act that was designed to encourage a form of governance that built on local traditions of participatory democracy. "The act was passed in 1996 largely based on the recommendations of the Bhuria committee. The recommendations sought to build upon local customary laws and indigenous structures, and to empower Adivasis against displacement and exploitation by equipping the gram sabha with various powers," notes a paper in the Economic and Political Weekly.


Over the last few years, many Adivasi villages in Jharkhand have proclaimed their own rule of law declaring their gram sabha as the only sovereign authority and banning ‘outsiders’ from their area. According to a report in The Hindu, this is their stance.

"We are the Bharat Sarkar (the Indian government). We do not recognise the Central or State governments or the President, Prime Minister or Governor. Our gram sabha is the real constitutional body. We will not allow anyone to enter our areas without our permission. We will not be exploited anymore."

Recently in 2019, 10,000 people charged with sedition in one Jharkhand district as per a report by Scroll. Reports say mostly the Pathalgadi movement has remained non violence with some exceptions. Picture Credit: Jagran.

babita kachchap pathalgadi movement