A Special lecture was organized by the Birsa Munda Research Chair in collaboration with the Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC), KISS-DU on “Relevance of Bhagwan Birsa Munda in Contemporary Adivasi Society” on 6th May 2024. Dr. Abhay Sagar Minz, Head, Department of Anthropology, Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee University, Ranchi, Jharkhand was invited as the chief speaker. The meeting was virtually presided by Hon’ble Pro Chancellor Professor Amareswar Galla, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Professor Deepak Kumar Behera, Esteemed Registrar Dr. Prashanta Kumar Routray, among others, senior functionaries of the university, Deans, Directors, faculty members and research scholars were present in the session.

The event commenced with the lighting of the lamp and the screening of videos showcasing the journey of this prestigious institution and the philosophy of Art of Giving founded by Hon’ble Founder KISS and KIIT, Dr. Achyuta Samanta. In his Welcome Address, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor Prof. Deepak Kumar Behera highlighted the significance of the seven research chairs, with Bhagwan Birsa Munda’s Chair being one among them. He emphasized that this initiative is aligned with the vision of KISS and has been constituted with the aim of upholding and promoting the legacy of Bhagwan Birsa Munda.

Pro Chancellor Professor Amareswar Galla commended the dedication of research scholars to their cultural values, citing Bhagwan Birsa Munda as a fitting example due to his passion and commitment to his community. He underscored the importance of contributing to society through Birsa Munda’s ideology, particularly noting the Indian government’s recognition of the contributions of freedom fighters in 2014. A video depicting the life and journey of Birsa Munda was also has displayed which was performed and recorded at the World Anthropology Congress by students of KISS-DU.

The chief speaker commenced his speech by honoring and paying homage to 12 Indigenous freedom fighters i.e Bhagwan Birsa Munda, Tantiya Bheel (Madhya Pradesh), Veer Budu Bhagat (Jharkhand), Helen Lepcha (Sikkim), Chakra Bisoi (Odisha), Tilka Majhi (Bihar), Singi Dai (Bihar), Telanga Khadia (Telangana), Sidhu Kanu Murmu (Jharkhand), Alluri Raju (Andhra Pradesh), Pa Sangma (Meghalaya) and Rani Gaidinliu (Nagaland), with 2 min silence and remembrance. He addressed Founder KIIT and KISS, Pro Chancellor, Vice Chancellor and Registrar as a ‘GOMKE’ which means great leaders. In his lecture he focused how Indigenous society perceives Bhagwan Birsa Munda and how relevant is he today for all of us. Adivasi society has taken the thought of Bhagwan Birsa Munda mostly in a passive form like history, documentations, statues and memorials etc. He also discussed how memory of Birsa Munda has affected the Adivasi across India. “Abuaa Disum, Abuaa Raaj” the researchers can study this correlation at a global level. The biggest impact of Bhagwan Birsa Munda is evident in unifying the Adivasi population across India. The memories of Bhagwan reverberate among the politicians, states, activists, social reformers and among different Adivasi groups. At the end he said Bhagwan Birsa Munda Research Chair is a great platform that can organize field visits, meet the contemporary Birsait and study their approach and perception in further research. The lecture was followed by a question-and-answer session.

The program concluded with a Vote of Thanks by Dr. Arpana Premi Lina Oraon, Research Chair Professor, Birsa Munda Research Chair, KISS-DU.