Ranchi: Towards the end of 2019, Jharkhand got its youngest Chief Ministers in Hemant Soren. One year down the line, its chief minister has achieved what none of his predecessors ever attained.
45-year-old Hemant has been invited to speak at the India Conference being hosted at the prestigious Harvard University, on the issue of tribal indigenous politics with a welfarist development agenda and on his impressive way of handling the Covid-19 crisis.
On scanning India Conference’s site revealed that no chief minister from India had ever been invited as a keynote speaker till its 17th edition. However, in the past, few political leaders including Sachin Pilot, Asaduddin Owaisi and Jayant Patil have addressed Harvard’s India Conference. But till date, most of the speakers remain from academic, journalistic, policy making and industry backgrounds.
When contacted, Suraj Yengde, the Senior Fellow of Harvard Kennedy School, who sent the invite to the CM informed eNewsroom, “Chattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel had addressed India Conference in 2020.”
Significantly, Hemant Soren was invited for 2020 conference too. “But he had gracefully turned the invite saying, it is too early and that he wants to spend time on working for the people,” added Suraj over phone from the US.
In 2021, there will be a panel of chief ministers and Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee as well as Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thakery can also be the part of the panel.
Hemant Soren, took charge of the Chief Minister office at the end of December 2019, was able to form his cabinet by January-February, but had to face the massive challenge of handling the Covid-19 crisis.
Jharkhand is among the top states when it comes to migrants, working at different parts of India. Right from India’s financial capital Mumbai, to textile and diamond cutting hub Surat, to mountaineering region of Leh, youths from Jharkhand will be seen toiling to eke-out a living.
However, they were the ones most affected during sthe pandemic. The Hemant Soren government stood by these individuals and brought back migrant workers not only from Surat by arranging special trains but also flew down hundreds of workers from Leh and other places during lockdown.
As soon as Hemant was sworn in as Jharkhand’s CM, he during his first cabinet meeting decided to remove all cases slapped on the tribals for the Pathalgadi movement by the previous government.
He even promised that in future no or less migrant workers would have to go to other states to earn their living. The Jharkhand government has initiated some rural projects recently and plan to provide jobs to 15000 youths by March, 2021.
The invite from Harvard to a Jharkhand chief minister has its significance, as the state has also been known for having unstable government, unpopular chief ministers, some of whom have even landed in jail on corruption charges.
Hemant, son of Shibu Soren – Rajya Sabha member and three time chief minister of Jharkhand, who fought for the creation of a separate state, is now serving his second term as the chief minister.
The Jharkhand chief minister will be addressing (virtually) the India Conference on February 20, 2021.