Gujarat fallout: Dalit groups plan U.P. drive

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:01 pm IST

Published - August 23, 2016 01:53 am IST - LUCKNOW:

Ripples from the >Dalit protests in Gujarat following the attack on youth in Una by gau rakshaks, have reached Uttar Pradesh.

The Ambedkar Mahasabha, a prominent Dalit organisation here, which had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to its offices in January, will host an event in Lucknow on August 27 on the rising attacks against Dalits under the BJP rule. Addressing the event will be Jignesh Mewani, who led the Dalit protests in Gujarat, and Radhika, mother of University of Hyderabad scholar, Rohit Vemula, who committed suicide in January this year.

For national agenda Lalji Nirmal, president of the Mahasabha, said the gathering will try to forge “a concrete national Dalit agenda” over the rising atrocities. “The attacks on Dalits do not seem to end. There is an urgent need for a solution,” he told The Hindu on Monday.

Dr. Nirmal said he was disappointed by Mr. Modi’s response to the atrocities, in particular the incident in Gujarat. “The ailment is only growing. We expected him to give a strong message by calling a meeting of chief ministers. But there has been no mention of it in Parliament or in his Mann ki Baat . Just by praising Ambedkar, the problems will not end. You have to solve the problems of Ambedkar’s people.”

Mr. Mewani, who is currently in Lucknow, said he intended to expose the “Gujarat Model” and mobilise awareness among Dalits during his outreach in U.P. “The incidents in Una and Dadri are already on a similar plank ideologically. We want this ground movement to spread to other parts of the country, so that we can broadly speak of Dalit- Muslim unity.”

A key plank of the Dalit resurgence has been to build Dalit-Muslim solidarity. Under the banner of ‘Dalit Alpsankhyak Shoshan Mukti Morcha,’ 10 prominent social groups, mostly Dalit-oriented, organised a meeting in Lucknow last week to launch a movement on Dalit issues, demanding action against gau rakshaks and rehabilitation of Dalits skinning dead cows with alternate jobs.

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