Watch | When an Ambedkar Jayanti celebration turned tragic in rural Maharashtra

Watch | When an Ambedkar Jayanti celebration turned tragic in rural Maharashtra

A video on the killing of Akshay Shravan Bhalerao in Maharashtra’s Nanded district, which brought to the fore the simmering tensions between the dominant Marathas and the oppressed Dalits

Updated - July 06, 2023 05:22 pm IST

Published - July 06, 2023 05:14 pm IST

Bondhar Haveli in Nanded district in Maharashtra is a village divided by caste. 

The Dalits, who belong to the Mahar community, have been facing discrimination and violence from the dominant Marathas for decades. 

The Dalits have been denied the right to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti in their own village, and have been forced to go to nearby towns or villages to pay tribute to their hero.

This year, thanks to the efforts of Akshay Shravan Bhalerao, the Dalits of Bondhar Haveli were finally able to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti on April 14, 2021. They decorated their houses, installed a statue of Ambedkar, and organised cultural programmes. 

But the threats from the Marathas didn’t stop. On the evening of June 1, Akshay and his brother Akash went to a grocery store. That’s when things turned tragic.

Read the full story here.

Reporting: Abhinay Deshpande

Production: Richard Kujur

Video: Emmanual Yogini

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