Monday, August 29, 2016

Gujarat Dalit youths to pledge: Wouldn't ever abandon our mothers like those who send cows to shelter homes

By Our Representative
In a clear message to cow vigilante groups, around 1,000 Dalit youths plan to garland their mothers in Rajkot, Gujarat, declaring that, to them, the women gave birth to them, are their only mothers, and that they would not abandon them like those who consider cow as their mother.
Pledging never to send their mother to the old age shelter homes, treatment meted out to commercially unviable cows, these youths would seek the support of participants in a rally on August 31 in Rajkot, who will come from 16 Indian states, to ban on the “unlawful” activities of cow vigilantes, who are “not registered” under any statute, even as preparing a dossier, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to initiating criminal proceedings against them.
They would further to walk on the path of Lord Buddha’s teachings, which consider all human beings, irrespective of caste or creed, as equal. The pledges are proposed to be taken at a national gathering organized under the platform, United Dalits of India, in Rajkot on August 31, 2016.
  Talking with Counterview, top Gujarat-based Dalit rights leader Martin Macwan, one of the two chief organizers, said, “The program is not organized by any one individual or an organization; rather it is supported by several organizations and individuals committed to the annihilation of caste and promotion of equality.”
The other main organizer is former BJP Dalit MLA from Rajkot, Siddharth Parmar, who resigned from BJP in 2007 along with six others after sharp differences with Modi, then Gujarat chief minister.
To be held at the Choudhary School compound from 1 pm to 4 pm, the top Dalit luminaries to participate include the grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar; Prof Sukhadeo Thorat, former Chair, University Grants Commission, and present chair, Indian Council of Social Science Research; and octogenarian Baba Adhav, who spearheaded the popular agitation in Maharashtra, Ek Ganv, Ek Panghat (one village, one source of water).
“Dalits, tribal and members of the marginalized communities will participate from various states of India”, Macwan said, adding, “The aim of the gathering is to send the message across that it is only through united effort of Dalits and associates that the issue of rampant caste atrocities and violation of their constitutional rights can be effectively addressed.”
“The gathering would call upon Dalits to commit their primary loyalty to their community in the spirit of the Ambedkarite struggle for separate electorate and the loyalty to their political parties thereafter”, Macwan said.
He added, “The gathering would highlight issues reasons behind atrocities on Dalits such as the one at Una on July 11, which are –non-implementation of land reforms, reservation policy, minimum wage legislation etc.”
Other demands to be put forward, Macwan said, include the call for “immediate rehabilitation of the traditional occupant of handling carcass by rewarding them 5 acres of agricultural land each, to extend the reservation policy to the private sector, and providing free higher education, both private and public, free to Dalits, tribals and other backward classes (OBCs).”
“The gathering would bring together the experiences of discrimination suffered both by Dalits and tribal communities in spite of seven decades of national independence”, Macwan said, adding, “It will call on the Central government to publish a black paper on the progress of 69-year-old independent nation in bringing to an end the practices of untouchability.”

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