Skip to main content

Expectations run high from new Gujarat Dalit leader: Mevani accused of "failing" to stand by atrocity victims

Valjibhai Rathod (extreme right) on dharna in Gandhinagar
By Our Representative
Following successful completion of the Independence Day Dalit protest rally in Una, sharp questions are beginning to the raised about whether the Dalit rebellion, which began in protest against the despicable act of flogging four Dalit youths in the town on July 11, would at all sustain.
While expectations have started to run extremely high from the new Dalit leadership, especially Jignesh Mevani, following the huge success in the Una rally, not only are Dalit rights activists across Gujarat, but victims of families suffering from atrocities, too, have begun criticizing Mevani and others from "failing" to stand by them in time of need.
The latest in the series of sharp criticisms of Mevani has come from the families of Thangarh firing victims, sitting on a dharna for the last one fortnight in Gandhinagar, the state capital. Talking with newspersons, Valjibhai Rathod, father of one of the three persons shot dead on September 22-23 in Thangarh, said, “Mevani has not cared to come to the spot where we sit on dharna in Gandhinagar.”
As Rathod said this on Friday afternoon in the Ahmedabad office of Navsarjan Trust, a Dalit rights NGO, Mevani, attached with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), is was in the Jawarharlal Nehru University to address students in order to “expose” the Gujarat model of development, which led to atrocities on Dalits.
Rathod was talking with newspersons on the proposed rally of August 21 in Gandhinagar in protest against the “refusal” of the Gujarat government to bring to books the culprits responsible for police firing. The rally is being organized by the auspices of the Gujarat Anusuchit Jati (scheduled castes) Atyachar Sangharsh Samiti, Gandhinagar.
Major demands, for which the rally is being held, include instituting a CBI inquiry into the incident, releasing the report prepared by IAS official Sanjay Prasad, who had inquired into the incident in 2013, and reopening of the police firing case, which has been “shelved” by filing a closing report.
Earlier, Mevani and his colleagues has come the Sarvaiya family, tho which the four Dalit youths who were flogged belong. Coming from Mota Samadhiyala village, the Sarvaiya family has reportedly taken strong exception to Mevani and others not meeting them before leaving Una for good on August 15.
"Mevani and his colleagues never met Balubhai Sarvaiya and their four sons before returning to Ahmedabad", one of the family members has been quoted as saying. “After the Una rally on I-day, all of us moved to go to our village, Mota Samadhiyala. However, we were forced to return to Una following attack from non-Dalits. We were sitting in the Una police station to demand protection to go home.”
The family member, Vashrambhai Savraiya, added, “Mevani came to the police station, but went away without meeting us. Nor did he visit our residence.” According to eye-witnesses, Mevani and colleagues reached the police station soon after the rally, which ended at 12.30 pm. However, they left Una at 2.00 pm when the attacks on Dalits were still on.
This was followed by a senior activist, especially Leena Patel, who was in Una, frantically taking exception to the way Una rally leaders “disappeared” ignoring the Sarvaiya family, which got police protection to return home at around 8 pm following intervention by Mumbai film maker Anand Parwardhan, CPI-M activists and their Gujarat supporters.

Comments

Unknown said…
Well, Jignesh had already quit Aam Aadmi Party when this insinuation was being attached to him. That he did not talk them etc as a planted Divya Bhaskar story with just one quote, which too is not direct. Jignesh has taken up an entire moment and is doing it for them, and Sarvaiya is suddenly sulking; just because Jignesh didn't say hello?? It is despicable that efforts are being made to run down a strong moment, just when it is acquiring a national spirit. More shocking is that some of them are the very NGOs, who have themselves been working for the Dalits for years. At a time when everyone concerned about Dalits should be backing Mewani and his team, there are people behaving in a lowly manner. But let me tell you such efforts won't succeed. Jignesh is alone in this fight.
Sundar Pal said…
Jignesh Mevani is alone? Tells poorly on his ability to lead.

TRENDING

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam*
RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

By Our Representative
Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book, "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Contempt of court? UP CM taking 'personal vendetta' against Dr Kafeel Khan: Activists

Counterview Desk
Demanding that the Uttar Pradesh government immediately release well-known paediatrician Dr Kafeel Khan, a group of more than 100 academicians, activists, researchers, doctors and lawyers have said in an open letter that he is being “targeted at the behest of the chief minister”, wondering, “When is an act of challenging the government a threat under the National Security Act (NSA)?”

ASI has 'no funds' to protect five centuries old Goa church, a World Heritage Site

Counterview Desk
The century-old All-India Catholic Union (AICU), the largest Laity movement in Asia, has blamed the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) for neglecting the historic Bom Jesu church by keeping its ceilings  open to the vagaries weather, with no steps  taken to protect the five century old monument from damage on account of impending rains on the lame excuse that there are "no funds". In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, AICU simultaneously asks the Government of India to devise a "comprehensive" national social security safety net, universal health Insurance and medical Infrastructure so that the “calamity” that has befalenl millions of migrant labour and jobless rural and urban poor in “the Covid pandemic-driven lockdown is “never repeated.”

Withdraw sedition charges against three young women activists: 1100 feminists

Counterview Desk
About 1,100 feminists from all over India – organisations and individuals across religion, class, caste, ethnicity, ability, sexuality and genders – have issued a solidarity statement condemning what they have called “the targeted crackdown on Muslims and women activists in Delhi”, who were at the forefront of protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR).

Will Govt of India, ICMR end 'perverse' practice of extracting profits from ill-health?

By Asmita Verma, Surabhi Agarwal, Bobby Ramakant*
The Epidemics Act, 1897 gives the central and state governments authority to impose any regulations which may be necessary to contain the outbreak of a disease. Some state governments such as Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhatisgarh have already used this power to bring private healthcare facilities in their state under government control.

A locked up offer? Govt of India 'not serious' in involving NGOs: IIM-A survey

By Rajiv Shah
Was the Government of India serious when it asked 92,000 civil society organizations (CSOs) in early April to “assist” state governments and district administrations in taking care of food, shelter and other needs of migrant workers, known to have been affected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’ sudden 21-day lockdown in order to “combat” the spread of Covid-19 virus, announced on March 24?

Coping with Covid-19? Options before small, marginal farmers of rainfed regions

By Biswanath Sinha, Kuntal Mukherjee*
The global crisis due to Covid-19 has hit after reaching in western Europe. India’s response to curtail the spread of the disease was quite decisive. It announced a Janata curfew on the March 22, followed by a complete national lockdown from the midnight of March 24.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam*
In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.