Skip to main content

Unite against RSS ideology in order to fight atrocities on Dalits, exhorts Ambedkar's grandson at Rajkot rally

By Our Representative
A major Dalit rights national meet on Wednesday at Rajkot, the nerve centre of Gujarat’s Saurashtra region, saw Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dr BR Ambedkar, making a frontal attack on the RSS, pointing out that the “BJP is nothing but its front organization.” He asked all those who stand for Dalit rights to come on one platform, and shedding political differences, fight RSS ideology.
Planned as the first in a series of national-level meets, the rally, held at the Chaudhary School compound, was not organized by any one individual or organization. “It was supported by several organizations and individuals committed to annihilation of caste and promote of equality. Representatives from as many as 16 states participated”, said an organizer. Each organization came with its own banner.
Insisting on the need is to fight the ideology of RSS, Ambedkar – who is likely to be the focal point to unite all Dalit rights organizations under Dalit Swabhiman Sangharsh Manch – said, incidents like the one happened in Una on July 11, in which cow vigilantes attacked Dalit youths scavenging a dead cattle, were a direct result of the spread of the RSS ideology.
"Till now, the RSS attacked the Muslims, and now the targets are Dalit, too. Both should come together to fight the RSS ideology", he said addressing the 15,000-strong rally, which passed off peacefully. Ambedkar specially criticized the RSS for offering prayers to arms and ammunition on Dussehra, suggesting this shows its mindset wedded to violence. “There was a time when, in the feudal era, rajas and maharajas would do this, now it is the RSS which is doing it”, he said.
Asking the gathering, which had a huge Muslim gathering, Ambedkar, considered the only known Dalit leader who has not been coopted by the BJP, announced that the next big Dalit rights rally would at Parliament street in New Delhi on September 16.
Speaking on the occasion, Ashok Bharti, chairman, National Confederation of Dalit Organizations (NACDOR), the apex body of Dalit rights NGOs of India, called for the annihilation of Brahminism, Martin Macwan, Gujarat’s most well-known Dalit rights activist and founder of Navsarjan Trust, read out a series of questions which all Dalits should ask political parties and elicit answers.
The questions that should be ask, he said, included whether they agreed to end manual scavenging, which happens to be a caste based occupation; whether they would work for the allocation of five acres of agricultural land to rehabilitate cattle skinners; whether they want that all sanitation workers should be regularized in government jobs; and whether they agreed to ban illegal activities of the cow vigilantes begin criminal prosecution.
A major attraction of the Rajkot rally was the pledge, instituted by Macwan, to 1,000 Dalit youths that they would never abandon their mothers, unlike the so-called cow protectors, who – even as calling cow their mother, left the aging ones in shelter homes. A pledge was also taken from the Dalits to follow the path of Gautam Buddha, who stood for equality for all.
Speakers at the rally, who included Prof Sukdheo Thorat, a well-known academic, and Baba Adhav, a veteran Maharashtra activist, and Siddharth Parmar, former Rajkot MLA, who resigned from the BJP in 2007, insisted on the need to introduce reservation policy in the private sector, and having a special session of Parliament to release a black paper on prevailing status of untouchability after 69 years of India’s independence.
They highlighted how, during the 1995-2014, Dalits have been victims of 2.43 lakh incidence of caste discrimination and atrocities in India, with annual average of about 13,000 cases in India.
The speakers from Gujarat highlighted how Gujarat was indifferent towards atrocities against Dalits, pointing towards chief minister holding just seven out of 43 under the high-level committee formed to monitor atrocities against Dalits. In the last three years there were no meetings of the monitoring committee, it was pointed out.

Comments

TRENDING

'Draconian' Kerala health law follows WHO diktat: Govt readies to take harsh measures

By Dr Maya Valecha*  The Governor of Kerala has signed the Kerala Public Health Bill, which essentially reverses the people’s campaign in healthcare services in Kerala for decentralisation. The campaign had led to relinquishing of state powers in 1996, resulting in improvement of health parameters in Kerala. Instead, now, enforcement of law through the exercise of power, fines, etc., and the implementation of protocol during the pandemic, are considered of prime importance.

Reject WHO's 'draconian' amendments on pandemic: Citizens to Union Health Minister

By Our Representative  Several concerned Indian citizens have written to the Union Health Minister to reject amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR) of the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted during the 75th World Health Assembly (WHA75) in May 2022, apprehending this will make the signatories surrender their autonomy to the “unelected, unaccountable and the whimsical WHO in case of any future ‘pandemics’.”

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Bihar rural women entrepreneurs witness 50% surge in awareness about renewal energy

By Mignonne Dsouza*  An endline survey conducted under the Bolega Bihar initiative revealed a significant increase in awareness of renewable energy among women, rising from 25% to 76% in Nalanda and Gaya. Renu Kumari, a 34-year-old entrepreneur from Nalanda, Bihar, operates a village eatery that serves as the primary source of income for her family, including her husband and five children. However, a significant portion of her profits was being directed toward covering monthly electricity expenses that usually reach Rs 2,000. 

Work with Rajasthan's camel herders: German scientist wins World Cookbook Award 2023

By Rosamma Thomas*  Gourmand World Cookbook Awards are the only awards for international food culture. This year, German scientist  Ilse Kohler Rollefson , founder of Camel Charisma, the first of India’s camel dairies, in Pali district of Rajasthan, won the award for her work with camel herders in Rajasthan, and for preparing for the UN International Year of Camelids, 2024. 

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Why is electricity tariff going up in India? Who is the beneficiary? A random reflection

By Thomas Franco*  Union Ministry of Power has used its power under Section 11 of the Electricity Act, 2003 to force States to import coal which has led to an increase in the cost of electricity production and every consumer is paying a higher tariff. In India, almost everybody from farmers to MSMEs are consumers of electricity.

'Pro-corporate agenda': Odisha crackdown on tribal slum dwellers fighting for land rights

By Our Representative  The civil rights network Campaign Against State Repression (CASR), even as condemning what it calls “brutal repression” on the Adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi in Bhubaneshwar by the Odisha police, has said that the crackdown was against the tribals struggling for land rights in order to “stop the attempts at land-grab by the government.”

Deplorable, influential sections 'still believe' burning coal is essential indefinitely

By Shankar Sharma*  Some of the recent developments in the power sector, as some  recent news items show, should be of massive relevance/ interest to our policy makers in India. Assuming that our authorities are officially mandated/ committed to maintain a holistic approach to the overall welfare of all sections of our society, including the flora, fauna and general environment, these developments/ experiences from different parts of the globe should be clear pointers to the sustainable energy pathways for our people.

Hazrat Aisha’s age was 16, not 6: 'Weak' Hadith responsible for controversy

Sacred chamber where Prophet and Aisha used to live By Dr Mike Ghouse* Muslims must take the responsibility to end the age-old controversy about Hazrat Aisha’s age at the time of her marriage to the Prophet (pbuh) – it was 16, not 6 (minimum was 16, Max 23 per different calculations). The Hadiths published were in good faith, but no one ever checked their authenticity, and they kept passing on from scholar to scholar and book to book.  Thanks to 9/11, Muslims have started questioning and correcting the Hadiths, Seerah, and mistranslations of the Quran. Now, the Ulema have to issue an opinion, also known as Fatwa, to end it and remove those Hadith entries. Mustafa Akyol, a scholar of Islam, implores Muslims to stop deifying “the received traditions” and critically study their religious past, shedding rigid legalism and close-mindedness. Someone else used the phrase “copycat Muslims” to identify scholars who copied what was given to them and passed it on without researching or questioni