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

Green revolution "not sustainable", Bt cotton a failure in India: MS Swaminathan

Counterview Desk
In a recent paper in the journal “Current Science”, distinguished scientist PC Kesaven and his colleague MS Swaminathan, widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution, have argued that Bt insecticidal cotton, widely regarded as the continuation of the Green Revolution, has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers.
Sharply taking on Green Revolution, the authors say, it has not been sustainable largely because of adverse environmental and social impacts, insisting on the need to move away from the simplistic output-yield paradigm that dominates much thinking. Seeking to address the concerns about local food security and sovereignty as well as on-farm and off-farm social and ecological issues associated with the Green Revolution, they argue in favour of what they call sustainable ‘Evergreen Revolution’, based on a ‘systems approach’ and ‘ecoagriculture’.
Pointing out that Evergreen Revol…

Rejoinder: Inescapable to have Central Water Commission as strong technical body in India

By BN Navalawala*
This is with reference to Counterview Blog (December 5, 2018), "Modi govt 'shelves' water reforms report, shows 'no interest' in its recommendations", below mentioned are my comments/observations thereon:
A committee was constituted under the Chairmanship of Dr. Mihir Shah, Former Member, Planning Commission, for restructuring of Central Water Commission (CWC) and Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) for optimal development of water resources in the country in the backdrop of Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM).

Some Hindu bodies in US defending BJP-RSS' divisive, violent activities: Agnivesh

Counterview Desk Last week, Washington DC saw speakers at a religious freedom roundtable, chaired by the US Ambassador for Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback, express concern over "eroding" space for religious freedom in India. Dr Mike Ghouse, executive director, of the Center for Pluralism in Washington DC, referring to the roundtable, said in an email alert that Indian-Americans have "a moral duty to prevent India from being labeled as a Country of Particular Concern by the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)".

Karnataka: NGO Akshay Patra "not sensitive" to nutrition demands of school children

Counterview Desk
Well-known civil rights organizations, Right to Food Campaign and Jan Swasthya Abhiyan, have sent a letter to the Union minister of human resource development, the Chief Minister of Karnataka, other concerned ministers and officials of the state expressing concerns regarding the mid-day meal (MDM) to school children, insisting, all contracts to the Akshay Patra for supply of MDM should be immediately terminated.

Rejoinder: Worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima is fading, slowly and steadily

By Dr KS Parthasarathy* 
EAS Sarma, former Secretary, Government of India (GoI) in a letter addressed to the Secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, stated that, there has been "worldwide anxiety about the consequences of catastrophic nuclear accidents, either due to manual lapses or natural calamities" (Counterview, December 2, 2018). "In the recent years, globally, the pace of growth of nuclear power has escalated in leaps and bounds, causing a great deal of public concern and apprehension."

India's rewritten textbooks talk of demerits of democracy, praise Hitler, underrate Mughals

Counterview Desk
A detailed, 3,800-word review of the books rewritten under directions of the BJP rulers across India since Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May 2014 has suggested that one of aims of the books is to instill a sense of doubt about India’s democratic polity among the country’s young minds. Reviewed in the prestigious US journal, “The New York Review of Books”, in its latest issue (December 6, 2018) by Alex Traub, the scrutiny insists, the effort has also been to paint Indian history from the angle of “Hindu triumphalism”, even as creating “Islamophobia”.

Preventing childhood deaths: India performs worse than Bangladesh, "equals" Pakistan

By Rajiv Shah
A just-released study, “The Pneumonia and Diarrhea Progress Report 2018”, prepared by the International Vaccine Access Centre (IVAC) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, has identified India among 15 other countries which are still far off the mark in achieving the targets of the Global Action Plan for the Prevention of Pneumonia and Diarrhea (GAPPD).

Modi's PRO, who served previous Congress, BJP CMs in Gujarat with "equal" competence

By Rajiv Shah
A public relations officer (PRO), even as maintaining anonymity, is supposed to “manage” reputation of his or her client, reflecting the client’s views in order to influence opinion and behaviour. A PRO is also known to use, the world over, media and communication to build, maintain, manage and plan publicity strategies and campaigns, even as dealing with enquiries from the public, particularly media, organising promotional events such as press conferences, open days, exhibitions, tours and visits. A PRO is also supposed to final touches to press statements for his or client.

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

Proposed expansion of Karnataka N-plant "ignores" worldwide anxiety post-Fukishima

Counterview Desk
EAS Sarma, former secretary, Government of India (GoI), in a letter addressed to secretary, Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), GoI, with copies to chairman, Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB) and chairman Karnataka Pollution Control Board, has said that radiation and environmental risks have been ignored in DAE’s proposal to set up Units 5 & 6 (2X700MWe) at Kaiga Nuclear Power Station in Karnataka.