Skip to main content

At Gujarat Dalit rallies starting June 3 at Zanzarka, Dalit MLAs, MPs to be asked: Why are you silent on Saharanpur?

Under fire: Shambhunath Tundiya, Atmaram Parmar
By Our Representative
Defying scorching heat, top Dalit activists of Gujarat have planned a series of public meetings across the state starting with June 3 at Zanzarka, about 110 kilometres south-west of Ahmedabad, to protest against the alleged failure of elected Dalit representatives to speak up against the attack on Dalits in Saharanpur, Uttar Pradesh.
Home to Rajya Sabha Dalit BJP MP, Shambhunath Tundiya belongs to Zanzarka, and is considered among Gujarat Dalits their dharmaguru. Said to be belonging to the Garoda community – loosely called “Dalit brahmins” – Tundiya has religious seat in Zanzarka.
Forwarding a detailed programme of the public meetings, Martin Macwan, founder of Gujarat’s top Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust, which is coordinating, said, these are being organized to “expose” the political conspiracy of silence in the wake of increasing number of caste attacks after the BJP came to power in India, and now in UP.
A leaflet distributed to mediapersons wondered why – despite slogans like ‘Ambedkar Murdabad’ and ‘Ravidas Murdabad’ in Saharanpur, ransacking of the Ravidas temple, chopping a Dalit woman’s hand, torching of 56 Dalit houses, two Dalits gunned down and 17 others suffering serious injuries – the elected representatives have remained silent.
Following Zanzarka, a public meeting has been planned on June 6 in Gadhada in Bhavnagar district, represented in the Gujarat state assembly by social justice and empowerment minister Atmaram Parmar, who is said to be the main person behind the Government of India ban imposed on foreign funds to Navsarjan Trust in December 2016.
Martin Macwan
Also planned at Rajkot (June 7), Kadi (June 8), Ahmedabad (June 9), Idar (June 10), Dasada (June 12), Patan (June 13), and Vadodara (June 16), the meetings would ask elect Dalit representatives as to what steps have they taken to ensure a ban on cow vigilantes following the Una incident of July 2016, and if they have worked to make public the Sanjay Prasad Commission report on the 2012 Thangadh police firing in which three Dalit youths were gunned down.
Other questions to be asked are: Dalits face social boycott and are forcibly displaced from their own homes, why are you silent? Manual scavenging practice continues in Gujarat even today, sanitary workers die because of asphyxiation in gutters, why are you silent? How much agricultural land did you get allotted to the Dalits in your area?
To be held under what has been called Stop Selling Ambedkar Committee, the six page leaflet says, “For quite some time, planned efforts are on to suppress Ambedkar’s ideology and Dalit movement.”
Protesting against the effort of saffron outfits to to project Dalit icon BR Ambedkar as a Hinduist, it recalls that it is he alone who organized mass burning of Manusmiriti and converted to Buddhism during the later days of his in order not die as a Hindu.
“There is an effort to project him as anti-Muslim by distorting what he said. Just as Buddhism was destroyed by calling Gautam Buddha as the eighth incarnation of Lord Vishnu, a well-planned conspiracy is on to destroy the ideology of Ambedkar”, the leaflet claims.
Citing how the ruling BJP in UP is undermining Ambedkar, the leaflet said, even at the provocative Ambedkar Shobha Yatra, took out by BJP MP Raghav Lakhanpal Sharma, only slogans like “Jai Shri Ram” and “Yogi Yogi” (for UP chief minister Adityanath Yogi) were shouted.
Currently, says the leaflet, Uttar Pradesh police is seeking to find a link between Dalit protesters in Saharnpur led by the Bhim Army with Naxalites, wondering, “The government is thinking of using the National Security Act against the Dalits. The National Security Act will not be used against those who attacked the Dalit locality for five hours with guns, swords and petrol bombs!”

Comments

Vishal said…
Not garoda caste. Wrong info

TRENDING

Economist-editor's allegations on Narmada defamatory, baseless: Medha Patkar

Counterview Desk  In a reply directly addressed to well-known economist, journalist and columnist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s two articles in the Times of India (republished here and here ), calling them defamatory and wondering whether they were borne out of “ignorance or a conspiracy through political alliance”, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Pakar has said that the Narmada Sardar Saravar Project and the people's movement by adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers, potters and all the generations’ old communities from the river valley have suddenly come to be focused on, since the Gujarat elections are in the doorstep. She believes that while the “defamatory accusations with baseless conceptions such as ‘urban naxals’ are to be laughed at as the electoral strategic moves, one gets shocked to read the articles by a known old columnist like Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyar, published in a reputed daily like the Times of India." According to her, Aiyar’s two articl

Hindutva groups threat to peace, freedom: US diaspora groups tell FBI, other govt depts

By Our Representative  The Islamophobic and neo-Nazi ideology of Hindutva is a clear and present danger to peace and freedoms in the United States, a coalition of civil rights organizations told key officials of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a recent event in Edison, New Jersey. At the event titled United Against Hate, activists from American Muslims for Democracy (AMD), Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) made detailed presentations on this ideology of Hindu supremacism that is committing mass persecution of India’s Muslims and Christians and is rearing its ugly head in New Jersey as well as across the US. Attending the event were David S Leonardis, Special Investigator from the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety; Michael E Campion, Chief of the Civil Rights Division for the US Attorney General's Office; and Jonathan R Norbut of the U.S. Dep

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara 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".

As polls approach, electorate 'failing to realise': Gujarat model is in a shambles

By DN Rath*  Gujarat assembly elections, scheduled to be held on 1 and 5 December 2022, is viewed by many as dress rehearsal for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. When the suffering people have been pointing towards redressal of some local issues like absence of cleanliness, sewage problem, shortage of water supply, troubles created by stray cattle, insufficiency of streetlights, etc., it is evident that they are not fully aware that assembly elections are being fought on ideological standpoints and policy decisions. Nor is there the realisation that the state is in a shambles and the much-trumpeted ‘Gujarat model’ of development has proved to be a hoax. Like other states, the people of Gujarat are also back-broken by steep rise in prices to the tune of 400% in last 20 years. It is not that the government cannot control the spurt in prices if it so wants. Apart from the fact that price rise is an inevitability in a capitalist economy, artificial shortage triggered by massive hoarding, b

Facing tough times, Rajasthan's Raika herders hold first-ever camel cheese festival

By Rosamma Thomas*  During the pandemic, the annual Pushkar camel fair in Rajasthan did not occur for fear of contagion; in 2022, it was called off again as lumpy skin disease affected cattle. At Sadri in Pali district, however, festivity continues – a two-day Camel Cheese Festival was held on November 23 and 24, 2022. Visitors spent time with the camel herds and their Raika, drank camel-milk tea with the herders and then returned to lunch at the Kumbhalgarh Camel Dairy, from where the Kumbhalgarh Fort is visible, to taste camel cheese. The Raika herders have been facing a tough time – camels are no longer used as much for transport or agriculture in Rajasthan. The animals have limited utility, but their milk is prized. Camel Charisma, the dairy at Kumbhalgarh, sends camel milk across the country to people who use it in therapy – for autistic children, improved blood sugar levels, or even to treat cancer. It is believed that the health benefits of the camel milk is because the animals

Amit Shah accused of inciting communal passion: Demand to postpone Gujarat polls

Counterview Desk  In an email representation to the Election Commission of India (ECI), Dr EAS Sarma, former secretary to the Government of India, has objected to the statement reported to have been made by Union home minister Amit Shah, who allegedly justified the 2002 Gujarat riots stating that certain sections of people “taught a lesson” to the rioters. Noting that the statement, if correct, “in effect implies those other than the law enforcement authorities had taken law into their hands”, Sarma says, “Shah's statement needs to be viewed by the ECI in conjunction with the reported fact that it was the Union Home Ministry that cleared the release of the eleven rape convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, directly related to the infamous Godhra incidents in 2002, which triggered the shameful sequence of events that shook the nation's conscience.” According to Sarma, if the statement is true, “I am constrained to draw the inevitable inference that it would have already impacted th

BJP poll gimmick? Bilkis Bano rape case 'pardon' vs Rajiv assassins' release

By Sandeep Pandey*  Supreme Court has released six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. This was bound to happen as earlier AG Perarivalan was released in the same case, setting a precedent. Even though four of them are Sri Lankans but a popular Tamil sentiment favoured the release of these convicts which is why Tamil political parties supported this and resolutions were passed by different governments in Tamil Nadu to his effect.  Rajiv Gandhi paid the price of sending Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka where it got entangled with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and eventually the whole operation ended up is a fiasco.  However, most importantly Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi and probably Rahul too do not have any objections to the release of these convicts. In fact, Sonia Gandhi played an important role in getting the death sentence of the only lady among the convicts Nalini commuted to life term through the Tamil Nadu Governor. Priyanka visited Nalini in Vellore Jail and

Diminishing returns: Hydro projects contribute less than 10% of India's power generation

Counterview Desk  Pointing out that India’s hydro generation remains around 10% for the last six years, the advocacy group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that power generation from hydropower projects continues to show diminishing returns, as has been the story close to three decades now. Yet, says SANDRP in a note, the Government of India continues to push large hydro by announcing a slew of additional subsidies for hydropower projects, more for political economy reason. In fact, attempts are being made to flog unviable hydropower projects with various kind of manipulations, illegalities and violations, it adds. Text : In last six years, from 2016-17 to 2021-22, India’s large hydropower projects (projects above 25 MW installed capacity) have contributed just around 10% of the total power generation, going as low as 9.68% in 2017-18. In fact, in three of these six years, large hydro contributed less than 10% and recovering only marginally in the rest,

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is