Skip to main content

Gujarat Dalit activists display 125 kg soap to "cleanse" UP CM's mindset amidst BJP "threat" to stop campaign

Una Dalit flogging victim Ramesh Sarvaiya displayed
 his small soap along with the 125 kg one  
By Our Representative
Gujarat Dalits under the leadership of well-known social activist Martin Macwan on Thursday displayed a 125 kg soap in Ahmedabad, which would be sent to Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath, who late last month amidst major controversy over met Dalits in Kushanagar after they were handed over soaps and shampoos to “come clean” to meet him.
Talking with newspersons, Macwan, who returned from a public meeting in Kadi in North Gujarat, said, “We want to tell Adityanath that he has insulted Dalits. It is an insult to the memory of Gautam Buddha, too, who 2500 years ago accepted a manual scavenger, Sumit, as his follower, thus becoming the first person in India to reject untouchability. And it is an insult to Kushanagar, where the Buddha acquired Nirvana.”
Two academics, Pravin Mishra and Suman Kaur, engraved Gautam Buddha’s image on the soap as a reminder to Yogi that he needs to cleanse himself from within instead of asking Dalits to “come clean” to meet him.
Martin Macwan addresses media as 
The soap is of 125 kg to coincide with the 125th birth anniversary of Dalit icon Dr BR Ambedkar, who fought against untouchability all his life.
Also present on the occasion was Ramesh Sarvaiya, one of the four young Dalits who was severely flogged by hand of cow vigilantes in Una on July 11, 2016 on suspicion of cow slaughter. Currently undertaking training at Macwan-run Dalit Shakti Kendra near Sanand in Ahmedabad district, Sarvaiya displayed a small soap on which he had engraved the Buddha.
“This soap will also be sent to the Uttar Pradesh chief minister. It would remind him against the untouchability practice which he adopted”, Sarvaiya proudly told newspersons. "It this type of yellow soap which we use to take our bath in our village", he added.
Heading Gujarat’s biggest Dalit rights NGO Navsarjan Trust, under Macwan’s directions, Dalit rights activists belong to 20-odd grassroots organizations have so far held four public meetings to “remind” Dalit MLAs and MPs of Gujarat that they were essentially elected to highlight the community’s mood and aspiration, asking them why were they silent on atrocities on Dalits.
Natubhai Parmar, one of the senior
Dalit campaigners
“We have handed over representations to Rajya Sabha MP Shambhunath Tundiya and MLAs of Rajkot, Gadhada and Kadi. Gadhada MLA, Atmaram Parmar, a minister in the Gujarat Cabinet, decided not to remain present to take our demands”, said Kirit Rathod, of the top activists who is behind the campaign asking Dalit public representatives to stop selling Dr Ambedkar for political gains.
“The representations were received not without threats. In Ahmedabad, when we went to seek an appointment from Lok Sabha's BJP MP Kirit Solanki to hand him our list of demands, he threatened us of dire consequences if we did not stop our campaign. He told us that he represented 17 lakh people, he is not obliged to accept our list of demands”, said Kantilal Parmar, one of the activists.
“The soap, which is 2.5 kg high and 1.6 feet long, would be sent to Yogi after June 16 when our campaign ends”, said Macwan announced, adding, “We have decided to work out modus operandi on how to send the soap soon. But we have tied up with Uttar Pradesh Dalit groups, who would address a press conference to display the soap and hand it over to Yogi.”

Comments

TRENDING

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".

Examples of support to Hindu temples, scriptures, saints by 'Muslim' rulers galore

Siya Ram coin issued by Akbar By Bharat Dogra* At a time when the country as well as the world are passing through very difficult times leading to more urgent need for strengthening national unity for meeting several big challenges ahead, unfortunately disputes relating to religious places have been allowed to raise their ugly head once again. It is well-realized by now by many people that it is not historical facts but narrow considerations of political gain and spreading of fanatic ideas of intolerance which are behind such mischief, but due to the increasing threat of mob violence and patronage available at higher levels to groups spreading intolerance many people are reluctant to openly and fearlessly express their views. Hence there is urgent need for broad-based peace committees with wider social support to spread the message of communal harmony and to appeal against the dangers of spreading false messages regarding places of worship which can ultimate

Gyanvapi case: Use of 'illegal' lawfare to keep the communal pot simmering

By Venkatesh Narayanan, Bobby Ramakant, Manoj Sarang* With a steady drumbeat of bad news for the lives of ordinary citizens --  inflation at a multi-year high , rupee at an all-time low , negative job creation and when all forward indicators as seen by industry leaders point to recessionary clouds on the horizon , what’s a serially-incompetent government to do?  Dust out their time-tested-citizen-distraction playbook. The Gyanvapi-Masjid case is all of this -- as a weapon of mass distraction. This zeitgeist of our times is best captured by a recent opinion piece : "The idea is to keep the pot on a perpetual boil, simmering at the top, whirling feverishly beneath. A restless society forever living precariously on the precipice arouses distrst, uneasiness, fear and discomfort, That is a toxic panoply for manufacturing rage, which can then be effortlessly mobilized at short notice. BJP is creating an eco-system of real-time instant delivery of hate-mongers. That is how we are sudde

Targeting mosques, churches: 'Roadmap' for 2025, RSS' centenary year?

416 years old Our Lady of Health Church, Sancoale, Goa  By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  Fascists use manipulative strategies aimed at whipping up sympathy and support from the majority community, to which they normally ‘belong’. They do so in a variety of insidious and subtle ways. In the past few months, they have gone overboard in their efforts to denigrate and demonize minorities in India, particularly Muslims and Christians. They have spewed hate and divisiveness through their venomous speeches; incited people to violence and have effectively used officialdom to further their vested interests. The results are there for all to see: greater polarisation of the majority community in a country which prided itself for its pluralism and diversity. Their meticulously planned agenda is in order to gain absolute power of the country in the 2024 national elections. More so it is also a roadmap towards 2025 when the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) will complete one hundred years of its existence.

This varsity succumbed to extra-academic mobocracy, 'ignored' Hindutva archives

By Shamsul Islam* Open letter to Sharda University vice-chancellor Sub: Discarding a Question on Linkages of Hindutva with Nazism/Fascism is blatant Academic Dishonesty! Dear Professor Sibaram Khara Saheb, Namaskaar! According to your esteemed University’s portal: “The name of University, 'Sharda' is synonymous to 'Goddess of knowledge and learning-Saraswati'. She is identified with 'veena', an Indian musical instrument and the ‘lotus’, where she resides. The lotus in our logo symbolizes the seat of learning that the University is created for.  "Variety of colours signify the variety of disciplines the university offers and the overlap between petals creating new colours demonstrate the ethos of collaboration between students and teachers of different programme, nationality, creed and colour working towards creating new knowledge…the University's cherished mission to provide education beyond boundaries and to facilitate the students and faculty to achie

Whither climate goal? Increasing reliance on coal 'likely to worsen' India's power crisis

By Shankar Sharma*  Recent news articles, How to shock-proof India’s power sector and Power minister points finger at states for worsening electricity crisis , have highlighted a few current problems for the ongoing power sector issues as in April 2022. However, there is a lot more to it than a few temporary solutions as indicated in the articles. It should also be emphasised that it is techno-economically impossible to completely shock-proof a highly complex and geographically wide-spread vast power network, such as the one in India, which is only getting more and more complex with the passage of each year due to some irrational policies/ practices in the sector. A business-as-usual (BAU) scenario, wherein more and more of conventional technology power plants, including coal power plants, will be added in the near future, will also necessitate the increased complexity in the integrated national grid, and as a result the instances of power shortage/ disruptions can only escalate for

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.

A former Modi ally, Prashant Kishor wanted to enter Congress 'on contract, as trader'

By Anand Sahay*  The Congress Party and the election campaigns specialist Prashant Kishor, whose company has done strategic communications for a host of political parties across ideology, should both count themselves lucky that they could not reach an agreement for Kishor to join the party. News reports suggest that the Congress rejected Kishor’s terms. This is not wholly unexpected. People join a party because they are attracted to it, and wish to serve it in any capacity that the party may see fit. But that isn’t Kishor at all. He gave the impression of entering into a contract, as a trader might. If news reports are to be believed, he sought freedom to report directly to party chief Sonia Gandhi, and sought untrammeled control over party communications. When such ideas did not find favour, the consultant withdrew. It is clear he has no particular love for the Congress, and its ideas, ideology and politics. In contrast, look at the key personae in G-23. They

Govt of India 'compromising' on mandate to regulate gene technologies, protect nature

Counterview Desk  In a letter sent to the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) and other related ministries and departments, the Coalition for a GM-Free India has raised "serious concern" over the guidelines notified for Genome Edited Organisms, in which major exemptions from regulations have been offered to certain categories of Genome Edited Organisms/Plants and products. A letter signed by Sridhar Radhakrishnan and Kapil Shah, co-convenors of the NGO network, addressed to Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav, said, the Office Memorandum, dated May 17, 2022 of the Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology about Safety Assessment Guidelines, which follows the Office Memorandum dated March 30, 2022 of the MoEFCC, said, the move "essentially amounts to entry of risky GMOs through the backdoor. Text : Coalition for a  GM-Free India is a national volunteer-driven platform of hundre

A Marxian trend that queries undemocratic customs and traditions of capitalism

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  A very well-meaning comrade called me a pluriversal Marxist with a wild smile full of English irony, while chairing my book release function in the Marx Memorial Library, London. I dedicate this piece to her… There is no other philosopher who is more abused and misunderstood like Marx. There is no other philosophy like Marxism which is more demonised on a regular basis. The mindless vilification campaign against Marx and Marxism continues without any form of reason. The propaganda and portrayal of Marxism as a devilish doctrine signify its importance as a philosophy of human emancipation from the very forces who demonise it. Marxism is a philosophy of praxis which helps us to understand the centrality of creative power of labour in producing socially meaningful value. It helps us to analyse the laws governing production, distribution, consumption, exchange, market, profit, pricing and private property in the development of class-based society. As a humanist p