Skip to main content

125 kg soap for Adityanath: UP Dalit activists barred from addressing media at Lucknow Press Club, arrested

Ram Kumar, SR Darapuri
By Our Representative
The Uttar Pradesh government has barred well-known Dalit rights activists Ram Kumar and SR Darapuri to hold a press meet at the UP Press Club in Lucknow. They had planned the press meet to highlight the detention of 45 Gujarat Dalits, travelling with in Sabarmati Express with 125 kg soap, at Jhansi railway station on Sunday.
While Kumar heads Dynamic Action Group, a well-known Dalit rights group in UP, Darapuri is a former IPS officer associated with the Budelkhand Dalit Sena. The permission for holding press meet is learnt to have been taken by Darapuri. Both Kumar and Darapuri had been opponents of earlier governments, including that of Mayawati.
The Gujarat Dalits, who wanted to present the soap with a Gautam Buddha image to UP chief minister Yogi Atidyanath to clean-up “anti-Dalit” mindset, were forcibly sent back from Jhansi to Ahmedabad. The unprecedented action was carried out jointly by a UP police contingent and the Railway Police, Jhansi.
The soap was planned to be delivered in protest against Yogi’s officials giving soaps, shampoos and other toiletries to Dalits in Kushinagar May this year, asking them to “come clean” before meeting the chief minister, who was visiting the town. 
Adityanath meeting Dalits in Kushinagar
Ahead of the press meet, 30-odd Dalit rights activists were picked up from different spots in Lucknow, including eight at the UP Press Club. The UP Police claimed, they were detained for planning a protest rally against Adityanath without permission.
Top Gujarat Dalit rights activist Martin Macwan, the main brain behind idea of “presenting” the 125 kg soap to Adityanath, told Counterview, “I could not go to Lucknow for the press met, as the flight in which I was to go was extraordinarily delayed.”
He added, “I am told, there was a huge police contingent at the UP Press Club to not allow the press meet. Are Dalits terrorists or what? What are they so afraid of? Dalits seeking to present soap to Adityanath?”
“I am sure, I would have been sent back from the Lucknow airport if I had landed there on time”, he added.
A media report said, the police had planned in well in advance to not allow Dalit activists to hold their press conference” highlighting the Dalits’ soap offer to Adityanath. A large posse of policemen was seen waiting at the UP Press Club since morning.
Arrested at 1:30, they were set free at 5:30 after they obtained bail, Dalit activists were charged with Section 151 of the Criminal Procedure Code, which gives police the power to arrest anyone to prevent a cognisable offence.

Comments

TRENDING

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Gross 'injustice' to children: Rs 5000 cr cut in education budget; 15 lakh schools shut down

Counterview Desk  More than 100 dignitaries, including educationists, academia, social activists, teachers’ union, civil society organisations (CSOs), various networks and people working on child rights, in a letter to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman have sought reversal of reduction in allocation for education in the Union Budget 2021-22, even as demanding substantial increase in it.

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

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".

India sees 62 journo deaths, 4th highest, amidst pandemic: Swiss media rights body

By Our Representative The Switzerland-based media rights body Press Emblem Campaign (PEC) has noted that India is the fourth most affected country as far as mediapersons’ death on account of Covid-19 is concerned. According to Blaise Lempen, secretary-general of PEC, the global tally of casualties among media persons in the Covid-19 pandemic has reached 1,036 journalists in 73 countries till date.

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.

RSS love for 'killer' Myanmar junta behind Indian military presence at Tatmadaw Day?

By Shamsul Islam*  If a shameful act means an action which is criminal and nauseating, it would be an understatement to describe the attitude of the present RSS-BJP rulers of India towards the demolition of democracy and large-scale killing of the people of Myanmar by the military ( tatmadaw ) junta which took power through a coup on February 1, 2021 after renegading the election results in which the party of Aung San Suu Kyi, National League for Democracy, was a clear winner.

Chhattisgarh’s Apra riverfront imitates Sabarmati: 'Devaluing' water, environment

Sabarmati riverfront By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  This year’s #WorldWaterDay (March 22) focus was on ‘Valuing Water’. My school friend, Pragati Tiwari from Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, called that day knowing my interest in water matters. We were remembering our childhood days as how we used to play on the banks and the bed of the Arpa Nadi (River) during the summer holidays and as how the river would swell like Anaconda to flow happily during the monsoon.

Bihar massacre on Holi day: Brahminical, casteist mindset behind 'uneasy' silence

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  Several people were killed in Bihar amidst Holi festivities, but not much response has come in from the media. The silence of the government and the society as a whole is also appalling. We seek to romanticise these festivals, yet we forget that every year they take so many lives. This despite the fact that Holi appears to be the best time for 'avenging things'.

India's draft migrants policy: Whither concern on job restrictions imposed by states?

By Anil Kumar*  India’s Niti Aayog has prepared a Draft Migration Policy. The draft policy acknowledges migration as an integral part of development, and it calls for positive government interventions that facilitate internal migration. With a rights-based solution to migration, the draft states that the policy should “enhance the agency and capability of the community and thereby remove aspects that come in the way of an individual’s own natural ability to thrive”.

Gujarat religious freedom amendment bill 'pursues' votebank politics, is anti-minority

Gujarat home minister Pradeepsinh Jadeja  By Our Representative  A Gujarat-based minority rights organisation, taking strong exception to the state assembly last week passing the Gujarat Religious Freedom (Amendment) Bill, 2021, has asserted that the proposed law “is completely unconstitutional”, even as asking the Gujarat governor to give his accent to it.