Skip to main content

Gujarat's Dalit face Mevani apologizes for abusive language: "Bold" move comes ahead of Una anniversary Azadi Kuch

By Our Representative
In what is being described as a bold and unprecedented move, top Gujarat Dalit rights leader Jignesh Mevani has publicly apologized for using choicest abuses in conservation on phone. The person on the other side, who is said to be living in Kalol, is said to have taped Mevani’s voice and floated the audio recording on a Dalit WhatsApp group and Facebook.
In his apology, which he posted on his Facebook timeline, Mevani – who shot into prominence last year for organizing and leading several Dalit rallies, including in Ahmedabad, following the cow vigilantes’ gruesome attack on four Dalit youths in Una on July 11, 2016 – said, “The audio has hurt many, as one hears the paternalistic, anti-woman abuses. Gujarat’s women are very especially upset. I publicly apologize for this.”
Mevani’s apology comes days his proposed conference in Ahmedabad on July 11, Una anniversary, followed by Freedom March, of Azadi Kuch, from July 12 to 18 July, in North Gujarat “to carry forward the legacy of the Una movement.”
The Freedom March ran into controversy soon after it was announced. Balubhai Sarvaiya, father of the four youths who were attacked a year ago in Una, said that he might not be able to attend Mevani’s rally because of personal reasons. Earlier, he has variously accused Mevani of never visiting his house in village Mota Samadhiyala near Una.
Mevani's public apology on Facebook
In his apology, which he wrote in Hindi, Mevani said, “Whatever the issue, the type of language that I have used is not only highly condemnable but also sub-standard”, adding, “I will make sure that I do not use such type language ever in my life ever.”
“I will also put an end to any paternalistic and anti-woman thought that comes to my mind”, he said. Referring one of the greatest pioneers of Dalit women’s rights, Mevani adds, “It doesn’t particularly augur well for a person like me, who raises ‘Savitribai Phule zindabad’ slogans, on one hand, but on the other uses such abusive language.”
Calling it a “big mistake”, Mevani insists, “My friends alone know why I had to use such abusive language… The person on whom I was using it misbehaved with a girl in my family and was trying character assassination, which made me lose my temper. Whatever the reason, there is no justification for using such tongue.”
Soon after the audio went viral (Counterview was not forwarded the recording), a well-known Dalit women’s rights activist, Leena Patel, was among the first ones to criticize it as reflecting Mevani’s “male chauvinistic mindset”, wondering whether a person who thinks this way would ever fight for women’s liberation.
As it was an audio tape, many thought it was fake, and there was “no proof” that Mevani had uttered the words. Following the apology, which made clear that Mevani had indeed uttered the words, Patel insisted in a Facebook post, “Only a male would use such abusive words. We women are not against a particular person but against paternalistic mindset.”

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.