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

Arrest of Fr Stan Swamy: UN makes public letter seeking explanation from Govt of India

Counterview Desk In a letter to the Government of India (GoI), three senior United Nations (UN) officials – Elina Steinerte, vice-chair of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention; Mary Lawlor, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders; and Fernand de Varennes, special rapporteur on minority issues – have said that the arrest of veteran activist Father Stan Swamy in October 2020 marks “the escalation of harassment the human rights defender has been subjected to since 2018.”

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.

Farm laws 'precursor' to free trade deal envisaged by US corporates to allow GMO

By Rajiv Shah Did the Government of India come up with the three farm laws, first rushed by promulgating ordinances in June 2020, to not just open the country’s agricultural sector to the corporate sector but also as a precursor to comply with the requirements of the United States for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), as envisaged by the outgoing US president Donald Trump?

Modi govt 'implementing' IMF-envisaged corporate takeover of Indian agriculture

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak* The surge of wealth of Indian billionaires and the Modi-led BJP government’s onslaught on poor, marginalised and farmers continue to grow simultaneously as masses face annihilating pandemic of coronavirus. There is 90 % rise of Indian billionaire’s wealth over last one decade. It is not accidental.

A new fad in India, coding-for-toddlers culture needs to be 'nipped' in the bud

By Aditya Pandey* We are all aware of the dire consequences of subjecting young kids to intense academic pressure from an early age. In India, we have coaching institutes like FIITJEE and Resonance offering programmes for 6th standard kids to prepare them for “NTSE, IJSO, PRMO and other Olympiads”. The duration of these programmes is around 175 hours – hours that could've been spent playing games and making friends instead.

New trend? Riots 'expanded' to new rural areas post-2002 Gujarat carnage: Report

A VHP poster declaring a Gujarat village part of Hindu Rashtra  By Rajiv Shah  Buniyaad, a Gujarat-based civil society organization, engaged in monitoring of communal violence in the state, in a new report, “Peaceful Gujarat: An Illusion or Truth?” has said that a “new trend” has come about in communal violence in the state, where the parts of Gujarat which didn't see communal riots in 2002 are experiencing “regular bouts” of communal violence.

Differing from Ambedkar, Kancha Ilaiah holds a 'different' theory of caste system

By Banavath Aravind* I was introduced to Kancha Ilaiah’s work when I was about 20 years old. He was then in the midst of a controversy for a chapter in his book "Post-Hindu India: A Discourse in Dalit-Bahujan, Socio-Spiritual and Scientific Revolution", which termed the Baniya community as social smugglers. During many of his debates, I had come to notice his undeterred fighting spirit in trying to bring up certain fundamental social issues that were hitherto undiscussed. I eventually came across some of his works and started reading them silently. I’m deliberately stressing upon the word ‘silently’ here, as this was the kind of silence particularly associated with sensitive social issues like caste, religion, etc. But, as I write this essay, I feel silences on sensitive issues should be broken. Ilaiah opened up an entirely new debate that had the vigour and strength to counter the systemic Brahmanism. His methods of research were also novel in terms of going back to the roo

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

More than 5,200 Gujarat schools to be closed down, merged, says govt document

RTE Forum, Gujarat, releasing fact-sheet on education By Our Representative A Gujarat government document has revealed that it is planning to close down 5,223 schools in the name of school merger. The document, dated July 20, 201 was released by the Right to Education (RTE) Forum, Gujarat. It shows that the worst-affected districts because of this merger are those which are populated by marginalized communities – especially tribals, Dalits and minorities, said RTE Forum’s Gujarat convener Mujahid Nafees.

Consumption pattern, not economic shock behind 'poor' child health indicators

By Neeraj Kumar, Arup Mitra* The findings of the latest round of National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20 covering 22 States/UTs under Phase-I  present a somewhat disappointing picture of children’s health in India. Majority of the experts, based on prima facie evidence, just highlighted the deteriorating sign of child health in terms of increase in proportion of stunted and underweight children in most of the phase-I states/UTs over last two rounds of NFHS (2015-16 to 2019-20).