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

Did Modi promote Dholavira, a UNESCO site now, as Gujarat CM? Facts don't tally

By Rajiv Shah  As would generally happen, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet – that not only was he “absolutely delighted” with the news of UNESCO tag to Dholavira, but he “ first visited ” the site during his “student days and was mesmerised by the place” – is being doubted by his detractors. None of the two tweets, strangely, even recalls once that it’s a Harappan site in Gujarat.

How real is Mamata challenge to Modi? Preparing for 2024 'khela hobey' moment

By Prof Ujjwal K Chowdhury*  Third time elected West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee is on a whirlwind tour of Delhi, meeting everyone who matters within and beyond the government, the Prime Minister, the President, some Cabinet ministers, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi, several other opposition leaders, et al.

Labelling a Jesuit a Marxist? It's like saying if you use a plane, you become American

Jesuits: Cedric Prakash, Stan Swamy By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* A thirteen- fourteen-year-old has many dreams! That's an impressionable age; at the cusp of finishing school. It is also a time when one tastes a different kind of freedom: to go for camps with boys of your own age (not with ones family). Such camps and outings were always enjoyed to the hilt. The ones, however, which still remain etched in my memory are the mission camps to the Jesuit missions in Maharashtra and Gujarat.

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".

Giant conglomerates 'favoured': Whither tribal rights for jal-jungle-jameen?

Prafull Samantara By Mohammad Irshad Ansari*  The struggle for “Jal, Jungle and Jameen” has been a long-drawn battle for the tribal communities of India. This tussle was once again in the limelight with the proposed diamond mining in the Buxwaha forest of Chhatarpur (Madhya Pradesh). The only difference in this movement was the massive social media support it gained, which actually seems to tilt the scale for the tribal people in a long time.

UP arrest of 'terrorists': Diverting attention from Covid goof-up, Ram temple land scam?

By Advocate Mohammad Shoaib, Sandeep Pandey* That corruption is rampant in police department is a common experience. However, there is another form of corruption which devastates lives of individuals and their families. It has now emerged as a common phenomenon that police more often than not register false cases because of which individuals have to spend number of years in jail.

If not Modi, then who? Why? I (an ordinary citizen) am there! Main hoon naa!

By Mansee Bal Bhargava*  The number of women ministers is doubled in early July from the first term after cabinet reshuffle by the present government led by Narendra Modi. While there were 06 women ministers in the previous term, this term there are 11. The previous two governments led by Dr Manmohan Singh had 10 women ministers in each tenure. Are these number of women ministers something to rejoice in the near 75 years of independence? Yes maybe, if we think that things are slowly improving in the patriarchal system. This change is less likely to achieve gender balance in the parliament otherwise we require more than 11 as per the 33% reservation . This change is also less likely because the men politicians’ inability to handle the country’s mess is becoming more and more evident and especially during the corona crisis. Seems, the addition of more women ministers may be a result of the recent assembly elections where women played a decisive role in the election results. For example

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.

Effluent discharge into deep sea? Modi told to 'reconsider' Rs 2275 crore Gujarat project

Counterview Desk  In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, well-known Gujarat-based environmentalist, Mahesh Pandya of the Paryavaran Mitra, has protested against the manner in with the Gujarat government is continuing with its deep sea effluent disposal project despite environmental concerns.

Gujarat govt gender insensitive? Cyclone package for fisherfolk 'ignores' poor women

By Our Representative A memorandum submitted to the Gujarat government by various fisherfolk associations of the Saurashtra region of Gujarat under the leadership of Ahmedabad NGO Centre for Social Justice's senior activist Arvind Khuman, who is based in Amreli, has suggested that the relief package offered to the fishermen affected by the Tauktae cyclone is not only inadequate, it is also gender insensitive.