Skip to main content

Gujarat's Dalit face Mevani "ready to meet" Rahul, releases list of demands, says BJP treats Dalits as untouchables

By Our Representative
Steering clear of his stance towards supporting the Congress, Gujarat’s Dalit face Jignesh Mevani on Thursday declared his intention to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi or any other senior other party ahead of the state assembly polls, but with a caveat: The party must accept his demands on coming to power.
Addressing second media conference in less than 24 hours, Mevani said, the Congress must “endorse” a list of 17 demands he had put up before the state BJP rulers, “who have not even shown the readiness to come on the table for talks on any of them, let alone accepting even one.”
At the first media conference on Wednesday, Mevani made a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani for shielding Saurashtra BJP leader and ex-MP Dinu Bogha Solanki, accused of murdering RTI activist Amit Jethwa. Mevani had wondered why is the administration “not arresting” Solanki despite Supreme Court order of October 30.
Releasing his demands for the Congress, Mevani accused the BJP of being “anti-Dalit, as seen in the party’s attitude towards treating the community virtually as untouchables”, however, said, he would “not join any political party, including the Congress.” Mevani’s announcement comes amidst Gandhi campaigning across Gujarat.
Answering questions whether he would contest elections to the state assembly, Mevani, said, “As things stand today, I will not fight the polls”, triggering speculation that he might fight the polls as Congress-supported independent he his talks with Gandhi succeed.
Hardik Patel
Praising Gandhi, Mevani repeated least thrice within a span of 15 minutes that he is “obliged” to the Congress vice president for speaking of him “in glowing terms in public.” At the same time, he said, “We will make our stance clear on whether to support the Congress once after meeting him.”
Pointing out that things so far appear to be positive as of today, Mevani said, “I have had telephonic talk with the Scheduled Caste cell leader of the Congress today
morning. I told him, what I am going to announce before the media. On his part, he conveyed Gandhi’s readiness to hold talks.”
Close on the heels of Mevani's announcement, young Patidar leader Hardik Patel declared he would support Congress in the Gujarat assembly polls, because the party is "openly supporting Patidars." The support comes despite Congress refusing to commit his demand for reservation in government jobs and colleges if comes to power.
A senior political observer, who is in know of things, said, the two young leaders are in "direct touch" with OBC leader Alpesh Thakore, who recently joined the Congress recently the presence of Rahul Gandhi. "They are moving in a very planned way, consulting each other at every step", he added.
The list of 17 demands, Jignesh said, include providing alternative employment to manual scavengers who have been doing the hereditary job of cleaning up night soil of dominant castes for centuries, and five acres of cultivable agricultural land to the Dalits who were allocated land during the land reforms days but haven’t yet received the actual possession.
“Hundreds of Dalits are involved in skinning dead cattle. They should be provided with land and shed to continue with their profession. Former chief minister Anandiben Patel had promised this to the victims of the Una attack of July 2016, in which Dalit youths were chained and beaten up in broad day light. Till this date, none of the family members have been rehabilitated”, Mevani said.
“Then”, he said, “We want the Congress to accept to our demand that for having a separate reservation Act of the Gujarat state assembly. This is necessary, because for every other issue concerning reservation, we have to run to the Gujarat High Court.
“We also want the Gujarat government to release the official report of the Thangadh incident of September 2012, when three Dalit youths were shot down in broad day light. The report hasn’t been released for some strange reason, perhaps because it names an MLA behind the incident”, Mevani alleged.

Comments

TRENDING

Allow international human rights observers, media to access Kashmir: US lawmakers

Counterview Desk
In a letter to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, two members of the American Congress, Pramila Jayapal and James McGovern, raising "significant concerns" about what they call "humanitarian and human rights crisis in Jammu & Kashmir”, quoting "credible reports" from journalists and advocates on the ground" have said that "the Indian government has detained thousands of people with no recourse, imposed de facto curfews on residents' and cut off internet and telephone access in the region.”

Rescind Gates Foundation award to Modi, demand three Nobel Peace laureates

Counterview Desk
In a major boost to those opposing the award to the Gates Foundation’s proposed to be awarded to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his Swacch Bharat Abhiyan, three Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Mairead Maguire (1976), Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman (2011) and Shirin Ebadi (2003), have in an open letter called upon Milinda and Bill Gates to withdraw their decision, stating Modi is allegedly involved in human rights violations.

US Kashmiri diaspora body: World leaders, UN 'not acting', India enjoys total impunity

Counterview Desk
Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly session, to begin on September 17 in New York, Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, secretary-general of the World Kashmir Awareness Forum, a non-profit organization based in Ohio, US, claiming to focus on providing information on Kashmir, has regretted that despite "violent" behaviour of Indian authorities in Kashmir, they enjoy "total impunity" across the world.

TN woman's No Caste, No Religion struggle 'follows' ideals of Marx, Ambedkar, Periyar

By Sheshu Babu*
In these days of rising communal tensions, a courageous woman from Tamil Nadu achieved her dream of obtaining 'No Caste, No Religion' certificate through persistent struggle. This is quite a significant achievement. It comes alongside some colleges in West Bengal introducing 'humanity', 'agnostic' , 'secular' or 'non-religious' in the application forms for online submission for students who are unwilling to disclose their faith.

Jharkhand riverine terminal: 485 families 'displaced', lose land, livelihood in Sahibgunj

Counterview Desk
Even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposes to inaugurate on Thursday India’s second riverine Multi-Modal terminal (MMT) at Sahibganj in Jharkhand, built at a cost of Rs 290 crore reportedly in a record time of about two years, several civil rights organizations* have said that the government has failed to address the high-profile terminal’s social and environmental concerns.

Now clampdown on rally, arrest of pro-freedom activists in Pak-occupied Kashmir

Counterview Desk
In a fresh evidence, international human rights organizations are not just confining their attention on the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir (J&K), whose special status was taken away by the Government of India in early August, leading to an unprecedented clampdown on the region. They have simultaneously begun focusing on the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK), where the situation is said to be worsening.
Thus, the International Human Rights Council ((IHRC) Hong Kong (HK), a top human rights organisation, said to be working towards to the promotion peace, equality, fundamental rights and social justice “as enunciated in the UN Human Rights Charter and other instruments of human rights”, has noted now a new wave of independence movement has struck PoK.  With offices in US, UK, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and having Kirity Roy and Lenin Raghuvanshi as IHRC office bearers from India, in a statement, it has claimed that on September 7 one of the biggest pro-Independenc…

Govt of India 'moves' to hold Assam-type foreigners' tribunals across India, warns report

Counterview Desk
A People’s Tribunal on the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has warned in its interim jury report that two recent notifications of the Government of India may lay down the groundwork for triggering an NRC process in different parts of the country, pointing towards recent moves towards this.

New sample suggests high pollution off Vadodara effluent channel, 'requires' action

Counterview Desk 
Gujarat’s top environmental group Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti (PSS) has sharply criticized the Gujarat Pollution Control Board’s (GPCB’s) “on-serious, casual letter” dated September 5, which allegedly suggests that the top state state agency does not favour taking any action Central Gujarat’s effluent treatment plant, Vadodara Enviro Channel Ltd (VECL).

Modi used to 'run errands' during Emergency, his role was that much: Top JP associate

By Rajiv Shah
In a sharp exposure, well-known Gujarati critic, journalist and activist Prakash N Shah, who had been among the main contact persons of Jay Prakash Narayan (JP) in Gujarat, has recalled that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “merely running errands” during the Emergency (1975-77) period, adding the PM’s stature has been “sought to be unnecessarily inflated”, though adding, he is not saying this to “belittle him.”

South Gujarat wastewater carrying pipeline damaged, 'harming' farmlands

The pipeline carrying industrial wastewater to the Gulf of Khambhat from Jhagadia industrial estate in Bharuch district has been found to have damaged for the eighth time over the last one and a half months. The crack, says a local environmental organisation, has occurred at Hansot, endangering agricultural farms.