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

Gujarat refusal to observe Maulana Azad's birthday as Education Day 'discriminatory'

By Our Representative
The Gujarat government decision not to celebrate the National Education Day on !monday has gone controversial. Civil society organizations have particularly wondered whether the state government is shying away from the occasion, especially against the backdrop of "deteriorating" level of education in Gujarat.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Visually challenged lady seeks appointment with Gujarat CM, is 'unofficially' detained

By Pankti Jog*
It was a usual noon of November 10. I got a phone call on our Right to Information (RTI) helpline No 9924085000 from Ranjanben of Khambhat, narrating her “disgraceful” experience after she had requested for an appointment with Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani. She wanted to meet Rupani, on tour of the Khambhat area in Central Gujarat as part of his Janvikas Jumbesh (Campaign for Development).

Violent 'Ajodhya' campaign in 1840s after British captured Kabul, destroyed Jama Masjid

Counterview Desk  Irfan Ahmad, professor at the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Religious and Ethnic Diversity, Göttingen, Germany, and author of “Islamism and Democracy in India” (Princeton University Press, 2009), short-listed for the 2011 International Convention of Asian Scholars Book Prize for the best study in Social Sciences, in his "initial thoughts" on the Supreme Court judgment on the Babri-Jam Janmaboomi dispute has said, while order was “lawful”, it was also “awful.”

There may have been Buddhist stupa at Babri site during Gupta period: Archeologist

By Rajiv Shah
A top-notch archeologist, Prof Supriya Varma, who served as an observer during the excavation of the Babri Masjid site in early 2000s along with another archeologist, Jaya Menon, has controversially stated that not only was there "no temple under the Babri Masjid”, if one goes “beyond” the 12th century to 4th to 6th century, i.e. the Gupta period, “there seems to be a Buddhist stupa.”

VHP doesn't represent all Hindus, Sunni Waqf Board all Muslims: NAPM on SC ruling

Counterview Desk
India's top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM), even as describing the Supreme Court's Ayodhya judgement unjust, has said, it is an "assault on the secular fabric of the Constitution". In a statement signed by top social workers and activists, NAPM said, "The judgement conveys an impression to Muslims that, despite being equal citizens of the country, their rights are not equal before the law."

Would those charged for illegally demolishing Babri now manage a new Ram temple?

By Fr Cedric Prakash sj*
The long-awaited verdict on the contentious issue of the disputed land in Ayodhya was finally delivered by the Supreme Court on November 9, 2019. The judgement has come after a 70-year-old conflict filled with acrimony, divisiveness, hate and violence between sections of the Hindus and Muslims of the country. At the core of the issue was the Ram Mandir – Babri Masjid dispute: was there a temple on the place where the Masjid was built? To whom should the land be given to?