Skip to main content

Mevani threatens Muslim bodies with boycott, says they must first solve Gujarat riot victims' housing issues

By Our Representative
In a little known development, Gujarat's Dalit face Jignesh Mevani has threatened Muslim organizations, which have claimed to have "resettled" thousands of 2002 riot victims, that he would boycott meetings called by them anywhere in India. Mevani's threat comes close on the heels of complaints by tens of riot victims that they are sought to be evicted by the very same organizations that had allowed them to settle down on their land in the aftermath of the riots.
Elected as MLA from Vadgam constituency in North Gujarat during the recent assembly elections, Mevani's threat acquires significance as he has been championing the cause of Dalit-Muslim unity, the two communities which, he believes, are suffering the most under the Narendra Modi government in India and the BJP rule in Gujarat. Mevani's victory in Vadgam, with Congress support, owes mainly to Muslim and Dalit support.
At a meeting called by minority rights body, Alpasankhyak Adhikar Manch (AAM), at Gujarat Vidyapeeth, the riot victims made a strong plea against the Muslim organizations which had "resettled" them on land they had acquired. The organizations identified by AAM in a note are Jamiat-e-ulema-e-Hind, Gujarat Sarvajanik Relief Committee, Islamic Relief Committee, United Economic Forum and several "small local trusts and individuals."
Even as Mevani and other civil society leaders were listening to the victims flabbergasted, they were told how they were not allowed to celebrate festivals, even sing songs, and were often told that they were themselves responsible for their state of affairs following the riots. In fact they were not true Muslims, as they would participate in "non-Muslim" festivals like Navratri. They believed, it was a conspiracy to displace them again, as land prices on which they were resettled had zoomed.
Following the testimonies by the riot victims, Mevani said, one should, no doubt, appreciate the Muslim organizations which had given riot victims temporary shelter. But they must now come forward to work for providing them housing rights. "Now and on these organizations call me as speaker at their meetings in Delhi and across the country. Till they help resolve riot victims' problems, I will not attend their meetings, let it be clear. I will tell this to them in clear-cut terms", he said.
Suggesting that he would negotiate on behalf of the riot victims living in resettlement colonies, with the active support of their representatives, Mevani, however, insisted, the primary responsibility for their state of affairs lies with the state government. He said, "It is the greatness of Gujarat model that all that the deprived sections in Gujarat have received in the name of justice in the recent past is a big zero, despite media reports, Teesta Setalvad's court battles, and NGO interventions."
Reacting to the riot victims' complaint that, despite several requests between 2015 and 2017, the Gujarat chief minister has not cared to meet them to listen to their problems, Mevani said, "It is such a third class and thick skinned government that unless one aggressively protests, it refuses to do anything."
Asking riot victims to give him 10 representatives each from the 83 colonies for protest, Mevani declared, "I will see how chief minister Vijay Rupani enters the Gujarat state assembly without giving an appointment. We will not allow him to enter the House. Remember, now you have one among you as elected representative standing by you in thick and thin."
Also giving aq call to gherao the state assembly with the help of 1,500 riot victims, Mevani said, "Rupani has to give us concrete assurance that the the victims' problems are solved. Unless he does it, we will not allow him to garland Babasaheb Ambedkar's statue on his birthday, April 14." He added, "Unless you hit the streets, your problems will not be solved for the next 70 years, just as these have not been solve for the last 70 years."

Comments

K SHESHU BABU said…
Solidarity with Mevani. He has taken right step to expose hypocrisy of Muslim conservative elements. Many dalits and muslim families are yet to be rehabilitated by the government

TRENDING

India performs 'poorly' in Quality of Life Index, ranks 62nd out of 64 countries

Counterview Desk “Expat Insider”, which claims to be one of the world’s most extensive surveys about living and working abroad, in a survey of 20,259 participants from around the globe, has found that of the 64 destinations around the globe, has found that while Taiwan is the best destination for persons living outside their native country, closely by Vietnam and Portugal, India ranks 59th.

India's GDP down by 50%, not 23%, job loss 200 million not 122 million: Top economist

By Our Representative  One of India’s topmost economists has estimated that India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) decline was around 50%, and not 23%, as claimed by the Government of India’s top data body, National Statistical Organization (NSO). Prof Arun Kumar, who is Malcolm S Adiseshiah chair professor, Institute of Social Sciences, New Delhi, said this was delivering a web policy speech, organised by the Impact and Policy Research Institute (IMPRI), New Delhi.

Youngest of 16 activists jailed for sedition, Mahesh Raut 'fought' mining on tribal land

By Surabhi Agarwal, Sandeep Pandey* A compassionate human being, always popular among his friends and colleagues because of his friendly nature and human sensitivity, 33-year-old Mahesh Raut, champion of the democratic rights of the marginalised Adivasi people of Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, has been in prison for over two years now.

Human development index: India performs worse than G-20 developing countries

By Rajiv Shah A new book, “Sustainable Development in India: A Comparison with the G-20”, authored by Dr Keshab Chandra Mandal, has regretted that though India’s GDP has doubled over the last one decade, its human development indicators are worse than not just developed countries of the Group of 20 countries but also developing countries who its members.

#StandWithStan: It's about Constitution, democracy and freedom of expression

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ*  It is more than three weeks now: On the night of October 8, 2020, the 83-year-old Jesuit Fr Stan Swamy was taken into custody by the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) from his residence in Ranchi to an undisclosed destination. According to his colleagues, the NIA did not serve a warrant on Fr. Stan and that their behaviour was absolutely arrogant and rude.

Stan Swamy vs Arnab Goswami: Are activists fighting a losing battle? Whither justice?

By Fr Sunil Macwan SJ* It is time one raised pertinent questions over the courts denying bail to Fr Stan Swamy, who was arrested under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), and granting it to Arnab Goswami, editor-in-chief of the Republic TV, arrested under the charge of abetting suicide of Avay Naik, who ended his life in 2018. It is travesty of justice that a human rights activist is not only denied bail but is also made to wait for weeks to hear a response to his legitimate request for a straw to drink water, while Arnab Goswami walks free.

India among heavily impacted by Covid-19, China 'notoriously' evading transparency

By NS Venkataraman* With the year 2020 inevitably ending in the next few weeks, the thought amongst the people all over the world is whether the coming year 2021 will be free of Covid-19 (often dubbed as Wuhan virus, as it known to have spread from Wuhan in China).In the early 2020, many people thought that Covid-19 would be a localized affair in China but later on, it proved to be a global pandemic.

Namaz in Mathura temple: Haridwar, Ayodhya monks seek Faisal Khan's release

By Our Representative As many as 23 members of the Hindu Voices for Peace (HVP), including the founder president of the well-known Haridwar-based Matri Sadan Ashram, Swami Shivananda Saraswati, and a one of its top monks, Brahmachari Aatmabodhanand, have expressed their “dismay” over the arrest of Khudai Khidmatdar chief Faisal Khan and three others on charges of “promoting enmity between religions” and “defiling a place of worship” after they offered namaz in Mathura’s Nand Baba temple premises on October 29.

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".

Government of India 'refuses' to admit: 52% of bird species show declining trend

Finn's Weaver  By Our Representative The Government of India has been pushing out “misleading” data on the country’s drastic wildlife decline, says a well-researched report, pointing towards how top ministers are hiding data on biodiversity losses, even as obfuscating its own data. It quotes “State of India’s Birds Report 2020” to note that of the 261 out of 867 bird species for which long-term trends could be determined, 52% have declined since the year 2000, with 22% declining strongly.