The saga and aftermath of Maharashtra Bandh by the Dalit Community

RPI activists protest at AIROLI Circle during Maharashtra  Bandh on 3rd Jan'18.

RPI activists protest at AIROLI Circle during Maharashtra Bandh on 3rd Jan’18.

MUMBAI, 3 January, 2018 (GPN) : On Monday 1st January, 2018 while Dalit groups were celebrating 200 years of the Anglo-Maratha battle at Bhima-Koregaon near Pune. Dalit, who were part of the British forces during the British rule had defeated upper caste Peshwas, celebrate January 1 as victory day.(Actual facts from the history reveals some 200 years back on 31st Dec a war was fought between Britisher’s and Bajirao Peshwa-2.Bajirao (a native) was defeated by Britishers (outsiders).
Now major portion of the British army were Dalits.So Dalits think this is their glory.British then founded a victory stone in the place. Over the years people, whose forefather’s fought or lost lives visited the place and it became an annual event.Politicians then stepped in and described the battle as Dalits defeating Brahmins.Now the wicked want to take benefits by striking sentiments of the people and use the divide and rule policy.
It is now projected as Dalits Vs RSS/BJP for political unrest).
The Pune police have registered cases against Milind Ekbote and Sambhaji Bhide, who head two local right-wing organisations, over Monday’s clashes in which a man died and more than 12 people were injured. The two groups had opposed the Dalit celebrations, asking why a British victory was being celebrated. Chief Minister Fadnavis has ordered an inquiry by a sitting High Court judge into Monday’s violence.

Union Minister of State for Employment and Skill development Anantkumar Hegde had kicked up a fresh controversy on Sunday 24th December Christmas Eve when he asked “secular people” to identify themselves with their religion.
Describing seculars as “people who don’t have an identity of their parental blood”, the minister went to an extent of proposing changes in the Constitution to do away with the idea of “secularism.”

Addressing a gathering organised by the Brahmana Yuva Parishat in Karnataka’s Koppal district, Hegde said that “We are here to change the Constitution,”
“Those claiming to be secular and progressive do not have an identity of their parents and their blood. One will get self-respect through such identity,” the paper quoted him as saying. “I will be happy if someone identifies as Muslim, Christian, Brahmin, Lingayat or Hindu. But trouble will arise if they say they are secular.”

He also questioned the intellect of the progressive class and said that “the progressive thinkers do not know about history, tradition and culture.” He also said that ‘Manu Smriti’ has become outdated and at present its ‘Ambedkar smriti’ that’s been talked about.

Reacting to controversial remarks by Anant Hegde, his colleague in the Union ministry, Minister of State for Social Justice Ramdas Athawale on Sunday said that changing the Constitution of India is not possible, and that he will not let any such thing happen.
Asked about Hegde’s comment, which led to a huge controversy, at a media conference in Pune on Sunday, Athawale said in a jovial way, “Samvidhan koni badlaycha prayatna kela ter, amhi tyalach badlu (if someone tries to change the Constitution, we will change him).”The call for shutdown was given by Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar. Mr Ambedkar, who leads a Dalit group, yesterday said 250 groups were supporting the bandh call.
Groups of protesters descended on several regions of Mumbai , Thane and its neighbouring areas this morning to enforce the call for a shutdown by Dalit groups following Monday’s caste clashes near Pune. In Mumbai, schools and colleges remained open but school buses stayed off roads as a precaution. The city’s lifeline, the suburban trains and the BEST buses are plying normally. But in areas like Goregaon, Thane and Virar, slogan-shouting Dalit activists attempted a rail-blockade, but were foiled by security forces. Prohibitory orders banning large gatherings have been imposed in parts of Thane. Traffic is normal in areas like Chembur, where thousands of Dalits blocked roads yesterday, protesting against the government’s failure to stop caste clashes in Pune in which a man died.Metro services at Ghatkopar and airport stations were suspended as a precautionary measure. Local train service at Harbour Line was disrupted following protests at Gowandi and Dombivli. Bus services to Satara and Baramati town were suspended this morning.Mumbai’s famous Dabbawallas suspended their services, citing difficulties in commuting. The head of the Dabbawala association Subhash Talekar said they would find it difficult to deliver tiffins on time.Mayawati’s Bahujan Samaj Party has demanded a discussion on the Maharashtra caste clashes in the Rajya Sabha today. “The incident which occurred could have been prevented. The government should have made adequate security arrangements. There is BJP government in the state, they let violence take place. It seems casteist forces like the BJP and RSS are behind the violence,” said Mayawati, who draws most of her support from Dalits.ENDS

For More Photos of communal violence and bandh that evoked after the caste clash on PUNE Visit :



About the Author

Sachin Murdeshwar
Sachin Murdeshwar is a Sr.Journalist and Columnist in several Mainline Newspapers and Portals.He is an ardent traveller and likes to explore destinations to the core.