Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Dalit Revolution

2018 is the year of Dalit Revolution. Dalits have proved themselves equal to others in calling bandhs and enforcing them.
First it was in Maharashtra. On 1/1/2018 Dalits celebrated 200th anniversary of victory of Dalit soldiers of East India Company over Peshwa’s army at Bhima Koregaon on 1/1/1818. Some groups attacked Dalits who had gathered for a rally. There was stone-pelting and violence. Prakash Ambedkar called for Maharashtra Bandh on 3/1/2018 and was successful.
Then it was Bharat Bandh called by different groups. Supreme Court order on 22/3/2018 diluting stringent provisions of The Scheduled Castes and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act 1989, commonly known as SC/ST Act, and stopping immediate arrests, led to anger among Dalits and many Dalit groups called for Bharat Bandh on 2/4/2018. Dalit ministers and MPs wanted central government to file a review petition in Supreme Court. There was violence in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. As per reports there were nine deaths.
Centre has filed a review petition in Supreme Court. Supreme Court refused to stay the changes.
In UP, Dalit MPs have written against UP CM Yogi Adityanath to PM Narendra Modi. BJP fears losing Dalit votes.
Bandhs are bad. Politicians and communities like Gujjars, Jats and Patels have called for bandhs and caused damage and death to people. Governments have been soft or complicit with people who called for bandhs. Sometimes state governments have called for bandhs. Such governments should have been dismissed immediately.
Dalits by calling for Bharat Bandh and enforcing it have proved they are equal to communities like Gujjars, Jats and Patels. After Modi became PM there were attacks on Dalits in the name of cow protection. Before Modi became PM there were attacks on Dalits but they did not receive much publicity mainly because there were no video clips. New Dalit leaders are emerging and some of them are openly calling for violence against their adversaries, enemies and oppressors.

Updated: April 8, 2018 — 6:22 pm

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