Koregoan-Bhima violence exposes State and Central governments caste bias

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Koregoan-Bhima violence exposes State and Central governments caste bias

It is a total failure of Maharashtra government which, having all intelligence output on the bicentenary celebrations of the historic 1818 battle of Koregaon-Bhima by Dalits who celebrate the victory of Mahar (a caste of Dalit) soldiers of British army over the Pashwas who were ruling the region at that time and were defeated by the dint of the courage and fighting skills of the Dalits army men, failed to maintain the law and order. The British army of 800 soldiers consisting of 500 Mahars defeated the Peshwas army of thousands of soldiers. Since decades the Dalits are paying homage to the killed soldiers of their community and it was nothing to appreciate the British rulers. The Hindutva forces are reported to have threatened the Dalits to not celebrate the memorial function on January 1 where about 3 lakhs Dalits gathered. The affiliates of the RSS not only disturbed the meeting, but also set ablaze hundreds of vehicles which brought the Dalits to the meeting and in the melee one youth was also killed. This provoked the Dalit reaction that rocked the state. The grandson of B R Ambedkar, Prakash Ambedkar gave a bandh call which was responded with a near total closure and even Mumbai was deserted on January 3. The prevalent belief of people that only Shiv Sena can close the commercial capital of the country was proved wrong, as the Dalit call paralysed the mega city. Now it is reported that the real culprits behind the disturbance of the meeting were still to be arrested.

Bahujan Samaj Party supremo, Mayawati, in her statement on January 6, said Maharashtra government was acting with bias against Dalits and the key culprits known to police were freely roaming about. She said the Maharashtra government was safeguarding the Hindutva leaders who threatened Dalits to not organize the meeting. The Congress president Rahul Gandhi cleared the plan for Parivartan Yatra in the state. The Congress, this month, will take out the yatra to show the people that the BJP government is anti-Dalit. The Congress also rocked Parliament on the issue. The philosophy of the RSS which is based on Manusmriti teaches its followers to suppress the Dalits. The bias on the part of Maharashtra police against Dalits and Muslims is evident from the fact that the FIRs were filed against Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani and JNU student Omer Khalid for allegedly making provocative speeches. Newly elected Gujarat MLA Mevani said the charge was politically motivated. He said during Modi’s regime, the Dalits were flogged in Gujarat and Rohit Vemula of Hyderabad Central University who committed suicide did not get justice. He said he would hold the rally of youth and go to the PMO and ask PM Modi whether he chooses the constitution of the country or Masusmriti, the sacred book of the RSS. Omer Khalid also vehemently denied the charge and said the government was trying to shift the blame.

It is an irony that PM Modi is silent on this grave incident and is not speaking a word. It seems to be the part of the strategy of the PM that when the RSS and Hindutva forces are at fault, Modi keeps mum however grave the incident may be. The Dalits all over the country are seeking justice, but neither the state government nor the centre is much bothered. The Prime Minister should have pulled up the Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis for not bringing the culprits to the book. A judicial probe should be conducted in a time bound manner. It is an acid test for the state and the centre to prove that they are sincere to the Dalit community.

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