The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

July 23, 2016

Dalit protests in Gujarat, Maharashtra shake power corridors, media accused of ignoring Dalit gathering in Mumbai

The statewide protests in Gujarat over the attack on Dalit youths by Shiv Sena, have shaken political parties.

The BJP is worried as the protests in Gujarat and Maharashtra, have the potential to wreck its chances in poll-bound Uttar Pradesh.

While Dalits staged protests in towns across Gujarat, the huge gathering in Maharashtra to protest the demolition of Ambedkar Bhawan in Mumbai, has also sent a clear warning to BJP.

It was the BMC that had razed the historic building. More than 1 lakh persons gathered on the streets of Mumbai. Unlike UP, Maharashtra has never elected a Dalit party led government but the huge presence of Dalits in India's commercial capital, shook the BJP.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis was forced to issue a strong statement. The fire of these protests have reached Nagpur too. The RSS that has an uneasy relationship with Dalits, Backwards and Tribals among Hindus, is yet to react.

Meanwhile, leading Dalit figures have accused media of ignoring the huge gatherings of Dalits. The Mumbai protest was not reported and TV channels also didn't report it. "It is clear that this is a Brahmin media, not a people's media", write a Bahujan activist.

The BJP is worried as UP elections would be crucial. It was this state which gave party the seats in Lok Sabha, which helped Narendra Modi form the government. If BJP fails to do well in UP, it will be disaster for Amit Shah.

TIH Bureau

July 19, 2016

Dalits' statewide protests in Gujarat, refuse to pick dead cows, demand action against cow vigilate group for torturing youths

In a major protest, Dalits in Gujarat refused to pick up carcasses of cows after the cow vigilante group assaulted Dalits.

Dalit groups took to streets, organised protests and abandoned carcasses of cows at the government offices in different parts of the State.

They have been demanding stern action against all the members of the cow vigilante group who tortured the Dalits.

The Dalit youths who were skinning dead cow, were brutally beaten up by the cow vigilantes in Una in Gir Somnath district recently.

The Dalit youths were stripped, tied and beaten up with rods. The victims were flogged publicly. After the incident came to fore, there have been mass protests but it took many days for government to respond. Now a police inspector has been suspended.

Dalit castes have historically disposed of dead animals though other caste groups refuse to touch the carcasses. After the incident, Dalits threatened to refuse picking up dead animals all over Gujarat.

They have said that Upper Caste groups who venerate cow and which back vigilante groups should dispose of the carcasses. Dalits abandoned carcasses of bovines at the Collector's office in Surendra Nagar district.

Similarly, in other government offices the carcasses were abandoned and left unattended. The Gujarat government has now ordered a CID inquiry into the brutal attack on Dalit youths and the torture that was inflicted on them.

TIH Bureau

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