Ambedkarite-Left Unity Gains Strength at Swabhiman Sangharsh Rally
Dalit Swabhiman Sangharsh Rally
On 16th September, Delhi’s Parliament Street echoed with slogans of ‘Jai Bhim and Lal Salaam’. The occasion was a massive Dalit Swabhiman Sangharsh Rally held to protest against the ongoing incidents of violence against Dalits across the country. This protest witnessed coming together of people marginalized by caste and class. The rally attended by thousands asserted that unity of these two struggles holds the potential to change the political and social landscape of India. The rally was addressed by activists as well as leaders from different political parties and mass movements. The participants included students from Himachal Pradesh, Workers from Haryana, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and other parts of India. Prakash Ambedkar, Sitaram Yechury, Jignesh Mewani, Radhika Vemula, D. Raja, Vimal Thorat, Paul Diwakar, Bejwada Wilson along with many other speakers condemned the callous attitude of the BJP government at the Centre.
Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani, while commenting on the recent Dalit movement in Gujarat, said ‘ this movement was a declaration on the part of Dalits that they will no more tolerate the Gujarat model and Hindutva agenda’. Remembering Rohith Vemula he said, ‘he will live on in our struggles. We will continue his fight.’
Woman Rights Activist and Former MP, Subhashini Ali while addressing the rally stated that, ‘this Manuvadi government’s countdown has started. The unification of Red and Blue flag should be seen as warning for Manuvad.’ She warned the government for its anti-people policies and insisted them to decide ‘whether they are on the side of the Manusmriti or the Constitution’.
People from different regions explained how under the current regime, attack on Dalits and on people from marginalized communities has increased. The entire beef row and debate around issue of nationalism is a move to divert attention from core issues of employment, price rise and poverty. The common problems narrated by the people included untimely payment of wages, high prices of essential commodities, growing unemployment and constant fear of becoming target of the Right Wing Cadres.
CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said that, ‘ the red and blue are the colours of rainbow; they are prime colours and together they will change the society for better.’ While explaining the true meaning of Inquilab Zindabad he said, ‘it indicates a society where one person cannot oppress another. It is a society of equality.’ He demanded that, ‘the Prime minister should assure the whole country that if anyone breaks the law, they will face proper consequences’.
The public rally ended with a resolution adopted by the participants. The major demands adopted in the resolutions include:
*To strengthen SC/ST Atrocities Act to make it more effective
*Effectively implement SC/ST sub-plan
*Stringent action against culprits booked in cases of attacks against Dalits
*Ban anti-social vigilante gau-rakshak groups
*Put an end to manual scavenging, provide alternate jobs, end contract labour, regularise jobs
*Distribute land to all landless with priority for landless Dalit households
*Implement Rohith Act to end caste discrimination in educational institutions
*Stop commercialisation and communalisation of education
*Ensure equal opportunity from primary school to university free of cost
*More incentives to promote inter-caste marriage
*Take measures to eliminate caste in society along the lines of the resolution passed in the 'Jati Antachi Parishad' held at Nagpur on 9th April 2016
*Clear backlog in recruitment under reserved category and ensure reservations in private sector
*Put an end to casteist, communal and divisive RSS agenda of cultural nationalism
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