Dalits vow never to remove dead cows

August 16, 2016 by  
Filed under newsletter-india

Himachal Pradesh, August 15, 2016: Radhika Vemula, whose young son Rohith committed suicide at a university in Hyderabad in January, held top honours as she unfurled the national flag this morning at the grounds of a large state-run school in Una.

The small town in Gujarat has turned into a national focal point after four young Dalits were tied to a car, stripped and flogged after being wrongly accused of killing a cow last month.

In Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his address to the country, underscored the importance of social harmony and his government’s commitment to upholding the rights of the weakest sections of society.

The thousands who gathered at Una today say they are tired of those sort of promises. Together, they pledged they will not remove dead cows or skin them, a grueling and poorly-paid task forced upon the lowest castes, NDTV reported.

Also present today was Kanhaiya Kumar, the student from Jawaharlal Nehru University who was infamously arrested on charges of sedition in February.

Before he hanged himself, Mrs Vemula’s son, a PhD scholar, alleged continued persecution by campus officials on account of him being a Dalit. Mr Vemula’s death and Mr Kumar’s arrest drove twin student movements against the government in the first half of the year.

“You have exposed the Gujarat model of development,” Mr Kumar said to the crowd, attacking the PM’s storied development of his home state during his many terms as Chief Minister.

A section of those who were present marched nearly 400 kilometres to Una from Ahmedabad, where their demonstration began 10 days ago.

They insist that their yatra or march is apolitical and aims at delivering basic rights to Dalits – like land that was allocated but never handed over to Dalit farmers. If that is not done in a month, the leaders of the protest warned, they will organize large demonstrations.

They were joined today by Muslims from Una and other parts of the state, who said they wanted to express their solidarity with Dalits.

At the beginning of the month, Dalits blocked roads and attacked buses in Ahmedabad, stating they were striking back after the assault in Una was filmed and uploaded. As the anger spread, Anandiben Patel was removed by the ruling BJP as Chief Minister of Gujarat where elections are due shortly.

Last weekend, Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticised cow vigilantes or “gau rakshaks,” stating most use religion as a cover for crimes that have nothing to do with protecting the cow, which is held sacred by Hindus. The vigilantes chase trucks transporting cattle and raid slaughter houses.

– matters india

Enter Google AdSense Code Here

Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!