Gujarat is experiencing the biggest Dalit upsurge in last 30 years. Dalits this time want to challenge unpractical ideology of RSS-BJP in a practical way. After four Dalit men were beaten up by self-appointed cow vigilantes for allegedly killing cows, Dalits community has dumped cow carcasses at collector’s office in Surendranagar district and asking the ‘Gau Rakshak’ groups to dispose the dead animals themselves.
Dalits from villages are now bringing dead cows in tractors and dumping them in government offices in Gondal and surrounding district.
This unprecedented way of protest by Dalit community is likely to keep continue for next few days across the state. CPI (M) leader Sitaram Yechury in his Facebook post has said that the latest expression of anger in Gujarat is the result of politically institutionalised victimisation of the weaker classes.
RJD leader Lalu Prasad Yadav has branded this movement by Dalits as a social revolution. He has said that it is sarcastic that the people who always kept themselves away from doing the jobs which were burdened on Dalits are now speaking about protection of cows.
Dalit rights activist, BK Parmar said, “Dalits will stop lifting dead animals. We told the government to ask Shiv Sainiks and the self-proclaimed cow protectors to collect and dispose of the carcass from the villages and towns”
Gujarat which has been under BJP led governments since 1995 is referred as a laboratory of extremism, violence and suppression. But now the State sponsored tactics are getting backfired on itself. On Tuesday a head constable was killed during the protest and 10 other persons including protesters and policemen have been injured in clashes.
As the BJP is going to face assembly election in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat in 2017 it does not want to be seen as anti-Dalit. The government after all this turmoil has now gone on back foot and Chief Minister Anandiben Patel met family members of the victims who were thrashed. The government needs to understand the dangers of going soft on the groups who want to turn an animal into a religious symbol.