I am far away from the happenings at Pune and Mumbai in last few days.
Per available news, the Dalit organisation’s event to mark the 200th anniversary of Bhima Koregaon battle in Pune district was disturbed by Hindu-extreme-right wings.
Stone-pelting and violence followed; someone died.
In protest, the Dalit organisations declared Maharasthra-wide bandh, which again was marred by violence.
I do not agree with any violence – whether it is done against people or properties, anywhere in India.
At first look, the bandh day protests and violence appears to be a retaliation to the latest violence against Dalits.
But, in my opinion, it goes deeper than that.
To me, it is a retaliation by India’s oppressed, against the continuous happenings for past several years, instigated by extreme elements in wider Sangh parivar.
The demolition of Babari Masjid by Sangh parivar alienated and scared the Muslim minorities in India.
Modi’s ban on cattle slaughter has virtually stopped the leather industry, traditionally operated by Dalits and other minority castes. Illiteracy, poverty and ban on raw materials have pushed them to a corner.
On top, numerous mob killings similar to those at Bisara, Alwar and violence similar to Una flogging worsened the crisis.
It went even further; the Una accused projected the Dalits as Muslims.
Another example why the minority Dalits and Muslims might feel they’re jointly targeted.
These organised attacks by Sangh Parivar were not limited only to Dalits and Muslims.
They even went against students who were protesting in campuses.
The courts could not prove any evidence against JNU students; in fact, police have not even filed a chargesheet against the students.
On the contrary, forensic tests proved that JNU videos were tampered to add anti-national voice over to portray a complete different picture of JNU students.
The talented, mostly scholarship-winning higher-studies students re-elected the left leaders in 2017 with even more majority at JNU – in BJP ruling Delhi.
In all of above cases, the Sangh Parivar and its media slaves tried to portray the victims as anti-nationals and terrorists.
Where were these cries on India’s integrity when Babari Masjid was demolished?
Was it not a terrorist act, similar to the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhist statues by Taliban?
Why there is no outcry on India’s image when people are routinely murdered in different parts of India accused of eating beef?
Is it any less barbaric than ISIS be-headings?
Why are the JNU students still accused as traitors?
All of these events reveal the horrific, bullying, violent nature of Sangh Parivar.
The threatening message is: join us, or be silent – if not, be ready to be silenced.
Let’s come back to Pune and Mumbai.
As I said, I do not agree with any violence, anywhere – whether it was committed in Mumbai by Dalits in last 2 days; or against Dalits, “Madrasis” or UP/Bihar migrants by Shiv Sena, MNC and other right wing extremists in last several decades.
It is a fact that BJP and Sangh parivar used the religion/caste card to come to political prominence in India.
They are still using the same card to instigate hatred between Dalits, Muslims and upper castes – to bounce back from their vote-loss in recent Gujrat elections.
Hence the stone-pelting and violence against the Bhima-Koregaon celebrations.
The day we stop mixing politics with religion, the better for us.
The quote from 1884 is more valid for present day India:
“Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people”.