Newslaundry Podcast

For the past four weeks, western Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur had been on the boil. What might have begun as a power struggle between the Thakur and Dalit communities in Shabirpur village in Saharanpur, has now become a full blown inter-caste war.

On May 5, over 25 houses in Shabirpur were burnt by around 1,000-1,500 attackers from the Thakur community. The spate of violence has already claimed two lives and over 35 have been injured. Since May 9, the Bhim Army, an organisation founded by Chandrashekhar ‘Ravan’, has been accused of instigating the Dalits youth in Saharanpur. His speech at Jantar Mantar, on May 21, was very aggressive in nature.

This was supported by the face of the Una Dalit movement, Jignesh Mevani. He saw this as a positive aspect. According to him, certain casteist elements should be given a "physical shock treatment."

Chandrashekhar’s whereabouts are unknown after the massive Dalit protest at Jantar Mantar. Mevani elaborates on what makes Chandrashekhar especially appealing as a Dalit leader. He believed that the Bhim Army’s has a bright organisational future. Mevani holds the Bharatiya Janata Party government responsible for the violence against Dalits in Saharanpur and elsewhere. Mevani spoke of his plan to organise a protest to address the issues of Saharanpur, mob lynchings, and casteism, among other concerns in Gujarat on the anniversary of the Una movement.

According to Mevani, barring non-Dalits to speak on Dalit issues reflects a Brahmanical nature amongst a section of Dalit activists. Watch him speak about the upheaval in Saharanpur, Dalit politics, Bahujan Samaj Party and more.

Direct download: NL_Interviews__JIGNESH_MEVANI_.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:03pm IST