Bhim Army came into existence in last 2 years or so but has spread fast in the Uttar Pradesh where atrocities on Dalits are common. There are more than 40,000 Dalits who are members of this organization and it is spreading its wings outside Uttar Pradesh also.
We are nonviolent with the people who are nonviolent with us, but we are not nonviolent with people who are violent with us. – Malcolm X
Dalits need to learn self-defense, Bhim Army is teaching that. We would love to see Bhim Army spread and have their reach to every village, every city in India. Dalits should form such self-defense organizations as Bhim Army; otherwise, no one else is coming to protect us. We have to protect ourselves.
In future, will Bhim Army become another Dalit Panthers?
After coming to power RSS/BJP in the state has further encouraged anti-social elements such as Thakurs of the Saharanpur to attack and exploit Dalits. Bhim Army is the one standing against their oppression and crimes of upper castes.
Bhim Army is led by Chandrashekhar Azad, a 30-year-old lawyer and founder of Bhim Army Ekta Mission, who prefers to call himself as Ravan. Ravan who is considered as Asura in the Hindu mythology and was from so-called lower castes. (You should notice Velivada tagline also – where Asuras fight for equal rights!)
Chandrashekhar formed the Bhim Army in 2014 after his father Govardhan Das, a headmaster, was frequently humiliated in school meetings, offered separate glass for drinking in staff room etc. The aim of the Army is to be a voice for the voiceless.
In 2014, Bhim Army put the sign board of “The Great Chamar” in the village which so-called Rajputs of the area didn’t like and put black paint on the sign board. the signboard read:
The Great Chamar,
You can imagine the level of hatred of these so-called upper castes towards Dalits that they do not even like the sign boards put by Dalits. Later so-called upper castes painted black the Dr. Ambedkar statue in the area and Bhim Army taught them a good lesson!
In 2015, in a Rajput run, inter-college Dalits complaint that they are being discriminated and are made to clean the classrooms and are allowed to drink water only after so-called Rajputs have drunk. Bhim Army intervened and straightened the things out.
A few weeks ago Bhim Army had exposed RSS/BJP goons behind violence in Saharanpur when whole media was trying to put Dalits against Muslims. Watch the video released by the Bhim Army related to Saharanpur issue –
Bhim Army believes in writing their own history and teaches self-defense to Dalits. We are not for violence but if someone is coming to kill us, rape our wives, sisters and mothers then we have to protect our families, save ourselves. Bhim Army is doing the same thing when Police and government have failed. We would love to see it become stronger and have a presence at the national level.
We understand the Brahminical forces will do everything to stop Bhim Army from spreading and will register false cases against the leaders of the organisation as Brahminical forces did with Dalit Panthers. Dalits need to come forward and support Bhim Army.
Bhim Army not only fights for the rights of Dalits but organizes various camps for blood donation as well as traffic awareness with police. It is a cultural organization and observes festivals related to Dalit-Bahujans such as Guru Ravidas Jayanti, Buddha Jayanti and Dr Ambedkar Jayanti.
Yogi Adityanath led UP government has failed to protect Dalits. Bhim Army’s aim is not violence but fight for justice. Shabbirpur village in Saharanpur, so-called Thaukars had burnt Dalit houses and Bhim Army is fighting for the justice and wants those involved in the violence against Dalits be arrested and punished.
“Political parties need the votes of all communities but no one really cares for our community. Our people are oppressed every day and they have no voice. They can’t go to the police because they don’t listen to us. Take, for example, the incident in Una (the assault on Dalits by gaurakshaks in Gujarat last year) or (Hyderabad student) Rohith Vemula’s suicide. This has been going on for long. We are an apolitical organisation, which focuses only on the uplift of our people.”
“I tell everyone that the most important thing these days is to get educated to fight oppression. After we get their (upper caste) jobs, only then will there be some equality. We have the same blood so why differentiate?” says Chandrashekhar speaking to The Indian Express.
Feature Image Credit – The Quint