“Keep Your Cows, Give Us Jobs” – Dalits from Gujarat to Lead “Freedom March”


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Attacks on Dalits and Muslims all over India have increased many times and no government is ready to address those issues. Lynchings of Dalits and Muslims have become a common spot but Brahminical media, as well as India, is not waking up from the sleep.

On 11 July last year, seven Dalits of Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka in Gir-Somnath district were allegedly thrashed by cow vigilantes when they were skinning a dead cow.

Later, four of these Dalit youths were taken to Una town, where they were tied up with a vehicle and allegedly thrashed by the Gau-Rakshaks. The matter came to light after a video of the incident, allegedly made by the vigilantes, went viral on social media platforms and created a huge uproar among people.

Last year, 110-day ‘Aazadi Koon’ (Freedom March) was led by Dalits in Gujarat after the Una incident where Dalits were beaten brutally by Gau Rakshak Terrorists and it ended on the Independence Day, 15th August at Una, Freedom March in which thousands had participated.

This year, ‘Freedom March’ would be taken out on 12 July from Mehsana town to commemorate the first anniversary of the Una Dalit flogging incident, Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani said on Friday. March will take place under the banner of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDAM) to observe the first anniversary of the public flogging of a Dalit family by Gau Rakshaks Terrorists in Una of Gir Somnath district.

The Freedom March is scheduled to culminate on July 18 at Dhanera in Banaskantha district. The march will pass through Unjha, Sidhpur, Palanpur and Deesa before culminating at Dhanera.

“If our demands are not met then we will make sure that the Dalits vote for any other party, but BJP. They think that by keeping a Dalit candidate for the presidential position they are going to win over the community,” Jignesh Mevani said.

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During the July 11 gathering (in Ahmedabad), we will ask the government to keep their cows and give us jobs, land, houses, employment and education. Victims of cow politics, as well as Dalit scholars from across the country, will take part in this conclave. Una victims will also remain present.

Dalits’ demand is that Dalits be given proper land as most of the atrocities happen on Dalits because they are landless and have to depend on so-called upper castes to work in their fields. We want the government to start the allocation of 1.63 lakh acres of land to Dalits and landless farmers as per the law.

Gujarat has a rising record of atrocities against Dalits. According to a 2010 study by Navsarjan, a non-profit, around 5% of such cases results in acquittal against the national average of 28%. The study covered more than 1,500 villages of Gujarat and recorded various forms of discrimination practised against Dalits.

More than 500 Dalits were murdered in Gujarat between 1990 and 2015. The conviction rate in cases of atrocities on Dalits, was 3.4% in 2014. In 2012, four Dalit men were killed in police firing in Thangarh, Surendranagar. The case remains unresolved. The flogging of Dalits in Una was not an isolated case.

More than 80% of the Dalits in Gujarat are daily labourers, the majority of whom work in the agricultural sector. Half of the Scheduled Caste population is landless or owns less than one acre of land.

After Dalits’ protest last year, BJP CM of Gujarat, Anandiben Patel had to step down.

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