“Chandrashekhar was expected to soon walk out of prison as he had gotten bail in four out of the five cases. But the BJP government does not want him to come out and fight for the rights of Dalits,” said a Bhim Army leader Satish Gautam.
It is very disturbing and contemptuous act of Uttar Pradesh government to invoke National Security Act on Bhim Army chief, Chandrashekhar Azad Ravan after the Allahabad High Court gave him bail in almost all the cases that he was facing. The court also termed the charges against him as politically motivated. We all know well that Azad was arrested for protesting against violence on the Dalits by the Thakurs in Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh.
The Uttar Pradesh government has actually insulted the High Court order by pushing for the fresh charges. Chandrashekhar deserves bail after serving so many months in jail for farcical charges. The state government must inform as what has it done for those Thakur goons who burnt an entire village of the Dalits? Were the gangsters who burnt the houses of Dalits arrested? Was NSA slapped on them?
The violence against the Dalits in the State of Uttar Pradesh is growing and administrative responses have been thoroughly disappointing and depressing but what would they do when the top leadership indicate otherwise.
We condemn the state government’s highly negative and reprehensible attitude on this issue but we have also noticed the criminal silence from other political parties particularly those claiming to represent the Dalit Bahujan communities. It is sad that young leaders like Chandrashekhar who have ignited the flame of social justice and positive thinking in the community are being criminalised and branded as a gang leader without a single statement of support from main political parties of Uttar Pradesh.
We know social media is totally divided among various political parties. Most of us have turned devotees of particular leaders and don’t want to speak. The communities and societies who don’t introspect their faults and mistakes will always remain vulnerable. I have mentioned many times that it is time for political leaders to accept that new leadership is emerging among the Dalit Bahujan Adivasi youths. They are seeking answers and won’t wait for long if the leaders failed to respond accordingly. I have found the Ambedkarites aspirations growing and they are ready to take the leadership. If the Bahujan political forces do not give these Ambedkarite aspirants a space in their political formulations then who will be held responsible if they drift to those political parties who provide them platform?
The failure of a cohesive political response in defense of Chandra Shekhar Azad reflect that political parties are calculating pros and cons of the votes and don’t want to antagonise any castes? Problem is how they can take their own communities for granted if their issues are not being resolved. Chandra Shekhar Azad has become the voice of dissent, dignity and self-respect of the entire Ambedkarite community in Uttar Pradesh. He needs to be protected and supported in the greater interest of the Dalit Bahujan movement. Any effort by Uttar Pradesh government and manuwadi forces to keep him in jail for an indefinite period by violating the law of the land as well as the High Court order needs to be condemned unequivocally.
Author – Vidya Bhushan Rawat