New Delhi: The historic ground of Ramlila Maidan in New Delhi Sunday witnessed a path breaking unity of Dalits , Muslims and Adivasi communities to defend their rights of religious freedom, dignity, justice for unity and equality in the Mahasangram Rally.
An estimated 50,000 Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis vowed to continue their unified struggle against the communal and divisive forces in the country. Jointly organised by dozenss of social, cultural and faith based groups the rally urged strict implementation of constitution and its spirit of secularism, representation and the rights of Dalits, Minorties and Adivasis.
Leaders at MahaSangram rally called for dignity and justice to Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities to build enlightened India.
Leaders and representatives of Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities coming from 23 states and Union Territories, including North-Eastern region of the country felt that the current policies, including de-monetization, are affecting hard working and wage earner communities of Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities adversely.
Speakers at the MahaSangram Rally expressed their serious concerns over the promotion of a socio-cultural paradigm jeopardising constitutional rights of enjoying fundamental freedoms of food, faith and livelihood.
The Leaders also highlighted increased atrocities, violence and judicial pronouncements questioning the constitutional rights of Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities making them insecure and deserve urgent attention of the Government.
Mahmood Madani, General Secretary Jamiat Ulama -e- Hind, mentioned that the freedom of India has yet to bring equality and development to Dalits, Adivasi and Minorities. He emphasised that we are not here to oppose anybody but tochange the circumstances.
"Changing rulers is not enough, the character has to be changed. The change will start from our ownselves. There is the the need for unity of Dalits and Muslims to join hands to defend the dignity and rights of the most vulnerable groups in the country. Both communities similar type of discrimination. They should be socially integarted", he said.
He stated that this rally is just the beginning of the jorney to reach the destination of social justice.
Ashok Bharti, renowned Dalit leader and Founding Chairman of National Confederation of Dalit Organisations (NACDOR) and who also led the MahaSangram Rally, challenged the casteist and communnal forces who are oppressing the Dalit, Muslim and Adivasi communities.
"The declaration of this rally has brought together “Bahujans” in real sense", he said.
He stated that the recent decision of demonetisation has been a great inconvenience to the poor, it is ill-intnetioned and ill-planned.
"Instead of attacking the rich hoarders, it has attacked the savings of poor and common man", he said.
"Forcing Muslims to use the interest based banking system is against Islam", he said demanding equal rights for Dalits, Muslims.
The rally demanded population proportionate allocation of budgets to Dalits, Adivasi and Minorities and representation in all constitutional and public institutions, annihilation of caste system and caste based discrimination and exclusion, speedy and unbiased justice to the victims of caste and communal violence, truthful implementation of Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act.
The rally as demanded strict action against the cow-vigilante groups which are unleashing violence on Dalits and Muslims.
The speakers demanded reservation in private sector and strengthening the policies of reservation in education, jobs and in promotions. Leaders in the rally demanded 5 acres of agricultural land to each Dalit Adivasi family and make the corporates accountable to Dalits, Adivasi and Minorities, secular and equal education, equal health facilities for every citizen.
The rally highlighted the need to end violence and atrocitie against Dalits, Muslims and Adivasis citing
government data. The data indicate that in last two years in 1395 incidences of communal violence 192 persons were killed while 4185 persons were injured. Since 1991, the quantum of atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis have totalled to 9.11 lakhs.
These atrocities include murders of 15993 Dalits and 3350 Adivasis; raping of 33300 Dalit and 13937 Adivasi women; 10425 cases of arson; 11559 kidnapping and abductions; 1432 dacoity; 3452 robberies; 18920 cases of violation of civil rights of Dalits and Adivasis under the Protection of Civil Rights Act 1976; 5.28 lakhs other atrocities against Dalits and Adivasis; and 2.52 lakhs cases of atrocities under the Scheduled Castes, scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocity) Act 1989.
The rally demanded population proportionate allocation of budgets to Dalits, Adivasi and Minorities and representation in all constitutional and public institutions, annihilation of caste system and caste based discrimination and exclusion, speedy and unbiased justice to the victims of caste and communal violence, truthful implementation of Prevention of Atrocities against SC/ST Act. Strict action was demanded against the so called cow-vigilante groups which are unleashing violence on Dalits and Muslims.
The out comes of this rally have the potential to change the destiny of the country and the socio-economic structure of the country may be rewritten with the excluded communities coming in teh core of the decision making.
In a separate interview, Ashok Bharti said announced the beginning of Million Leaders March for defending the constitutional guarantees enshrined in the Constitution of India.
"The Million Leaders March will mobilise grass root leadership of Dalits, Adivasis and Minorities across the country for two years and converge at Parliament in the first week of December 2018, just before the general election in 2019 to take an action call", Bharti said.
"A national organising committee has been formed to lead this March under the leadership of Ashok Bharti, convener of MahaSangram Rally", he added.
The speakers included Niaz Farouki, Kamal Farouki, Chotu Kole, Adivasi leader, MP; Tara Ram Mehna, President, BAMCEF; Sanjay Bharti, President, Rashtriya Dalit Mahasabha; Laljee Nirmal, President, Ambedkar Mahasabha, UP; Amrik Singh Bungar, President, SC/BC Employee Federation, Punjab; Rakesh Bahadur, Executive Chairman, Valmiki Mahasbha, Haryana; Ms. Sumedha Bauddh, General Secretary, Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan; Devendra Kumar, General Secretary, Akhil Bhartiya MNREGA Mazdoor Union, Bihar; Ms. Sarita Thatal, Sikkim; Nitin Chaudhray, OBC Mukti orcha, Maharashtra; and Manoj Shankar, President, All India Nepali SC Association, Ms Keshkali, Adivasi Women Leader etc.