Renowned writer and activist, Arundhati Roy, has contributed Rs three lakh to Gujarat’s Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani’s election campaign. Mevani, who announced his candidature in the next month’s assembly polls, has been collecting funds for his election campaign.
With this, the online campaign titled – Janta Ki Ladai, Janta Ke Paison Se has raised over 9,00,000 rupees with over 203 contributions.
In a release issued by the campaign platform CrowdNewsing, Roysaid, “I contributed because I believe Jignesh Mevani represents a kind of breakthrough in mainstream Indian politics. A solidarity that rises from the bottom upwards.. one with vision, sophistication, confidence and a real, multi-faceted understanding of the direction we as a people need to move in.”
Reacting to the donation by Roy, Mevani said, “From the very beginning of the Una movement, we have not taken any contribution from political parties, corporates or NGOs. This movement belongs to the people and its their responsibility to run it and sustain it financially. In that respect we welcome contributions made by each of the 200 plus people. It doesn’t matter what amount you give, as long as you contribute.”
“Financially, the odds are against us, the enemy camp in power has immense backing not just from Indian corporations but global capital as well. But the people of India are responding and the fight is on,” says Mevani, who represents the Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch which is looking to raise Rs 20 lacs from ordinary citizens.
Earlier, after addressing a number of public meetings and roadshows across the state of Gujarat, Mevani decided to contest from the Vadgam the seat.
The crowdfunding page shows the entire list of contributors with the amount, except for those who have chosen to not declare their names. While some supporters are calling him the new ‘Martin Luther King’, others in the comments section can be seen urging him to ‘fight the good fight’.
“It’s heartening to see the contribution size for this campaign. If you go through the list of supporters, a huge number of transactions have come from those who have contributed less than 500 rupees – and they are mostly young students,” explains Banojyotsna Lahiri, who has been leading the online fundraising efforts.
“In 8 days, more than 200 people have contributed more than 9 lac rupees, which gives us the hope that citizens are ready to back 100% transparency in election funding,” says Bilal Zaidi, Director at CrowdNewsing, the New Delhi based company that is hosting the crowdfunding campaign.