Dalits plan to step up protests coinciding PM Modi’s 66th birthday bash


Dalit organisations, fighting against “atrocities” on the community in Gujarat, today announced holding of “rail roko” agitation at some places in state on October 1.

Dalit leaders associated with ‘Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti’ and ‘Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch’ said they will stop trains at two to three places.

The call was given at a gathering of dalits held in the city tonight.

“To highlight the issue of atrocities on dalits in state, we have called for a ‘rail roko’ protest on October 1 at some places in Gujarat. We have also urged dalit leaders in other parts of country to engage in similar kind of protest on that day,” said Subodh Parmar, who is associated with both these dalit bodies.

Parmar claimed the stir is not limited to the cause of dalits only, but they also wanted to highlight issues concerning tribals, OBCs and farmers as well.

At the gathering here, dalit leaders sought “explanation” from Prime Minister Narendra Modi who is scheduled to visit tribal districts of Dahod and Navsari.

Modi will celebrate his 66th birthday in tribal-dominated Dahod district on September 17.

“As our PM is coming here, we want to ask him what happened to more than 12 lakh pending applications of tribals, who are demanding land rights since many years?” he said.

Dalits have upped their ante since some youths of the community were flogged at Una in July, allegedly by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow.

In a bid to highlight the issues affecting them, many dalits have stopped disposing of carcasses in many parts of the state.

The ‘Una Dalit Atyachar Ladat Samiti’ and ‘Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch’ yesterday launched “Badbu (stench) Gujarat Ki” campaign and sent around 1100 postcards with a small message to Bollywood icon and Gujarat tourism brand ambassador Amitabh Bachchan.

“Badbu Gujarat Ki” is a parody of the Tourism Department’s famous television advertisement “Khushbu Gujarat Ki (scent of Gujarat)” featuring the megastar.