Protesting the atrocities against them in various parts of the country, including the violence perpetrated by so-called cow vigilantes, the dalit community is bringing its agitation to the national capital.
Giving a call for solidarity amongst dalit organisations, an umbrella forum of the community called Dalit Swabhiman Sangharsh was announced in Delhi on Friday. It will hold a dharna at Jantar Mantar, which is a stone’s throw from Parliament, on September 16.
Announcing the formation of the forum, dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar said the aim of DSS was to consolidate the dalits into a united voice to take on the RSS. "We will unite our force to counter the cultural nationalism of the RSS. Our fight will be to protect the individual liberty of dalits," said Ambedkar.
"In the recent period, cow vigilante gangs of Hindutva groups are attacking dalits frequently and torturing them in the name of gau raksha. In this context, various progressive forces have come together under the banner of DSS to consolidate and unite the different dalit organisations which are agitating and organising in the states," he said.
Ambedkar said the atrocities against dalits are happening in the name of cultural nationalism, and there has not been a word of caution or condemnation from those in power.
An appeal has also been made to all humanitarian organisations, dalit groups and the Left and socialist parties to join the rally. However, Ambedkar said dalit leaders, who have joined the NDA, will not be allowed to participate in the September 16 rally. They can be part of it only if they sever their ties with the BJP, he said.
While dalits have held agitations in different parts of the country against the atrocities on members of the community, especially in the backdrop of the violence unleashed on a group of dalits in Una district of Gujarat for skinning a dead cow, it will be for the first time that they will hold an agitation as a united forum in the national capital.