The Hush Post: Dalit icon and the architect of India’s constitution BR Ambedkar’s grandson Parkash Ambedkar has called for a strike in Maharashtra on Wednesday as protests that started in Pune on Monday spilled over to Mumbai on Tuesday.
On the judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the Bombay High Court into the Pune violence announced by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, he said the judge conducting it should not be a Dalit and should be empowered to “award punishment”.
Ambedkar is the leader of Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh which claims to fight for the rights of the backward communities. The 63-year-old activist was the top choice of Left parties for the presidential election against the NDA nominee Ram Nath Kovind. He is a two –time former Lok Sabha member from Akola in Maharashtra.
The Chief Minister’ had announced the inquiry as Dalits hit the street in parts of Mumbai, protesting against the violence ahead of a Dalit rally near Pune. During the violence, a man died, 12 people were injured and 40 vehicles were vandalised.
A rally is held by Dalits in Pune every year to commemorate the battle of Bhima Koregaon which was fought on January 1, 1818 in which a small force of East India Company comprising of large number of people considered untouchables then, had won the war against the army of Peshwa Bajirao II. Some Dalit leaders and thinkers view its outcome as a victory of oppressed classes over the upper-caste establishment of those times. However, some right-wing groups in Pune had expressed opposition to celebration of the ‘British’ victory.