Hyderabad, Jan 18: At a time when the issue of atrocities against Dalits has once again come to the forefront in the aftermath of violence in Maharashtra during the 200th anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregoan, activist-turned-politician Jignesh Mevani on Wednesday in Hyderabad indicated the launch of a nationwide alliance for the upliftment of Dalits.
The Gujarat legislator and Dalit leader added that he along with other like-minded people is planning to launch the alliance for Dalits soon. The most important work to be undertaken by the alliance is to provide land to the landless Dalits.
Speaking to reporters after visiting Manda Krishna Madiga, a Dalit leader who is currently lodged in a Hyderabad prison, Mevani said land being a major issue, every Dalit should be given five acres of land. 70 out of 100 Dalits are landless, he added.
Madiga, founder of the Madiga Reservation Porata Samithi, was arrested recently during a protest for Scheduled Caste categorisation.
Mevani said, “In the coming days, I, along with Krishna Madiga and other Dalit, progressive and like-minded groups, want to launch a broad alliance for the upliftment of Dalits.”
The newly-elected Gujarat legislator termed the death of University of Hyderabad scholar Rohith Vemula as “an institutional murder” and said that Vemula, had he been alive, would have joined him to meet Madiga.
Vemula had committed suicide in a hostel room on the varsity campus on January 16, 2016.