MUMBAI: Refuting rumours that the Dalit movement appears to be revolving around only emotive issues and the leadership is completely detached with the realities, veteran Dalit leader J V Pawar has said that the movement won’t lose its pragmatism, though it relies on emotive issues at times. Emotive issues are needed at times to give a push to the society, he added.
“In the agitation that started from Bhima Koregaon, the whole society was with us and that is why we could bring Mumbai to standstill. More than that, with the support we are getting now, I feel that a larger alliance of all the oppressed classes is possible in near future,” said Pawar, Vice President of the Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBMS).
Explaining the interrelation between the emotive part and real issues in the movement led by Dr Ambedkar, Pawar pointed out that Ambedkar visited the Victory Pillar at Bhima Koregaon on January 1, 1927, and within a couple of months he led the famous Mahad Satyagraha to allow Dalits to use water from the public tank.
“If visiting Bhima Koregaon was emotive, then that was used to lead the community into a big fight for empowerment of Dalits. The principal remains the same,” said Pawar.
Claiming that the Dalit leadership appears to be still in the ’50s, President of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Milind Kamble said, “The world is talking of IT and AI. India has become a $3 trillion economy, but the Dalit movement doesn’t discuss any of this. It appears to be detached with the aspirations of the Dalit youth who are trying to search new career avenues.”
“Dr Ambedkar was a global leader. He had put forth fundamental thinking in economics. Today’s leadership should introspect where they stand in terms of accepting the new changes,” he added.
Senior Dalit leader Arjun Dangle said, “Bowing to the memories of ideals is not at all emotive. Peshwa rule was very harsh on Dalits. Bhima Koregaon is a memory of the end of that rule. It is a memory of that social reform. It can’t be dismissed as an emotive issue.”