Newsmakers 2017: Jignesh Mewani, the face of the Dalit agitation in Gujarat
The rapidly-growing Dalit agitation in Gujarat has found a face - 35-year-old Jignesh Mewani. Mevani, won from Vadgam seat in Gujarat's Banaskantha district, defeating BJP's nominee Vijay Chakravarti by 19,696 votes in the recently held Gujarat elections.
Mewani, who has been critical of the ruling BJP in Gujarat, shot to fame after seven Dalit youths were flogged allegedly by self-styled cow vigilantes at Una last year.
Staring his career as a journalist in a vernacular magazine, Mr. Mewani joined the Jan Sangarsh Manch - a non-profit which works for social justice - in 2008.
While working with the NGO, he completed his law studies, but instead of practicing full-time law, he chose to become an RTI activist, taking up cases not just of Dalits but farmers as well.
Over the last few years, Mewani has forayed into politics, developing contacts with the Aam Aadmi Party and the Communists.