What’s the connection between terrorist Hafiz Saeed and ‘militant’ Hindus? A lot, says Dalit leader
Bhopal, Jan 6: At a time when the issue of atrocities against the Dalits has once again come to the forefront in the aftermath of violence in Maharashtra over the 200th anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregoan, a senior Dalit leader has warned that India should not encourage the rise of Hindu version of Hafiz Saeed, the dreaded terrorist from Pakistan and Mumbai terror attack mastermind.
The politics of religion, if not checked, could give rise to "many Hafiz Saeeds" among Hindus, Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar said in Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh on Friday.
"The politics of religion can become uncontrollable if it is not checked and it can give rise to many Hafiz Saeeds among the Hindus," he said, referring to the Pakistan-based co-founder of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba.
"This new order, in the name of religion, that is coming into existence is like Hitler-shahi (Hitler's rule)," Ambedkar said, addressing the gathering at a programme, organised to mark the birth anniversary of former Satna MP, late Sukhlal Kushwaha.
Referring to the recent violence in Maharashtra over the 200th anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima- Koregaon, Ambedkar, who had subsequently called for a bandh which brought life in Mumbai and elsewhere in the state to a halt, said, "People belonging to Hindutva organisations attacked those from the backward classes.
"We are demanding that the (Maharashtra) government arrest those who were involved, but the government appears to be helpless. It is the government's responsibility to act and if not checked immediately, it (violence against Dalits) may spread to the other states." He urged the backward class communities to recognise their electoral strength and vote only for backward class, Dalit and tribal candidates, so that they could control the reins of power.
Referring to the BJP-led government at the Centre, Ambedkar said, "If it comes to power again, even the right to speak, which we are enjoying now, will be taken away.
Therefore, we have to fight to save this right and the Constitution." The former MP, who is the grandson of Dalit icon B R Ambedkar, urged the Congress to declare backward class leader and the president of the party's Madhya Pradesh unit, Arun Yadav, its chief ministerial candidate for the upcoming state Assembly election.
"If the Congress fails to do so, we will have to choose our own way," he said.
Arun Yadav and former JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav were also present at the meeting.
Even the Congress is maintaining a wait and watch policy over the protests by Dalits since the beginning of the year after the community members were allegedly attacked by members of the right-wing groups near Pune during the anniversary celebrations of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon.
Except for Congress president Rahul Gandhi calling the BJP and the RSS fascists, the party did not do anything concrete to show its solidarity to the Dalits.
"Nobody wants to miff the upper caste Hindus. After the BJP's militant Hindutva, the Congress is slowly adopting to soft Hindutva and that is a dangerous signal for the nation and minority communities like Dalits, Muslims and tribals," said another Dalit leader.