Ahmedabad, March 18 (IANS) A confederation of various organizations from the Scheduled Caste, Muslim and other underprivileged sections, formed under the leadership of Dalit activist turned legislator Jignesh Mevani, launched a contact programme here on Sunday.
Mevani told IANS that the Dalit Muslim Ekta Manch has been constituted “to uproot the fascist forces ruling the country for the last four years”.
He said he was trying to get tribal activists to join the Manch, which would then be expanded to be called Dalit Adivasi Muslim Dal.
The Manch would fight for the basic rights of the citizens beginning with Ahmedabad city and expand its activities across the State.
Mevani said a programme had been launched during which 21 Dalit leaders from each of the 48 wards of the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation area had begun contacting 21 Muslim counterparts of the area and this 42-member committee would reach out to all the people of the wards.
At the launch of the Manch in the city’s Shahpur area on Friday night, Mevani appealed to the people not to fear from taking to the streets for their rights over basic amenities.
“Don’t fear police or the authorities for your fight for electricity, water, roads, sewerage, housing, and other things. Give the authorities a deadline of 15 days and threaten them that on the sixteenth day, we will march into the streets.”
The Independent MLA from Vadgam constituency in north Gujarat said that he will “not forgive (then Chief Minister) Narendra Modi, when on a visit to the riot relief camps (for Muslims) during the 2002 riots, he called them baby producing factories”.
Later, talking to IANS, Mevani said: “I want to be the voice of every Dalit, Muslim, tribal and anybody who is a victim of a fascist administration and I urge the people to extract all possible service from me during my five year term as a legislator.”
He stated that the state’s people are “yearning for a revolution, and this Manch will bring this revolution. We want that this revolution doesn’t stay limited to the city but moves across the entire state and then the nation”.
During his speech in Shahpur, Mevani also appealed to police, other security forces and even the central paramilitary forces that if any of them felt that their voice is not being heard, they could always approach him and he would be their voice.
The Manch was formed during a meeting in homage to 32-year-old Farnaz Saiyed, who was murdered in Chattral town in Gandhinagar district, allegedly by Bajrang Dal activists when took out a procession last year to hail the demolition of the Babri Masjid on December 6.
Locals claim that the Dal activists had warned every Muslim in the area not to move out during the procession but Farnaz and his mother were out grazing their cattle. While his mother’s one thumb and two fingers were chopped off by the goons, Farnaz eventually succumbed to his injuries in a hospital later. Since then, the area remains communally charged.
The Manch feels that the Chattral incident was an experiment intended to be replicated by the Sangh Parivar across the rural areas of Gujarat, since the BJP suffered losses there in the recent state assembly elections, ahead of the general elections next year.