Dalit Mahasangh to organise conference

ST Correspondent
Tuesday, 20 March 2018

The conference is to be held on Saturday at the Savitribai Phule Auditorium in Ganj Peth.

PUNE: A Dalit organisation, called Dalit Mahasangh, has organised a conference called 'Savdhan Parishad' in the wake of the Bhima Koregaon attacks on Dalit groups and to 'resist the threat of right-wing forces'. 

The conference is to be held on Saturday at the Savitribai Phule Auditorium in Ganj Peth.

Machindra Sakate, a professor of sociology and head of the Dalit Mahasangh, founded the Mahasangh in 1992 in Kolhapur. 

Since then, the organisation has taken up various issues related to dalits, especially belonging to the Matang community. Sakate, addressing the media on Tuesday, said that the Bhima Koregaon attacks had shown that the administrative systems have a caste bias.

"The Bhima Koregaon attacks were pre-planned. It is also clear by now that they were orchestrated by Manohar Bhide and Milind Ekbote. Though Ekbote has been arrested, Bhide remains free to date," Sakate said, adding, "We wanted to organise the Parishad earlier at Shaniwarwada. We were denied permission. Shaniwarwada is a public place and everyone should have access to it. It is clear how the police and administration have their biases."

Sakate informed that the Parishad has been organised with the aim of resisting the BJP government and 'right-wing' forces. "Dalits, minorities and adivasis are being targeted in the rule of the BJP. Their livelihoods have been snatched from them. There is a caste-religious chauvinism being displayed," he said, adding, 

"The government has closed down communication with the people. Only Modi's word is valid. We want to resist this."

The conference will be attended by Justice BG Kolse Patil of the Lokshasan Andolan, Kumar Saptarshi of the Yuvak Kranti Dal, Razia Patel, Shravan Devre and Bharat Patankar.

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