Sunday, September 2, 2018

Bhima-Koregaon Incident and its Fallout

Bhima-Koregaon Incident and its Fallout

The ghost of Bhima-Koregaon events (December, 2017-January, 2018) are still haunting the administration and the society even after nine months. It seems the things have taken full circle. It turned out, rightly or otherwise, to be a turning point for the fight against Brahmanwad or Manuwad and their off shoot, Caste system, one of the biggest menaces against the unity and harmony in the country and the society at large. One may or may not agree with this assertion, depending on one’s mindset and resultant
perceptions. It is time to sit and think coolly and calmly before we push the country to “Grammar of Anarchy” as warned by Babasaheb Ambedkar, the chief architect of our constitution. The forces supporting the tyranny  and high-handedness of the so called upper castes, knowingly or sub-consciously, and forces, representing the oppressed and marginalized masses,  opposing the prevailing situation, through empowerment and awareness,  increasingly tend to have head on confrontation with each other to change the status quo with the fast changing and changed times. The sooner we understand this, the better. We may ignore this ground reality at our own peril.

I will not dig into the details of the Bhima-Koregaon incidents but would like to underline the trigging effects of these incidents. Dalits are no more ready to pocket and get the things lying down. They tend to assert themselves and stand up to protect their honour and respect. It was clear from the incidents of January, 2018 that the water has come a full boil. Subsequent events like Supreme Court’s verdict on SC and ST Atrocities Act, arrest of Bhim Sena’s Chandrasekhar Azad resulted in a successful and eye opening Bharat Bandh of April 2 with its pan India manifestation. The government has taken a few steps like amendment in the SC and ST Atrocities Act, launching of Ambedkar memorials etc to placate the dalits with an eye on the vote banks in the ensuing elections. But it is a matter of regret the message of professed ‘change of heart’ is not going down to the mass level. Milind Ekbote and Shambhaji Bhide, the alleged culprits of Bhima-Koregaon violence are still roaming scot free. Some of the upper caste Hindu outfits and their field operators are opposing the empowerment of dalits and enabling judicial provisions. Dalits perceive, rightly or wrongly, that this is being done with the implicit direction and guidance of the RSS and BJP. No strict action has been taken against the known to be upper castes Hindus who burnt the constitution and raised slogans against Ambedkar and Chamars. The arrest of some human right activists and said to be supporters of Maoists and Naxals has been linked to the Bhima-Koregaon incidents. These, some of the recent happenings, have further polarized the caste divide. The country is passing through a challenging time. The government and the civil society need to take an immediate notice of it before things go out of hand. It may be true that some vested interests representing anti national and anti social forces were exploiting the situation by supporting the marginalized and oppressed sections of the society. But how can we blame the suffering humanity, if they, willingly or unwillingly, fall prey to such forces. Dalits are clamoring for respect and dignity and due space both in the polity and society. The powerful and established social and cultural forces like RSS, among others, should come forward and join hands with the weaker sections of the society to address the challenges before it gets late. Any communal confrontation should be avoided at all costs. 

I close by quoting Faiz Ahmed Faiz to drive my point home:

खाक नशीनों उठ बैठो; वह वक़्त मुकाबिल पहुंचा,
जब तख्त गिराए जाएँ गे; और ताज उशाले जाएं गे !


  1. Excellent expose. Thanks for timely warning to the perpetrators of heinous offences against humanity.The she'r of famous revolutionary poet late Col Faiz Ahmed Faiz needs recheck. His famous poem 'Speak UP' is equally inspiring.
    See the flames leaping up
    See the red iron hot
    See the lock opening and chains loosening
    At the blacksmith's shop.
    Speak up,for you are free to speak------
    Speak up, for there is life in the body still.

    1. thanks. i will recheck the poetic input. regards.