After the show of strength by Marathas in Mumbai earlier this month, Dalits have decided to hold a similar bike rally on November 26 in the city against the landed community’s demand to review the anti-atrocities Act. The rally will be in the run-up to a mammoth protest march organised by Dalit outfits on December 24.
The bike rally is aimed to mobilise Dalits and forge an alliance with the Other Backward Classes (OBC) and Muslims against Marathas.
It will be held from Bandra to Chaityabhoomi in Dadar and around 5,000 such bikers are likely to participate.
On November 6, Marathas held a similar bike rally, which evoked a massive response from the community.
According to Ramesh Gaikwad, an organiser, said the November 6 march will be symbolic. “We will commemorate November 26 as the Constitution adoption day. The Constitution, prepared by Dr BR Ambedkar, was adopted in 1949,” said Gaikwad. The Constitution was adopted on November 24, 1949 and came into effect on January 26, 1950.
The next in the line is a huge rally on December 24 to protest against any tweaking of the anti-atrocities Act. In the wake of the Maratha protests across the state demanding reservation and a revision of the anti-atrocities Act, Dalits and OBCs fear that if the government accedes to these demands, they will be deprived of their rights.
“We have no problem with the Marathas getting any reservation but they should not demand any amendment in the anti-atrocities Act as it acts as a deterrent against violence,” said Gaikwad.
The bone of contention is the Scheduled Caste and Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act which was framed by the Union government in 1989 to prevent violence against Schedule Castes (SC) and Schedule Tribes (ST) and help to bring them in the mainstream. However, Marathas have accused Dalits of misusing the legislation.