The mobilisation of Marathas on a massive scale may result in Marathas being isolated and bring all other communities on one side, which in turn may divide society further, feel scholars from Dalit and other backward castes (OBCs)
These scholars, who have largely been silent from the time the Marathas have taken out a series of marches, seen as the community’s show of strength, believe there is growing restlessness among other communities.
Raosaheb Kasbe, a Dalit intellectual, said, the current exercise is aimed at showing the community’s power to others who are anyway oppressed. “Under such circumstances, if the Marathas get polarised, it’s bound to bring other communities together on the other side.”
Kasbe said political leaders who feel their grip over various institutions in the state has loosened are behind the current mobilisation exercise. Another scholar and author, Hari Narke said the current exercise has made OBCs and Dalits restless.
“Such mobilisation has opened the fault lines between the Marathas on one hand and the Dalit-OBCs on the other. Such a situation threatens to disturb the harmony established in the state by social reformers such as Shahu-Phule-Ambedkar and Agarkar,” said Narke.
Both Kasbe and Narke maintained that innocent Maratha youths are being used by few politicians, who are unhappy over various government decisions, which threatened their political career.
A large number of Marathas have took out peace marches at various places in the state after a minor girl from the community was raped and murdered on July 13, sparking protests across the state. Among the demands made by the community during these silent marches are reservation for Marathas and scrapping of the prevention of atrocities act.