‘Dogs better placed than Dalits and Muslims’

The Hindu: A group of about three dozen activists affiliated with Akhil Bharatiya Dalit Muslim Mahasangha (ABDMM), a non-profit welfare body which claims to bring India’s Dalits and Muslims together, staged a demonstration at Jantar Mantar Friday afternoon along with a pack of well-bred dogs.

Chanting anti-government slogans, the president of ABDMM, Suresh Kanojea, said that the rationale behind bringing dogs to the protest site is making a symbolic statement-that dogs are better placed than Dalits and Muslims in India. “The rights of Dalits and Muslims are brazenly violated and no one is interested in putting an end to this perpetual injustice,” said Mr.Kanojea, a former Congress leader from Uttar Pradesh.

From the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party to the Congress party, Mr.Kanojea said, the country’s political “forces have done nothing to give respect and equal opportunity to Dalits and Muslims.”

“Instead, they have remained silent over the hate crimes that are being committed against these two communities on day-to-day basis,” he said, adding that the BJP government has not only “demonised the Muslims of India, but also fuelled the oppression against Dalits.”

Mr.Kanojea said the killing of Muhammad Akhlaq in Dadri, the suicide of Rohith Vemula at Hyderabad Central University, the honour killing of V.Sankar in Tamil Nadu and the casteist abuse inflicted upon Dalit Congress worker Jatinder Gaur by senior Congress politicians in Ghaziabad are all fresh cases of hate crimes directed against Dalits and Muslims.

“The Opposition political parties are equally responsible for these crimes since they have always exploited the sentiments of Dalits and Muslims for their vote bank politics,” said Mr.Kanojea, who quit the Congress about four years ago as he felt the party was “exploiting the sentiments of Dalits” for vote-bank politics.


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