Mumbai Rally Expresses Solidarity with Una Struggle
On August 12, an impressive joint Atmasamman (self respect) Rally was held at the Azad Maidan in Mumbai to express solidarity with the Una struggle of dalits against the RSS-VHP-BJP-instigated so-called gau rakshaks in Gujarat. The forces that participated were the Bharatiya Republican Party (BRP), CPI(M), CPI, Lal Nishan Party, Janata Dal (S), Muslim Intellectual Forum, Republican Panther, Prajasattak Bharat, Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, Urdu Lekhak Sangh as well as mass fronts like the DYFI, SFI, AIDWA and others.
Prominent among those who addressed the rally were BRP leader Adv Prakash Ambedkar, CPI(M) central secretariat member Dr Ashok Dhawale, CPI(M) Central Committee member from Gujarat Arun Mehta, CPI leader Sukumar Damle, Lal Nishan leader Milind Ranade, social activists Teesta Setalvad and Javed Anand, journalists Jatin Desai and Yuvraj Mohite. The memorandum to the governor was read out by CPI(M) state committee member Shailendra Kamble and the proceedings were conducted by Subodh More and Sunil Chavan.
The rally was also addressed by Feroze Mithiborwala, Kiran Vaghela, Jitubhai Kataria, Jagdish Khairalia, Devendra Makwana, Sham Govil, Shamjibhai Solanki, Amol Madamey, Suvarna Salvi, M A Khalit, Rehman Abbas, Arjunbhai Bamji, Pravin Soda and Jyoti Wadekar.
The main speakers expressed unstinted solidarity with the struggle of the socially oppressed in Una and all over the country. They hailed the bold call of the Una struggle to Dalits not to touch the carcasses of cattle and the fundamental demand for land that had been raised. They lashed out against the casteist and communal conspiracies and the Manuwadi and fascistic ideology of the Sangh Parivar. They called for a massive and consistent struggle to carry forward the legacy of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar and his radical vision of the annihilation of caste. Finally, they called for a fighting unity of the followers of Ambedkar, Gandhi and Marx, to overthrow the regressive socio-economic policies of the ruling classes that are at the root of both social oppression and economic exploitation in our country.