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Dalit-Muslim collaboration to fight injustice ahead 2019 general elections

New Delhi: With the rising oppression of the minority communities in India, is paving the way to joint collaboration of these suppressed and oppressed communities to stand as one when the rest seems to be falling apart.

Ever since the ring-wing extremists follower- saffron party has come to power at the centre, the atrocities against Muslim communities, Dalit communities and other lower class minorities have increased by many folds with law and order, which now seems to have fallen out of hand, murders, killings, heinous acts suppressing these minority communities becoming a norm now with numerous cases reported from several states were the party is reigning.

Justice is being denied while others are justice deprived today ever since the saffron party has come to power. In the wake of such atrocities, a series of Dalit-Muslim conferences are being jointly held in various states such as Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Telangana for ‘social justice’ movement in the upcoming 2019 general election.

To hold such joint social justice movement is to build a long-term social alliances between the minority communities says a Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, a Muslim organization led by Mahmood Madani.

Several other members, as well as the All India Majlis-e-Mushawarat (AIMMM) who include members from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), have also attended these conferences.

So far, four major Dalit-Muslim conferences have been held in various states and cities such as Delhi, Lucknow, Bengaluru and March under “Mulk Do Rahe Par” (the country is on divergent paths) banner.

Several members from both the communities are largely participating in each other’s rallies in Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh states. “Both are suppressed and deprived communities. We have long felt that the two must stand together for each other’s rights,” Madani said.

He said the influential Islamic institute Darul Uloom Deoband in Saharanpur are supporting and joining the Bhim Sena which is a Dalit group.

The recent Delhi meeting was attended by 170 Muslim and Dalit representatives which included Prakash Ambedkar, grandson of Dalit icon BR Ambedkar; Kancha Ilaiah of the Maulana Azad Urdu University, Ashok Bharti of the National Confederation of Dalit Organisations; BN Tejavath of the All India Scheduled Tribe Federation; and Shivarudra Mahaswamigalu of the Shree Belimatha Mahasamsthana.

“There has to be a basis for people to come together. The basis is the social oppression being faced by Dalits and Muslims at the hands of communal forces.”

“Muslims have traditionally voted for the Congress, which also believes in Vedic persecution of Dalits. They should make it very clear they will vote for any new alternative that can take on communal forces,” Ambedkar said.

The Bhima Koregaon clashes that took place on January 1 between the Dalit group and upper caste groups and the recent Judgement of the Apex Court on March 20 which banned immediate, automatic arrests and registration of cases under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act of 1989, have only aggravated social tensions among the lower class.

“This is not a political alliance yet, but a social alliance. If needed we could also help each other politically,” said Bharti of the National Confederation of Dalit Organisations.

“How to stand against communal forces together…how to ensure Dalits are not utilized against Muslims in riots…that is our main agenda,” said Maulana Nadeem Siddiqui, a Jamiat leader from Maharashtra.

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