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Gujarat: Dalit-Muslim Relations
Folowing was extracted from an Editorial - Qalandar Islam and Interfaith Relations in South Asia, July 2002
The way the agencies of the state have abetted, and, in fact, continue to assist, Hindutva terrorists in attacking innocent Muslims in Gujarat clearly exposes the hollowness of India’s claims of being a secular democracy The tragic events in Gujarat have shown how easily ‘low’ caste Dalits and tribals, victims of ‘upper’ caste/class oppression, can be manipulated by dominant groups to serve their own interests and used by them in what has now become a seemingly unending series of anti-Muslim pogroms.. Mobilising all oppressed groups together, including Dalits, Tribals, Backward Castes and Muslims, is the only way, many believe, in which Brahminical fascism can be effectively challenged. This issue carries an article by the well-known scholar-activist, Gail Omvedt, on Dalit-Muslim relations, examining new perspectives on how Dalits and Muslims can work together for social justice.
Dalit-Muslim Relations: Analysis / News
Beware BJP’s love for Ambedkar
Udit Raj, The Indian Express, February 4, 2003
The Bharatiya Janata Party is suddenly in love with B.R. Ambedkar. It already loved the Hindu religion; swadeshi has been its main plank. Now Vinay Katiyar has launched a campaign for cultural nationalism in Uttar Pradesh and the main agenda is to highlight Ambedkar’s ideas on Muslims. He insists that Ambedkar is not the monopoly of anyone. According to him, Ambedkar was for the Hindu religion and wanted to throw out the Muslims. How does the BJP believe it can get away with saying this?
Ambedkar, Muslims And Partition
By Asghar Ali Engineer, Indian Currents, February 3, 2003
The Sangh Parivar keeps on raking up caste and communal issues since it has no pro-people programmes. It thrives only on casteism and communalism and raking up issues pertaining to caste and communal controversies. After Gujarat carnage, in which entire Sangh Parivar was involved, now Mr. Katiyar of Bajrang Dal and president of U.P. BJP has raked up issue of Ambedkar and Muslims and that Ambedkar was anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan.
RSS asks tribals to stick to Hindutva
Press Trust of India, Kalpetta (Kerala), January 14, 2003
The RSS on Tuesday asked tribals to stick to Hindutva to be in the national mainstream saying Hinduism was the only unifying force in the country.
Tribals should decide on their own to follow Hindutva as they have been part of Hinduism, 'the only unifying force in the country', RSS leader K S Sudharsan said .
Hindutva and caste
By Kancha Ilaiah, The Hindu, August 20, 2002
The BJP is making a show of empowering the Sudra/OBC forces within... But how will the Sangh Parivar resolve the caste contradictions within Hindu religion?
By: Gail Omvedt, Qalandar, Islam and Interfaith Relations in South Asia, July 2002
Ambedkar and other anti-caste reformers offered a different basis for unity, a common opposition to Brahmanism and caste. But this was ignored by liberal Muslims. The orthodox Muslims, in contrast, simply emphasized conversion. This left a situation again, where Dalits seemed to be forced into the "Hindu" framework."
Interview, By Yoginder Sikand, The Outlookindia.com, June 20, 2002
Dr Ejaz Ali is national convenor of the All-India Backward Muslim Morcha (AIBMM), set up in 1994 as an umbrella group of over 40 Backward Caste Muslim organisations. He talked to Yoginder Sikand about the work of the movement that he leads. Excerpts
Dalit, OBC and Muslim relations
By Kancha Ilaiah, The Hindu, May 29, 2002
Muslim intellectuals must learn from Christian missionaries and work among Dalits, Adivasis and OBCs so that a relationship of trust is established.
The Hindutva experiment
Dionne Bunsha, Frontline, Volume 19 - Issue 10, May 11-24, 2002
DURING the last two months and more of mayhem, questions regarding the extent to which the Bharatiya Janata Party's Hindutva ideology has permeated the public mind have sprung up. In order to understand how the BJP has been able to mobilise different sections of society from the Patidars (or Patels) to Dalits and other backward classes (OBCs), it is necessary to look at Gujarat's history of communal violence.
Muslims, Dalits protest Gujarat carnage
HT Correspondent, The Hindustan Times, May 3, 2002
Enraged with the developments in Gujarat and the alleged anti-Muslim and anti-Dalit approach of the BJP and the Sangh Parivar, a Muslim-Dalit political combine was launched in the Capital on Thursday.
This ‘unique’ land
Joseph Macwan, in Special Issue of Seminar: Society Under Siege -a symposium on the breakdown of civil society in Gujarat, May 2002
The VHP and its sister organizations have managed to turn the Dalits against the Muslims. This time around they have enjoyed unprecedented success in turning all Hindu castes against the Muslims.
Muslim-Dalit rally for Modi’s trial
Times News Network, May 02, 2002
NEW DELHI: Nearly 50,000 people, mostly Muslims and Dalits, gathered in Ramlila ground on Thursday, under the aegis of the ‘Save India Front’ to protest against what they said was the communal politics of the BJP and Sangh Parivar in Gujarat. Terming the BJP ‘‘anti-Muslim, anti-Dalit, anti- poor and anti-Constitution’’, the meeting took a vow to fight against divisive forces. A large number of the demonstrators had come from Uttar Pradesh.
Dalit-Muslim alliance to take on Parivar
HT Correspondent, New Delhi, April 25, 2002
Ram Raj - the man who led the mass conversion of over 10,000 Dalits to Buddhism last year - has become a prime mover behind a Dalit-Muslim alliance as a counter-poise to the Sangh Parivar after the Gujarat developments.
Now called Udit Raj, Ram, who is also the National Chairman of the All-India Confederation of SC/ST Organisations, and Maulana Mahmood Madani, general secretary of the Jamiat-Ulama-e-Hind, have come together to form the Save India Front (SIF) whose avowed purpose is to maintain the country's ''unity, integrity and communal harmony''. It claims to be a non-political body.
Dalits, upper castes join hands in Gujarat mayhem
Rathin Das, Hindustan Time, April 10, 2002
The Gujarat riots have brought about an unexpected if temporary -alliance between the upper caste champions of Hindutva and the tribals and Dalits who languish at the bottom of traditional Hindu social hierarchy At several places, Dalits eagerly joined Hindu fanatics to kill and loot Muslims.
Dalits Are Forced & Enticed to Fight Against Muslims in Gujarat: Udit Raj
Press Releas, New Delhi, 6th April, 2002
In some definite localities like Dani Nimada, Gomatipur, Shahpur and Khanpur in Ahmedabad, illiterate, innocent and unemployed Dalits were forcibly used against Muslims. Initially they were persuaded to take on fight with Muslims by enticing them while distributing money, liquor, weapons and other things and when they refused then other tricks like pressure tactics were applied, according to personal observation of Mr. Udit Raj.
What is the nature of Dalit Muslim Unity
By Dr. K. Jamanadas
Our experience of mixing religion with politics is always counter productive. The combination does neither promote the religion nor the politics. The political meetings of RPI used to start with Buddhist prayers, the non Buddhists in the party, gradually, faded away. The religious sermons to Budhists used to end with request for support to RPI work, the non-RPI Buddhists stopped comming. I feel the two must not be combined, the religion and politics.