Mevani holds rally in Delhi, says BJP poses threat to democracy
New Delhi: Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani on Tuesday held a massive 'Youth Hunkar' rally in the national capital demanding the release of Chandrashekhar Azad and two crore jobs to the youth. The rally was also joined by the Left-backed students unions, Dalit organisations, and its students unions.
Despite no official permission from police for the rally, the entire stretch from Jantar Mantar to Parliament Street virtually turned into a fortress – armed with water cannons, tear gas and 12 companies of police.
The gathering sought to emphasise issues like educational rights, employment, livelihood and gender justice. A large section of students from universities and colleges in Delhi, women's groups, teachers' associations and activists associated with Mevani from across the country were attended the rally.
"I believe in politics of unity. I believe in politics of love, not love jihad. Alpesh Thakore, Hardik Patel and I are being targeted because we demolished their (BJP) pride and arrogance in Gujarat. There's a looming threat to our democracy and Constitution today," Mevani said while addressing the gathering.
Former and current JNU student leaders, including Kanhaiya Kumar, Shehla Rashid and Umar Khalid were present on the stage, metres away from the Parliament Street Police Station.
A young student Shrijan, who had come with her friends to attend the rally, said, "I am here because I support this cause of Dalits. No one — including political parties and government — is paying any heed to the problems being faced by Dalits and adivasis.
Speaking at rally, Umar Khalid said, "Narendra Modi's bubble has burst. The myth around him is fading. It has been due. We don't want hatred, we want jobs, peace and growth for the youth. Those who believe in Manuvadi school of thoughts don't have any space for Dalits. We will fight and avenge the death of Rohith Vemula."
He further added that government wants to shut Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) but we want 150 JNUs should come up across India so that a Dalit from Kalahandi can study there".
"We don't want violence. We want peace in the society. We are here not against any religion but we are here for Constitution. We want people should have the right to follow his or her religion peaceful. We have been painted as anti-Hindu but our only objective is to save the Constitution," says former JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar. He further added that we will hold strikes in industries, railways, government departments and everywhere to protest slavery and save democracy."