Huge Demonstration of Dalits in London
The following report has been filed by Vidya Bhushan Rawat from London - UK
It has been a coincident that whenever I am in London, there is some
big demonstration. Last time when I was here, I witnessed the historic
demonstration against its government's Iraq policy and people came out
in millions to oppose war on Iraq.. today years later, when we felt
democratic space is shrinking here, I was amazed to see the power of
togetherness and unity of diffeerent Dalit organisations here that
brought thousands of them to protest against Vienna killings of Sant
Ramanandji. It was a protest against the killing of St Ramanandji in
Vienna. Thousands of them conversed at Hydepark corner and marched to
Indian High Commission to give him a memorandum against the caste
based discrimination against the Dalits in India. Caste issue is now
becoming important in Europe also. Today's show of strength on part of
the Ravidasi, Buddhists, Ambedkarite groups in London made a history.
I can vouch that the slogan shouting women, youngsters from india
showed that they are united and can bring london to a halt.. it was a
protest we waited for years.. The onlookers in the street were
witnessing the slogans in Hindi and Punjabi as the marchers chanted
Guru Ravidas maharaj ki jai and bole so nirbhaya, Guru Ravidas maharaj
ki jai.. Some were chanting the verses of Ravidasji while other
demanded instance justice and banning of arms being carried out by the
upper caste Sikhs in the name of religion. The show was extremely
impressive with marchers having different placards like Down with
Casteism, Down with terrorism, We Want Freedom to Worship, We oppose
controlling of Gurudwaras by the high caste Sikhs.
Buses filled with Dalits came from Middlesex, Southall.. Many of them came
by local buses and tubes with clear vision in mind to show their strength.
The marchers were disciplined and had really stolen the show.. They had
shown their power of unity and strength that their demands can not be ignored.
Photographs of Guru Ravidasji and Sant Ramanandji were also displayed
in the March.. While the issue of caste discrimination among the asian
diaspora is a long way to go. I AM SURE today's demonstration and show
of strength will help the British people and its government some
understanding about the Dalit issues and their logical demands. The
battle will continue and one is sure the international media will pick
up the issue soon.. have taken up photographs and videos of the event
but will only be display them after i return to india next week..
The Austrian government has not done much in this regard.. hope it
will do something.. But this show has certainly revitalised the issue
of the discrimination based on caste.. Hope the coming Equality Bill
will address the issue..
I am in Uk and meeting different people, organisations and definitely
write my impression in the coming days.
At the moment, All the Ambedkarite organisations, Ravidas Sabhas
based in UK, Different Dalit groups, Buddhist organisations deserve
kudos for their unity and this show of strength..
Solidarity with all those struggling for their rights and dignity,
Vidya Bhushan Rawat