RTIwala Explains: Their anger and violence lead to the city shutting down the next day. The city that has always been known for its lively spirits was set ablaze in parts. The City of Dreams was not over with the grief of last week fire stroke at the 1-Above restaurant that it entered into another big clash.
What is Bhima Koregaon battle and its Dalit connection?
It is said that on January 1, 1818, The Battle of Koregaon was fought between the British East India Company and the Peshwa faction of the Maratha Confederacy, at Koregaon Bhima. The Marathas surrendered them seeing the arrival of a larger British force. The company troops who were of Indian origin included predominantly Dalit soldiers belonging to the Bombay Native Infantry. Hence, the Dalit activists regard the battle as a heroic episode and celebrate it in their history.
On January 1, 2018, when Dalits were on their movement of celebrating over 200 years of the Bhima Koregaon battle, they were attacked. It was found that Mr. Prakash Ambedkar, the grandson of Dalit icon B.R.Ambedker, has called for a bandh or shutdown of Maharashtra. He blamed that some local right-wing leaders caused this violence.
How Dalits caused Mumbai to stop and relevant circumstances?
Having been shown disregard for their Bhima Koregaon, the protesters blocked traffic at Eastern Express Highway near Goregaon. In this clash, the violence emerged when a 30-year old Maratha died and injuries were caused by several persons. Several roads and local traffic were blocked, they damaged over 200 buses and 100 cars, and forced hundreds of shops to shut down for the day. Dalit groups stalled the local trains at the Chembur station.
On this note, Shiv Sena held the Central Government responsible for the violence. On the other hand, Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis ordered the State Government for an inquiry and announced compensation for the victim’s family. Tension held all over in Mumbai and Pune. The country’s commercial capital was partially paralyzed and millions were stranded on roads and railway stations as Dalit groups indulged in violence across the road.
Although the Dalits were unconvinced by the Government, they called for a “peaceful Maharashtra shutdown”. We just hope that the shutdown and its background must have echoed in Parliament demanding a better solution for peace and harmony.