Bhima Koregaon: Lakhs collect for Dalit pride

Bhima Koregaon: Lakhs collect for Dalit pride

At least one million people joined the anniversary celebrations of a British-era combat at Bhima Koregaon village in Maharashtra’s Pune district on Wednesday for an event that symbolises Dalit pleasure but one that was rocked with the aid of violence two years ago.

The kingdom government deployed almost 10,000 police personnel at the venue and suspended access to web as a precautionary measure, a senior Pune district official said.

Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram had previously indicated that the administration would droop internet in areas around the event to stop hearsay on social media. Special Inspector General (Kolhapur range) Suhas Wadke said that about 5 lakh site visitors had already gathered at the venue with the aid of 1 pm. By late evening, the variety touched 10 lakh, stated the officer.

According to the police, the celebrations this year had been peaceful as Dalit youngsters raised slogans like “Ekach Saheb Babasaheb” and “Jai Bhim” reverberated in the air tons to the satisfaction of site visitors to Bhima Koregaon memorial.

The visitors, who began gathering due to the fact early morning, paid obeisance at the ancient Bhima Koregaon victory obelisk positioned at Perne village, 40 kilometres from Pune, the 202nd anniversary of warfare of Bhima Koregaon the place 500 Mahar troopers of the British East India defeated the military of Peshwa on January 1, 1818 .The commemoration celebrations started around midnight on December 31 and persevered during the day until late night on Wednesday amidst tight security and internet ban. Around ten lakh Dalits had visited the obelisk in 2019.

Sanjay Sonkamble, a Dalit from Jalna, said that he and his family had been unaware of the Mahar warrior history. “It used to be solely after the Dalits had been attacked by right wing and subsequent violence in 2018 that we got here to comprehend about the obelisk and its history. Since then we are regular site visitors to the obelisk where we offer tributes to our ancestors,” he said.

The January 1 tournament at Bhima Koregaon ‘Jai stambh’, the victory monument of the 1/3 Anglo–Maratha struggle received by using the British forces, marks the 202nd anniversary of the victory. The East India Company’s military used to be supported via soldiers from the Mahar neighborhood that was regarded untouchables at some point of that time.

The annual tournament to commemorate the victory over the so-called higher caste Peshwas has been viewed to symbolise assertiveness via Dalits. Violence had broken out at Bhima Koregaon all through the 2018 celebrations in which one individual was once killed and quite a few others have been injure, main to arrest of a couple of people, inclusive of nine activists.

Prof Vilas Adhav, head, Economic department, Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU) who visited Bhima Koregaon, said, “Today I am reminded of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar’s quote that we are no longer slaves, however a warrior clan. Nothing is extra disgraceful for a courageous man than to stay existence devoid of self- recognize and love for the country. In today’s time, the troubles of poverty, unemployment and employability are more necessary than arguments about historical events. The young people must concentrate on real issues.”

Deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar after imparting floral tributes at the obelisk said, “Many humans visit Bhima Koregaon victory monument to pay their tributes to the troopers who sacrificed their lives in the battle. The youngsters ought to research from the war of Bhima Koregaon and younger people must determine their future route of motion based totally on the records of Bhima Koregaon.”

Bahujan Vanchit Aghadi (BVA) president Prakash Ambedkar said, “The kingdom authorities has been fantastic in dealing with Bhima Koregaon commemoration protection and preparations. As a long way as the Elgar Parishad case is concerned, the police filed fabricated case against the accused which was aimed at muzzling the voice of dissent.”

Pune rural superintendent of police Sandip Patil, who oversaw the security arrangements, said, “To ensure crowd safety, we had placed an superb crowd administration graph in place wherein the traffic had to compulsorily park their vehicles in the parking loads , stroll up to sure distance and board PMPML buses to attain the victory monument. We had deployed adequate police personnel and saved a close watch via staff, drones and CCTV cameras. The commemoration celebrations were peaceful and we received massive cooperation from villagers and social organisations.”