Jai Bhim, Jai Constitution from Tihar Jail.
The way a government responds to our struggle is the best indicator of how strong, constitutional, and in Bahujans’ interest it is.
When the Narendra Modi government wanted to make the SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act irrelevant under the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)’s pressure, it was forced to backtrack because of the struggle mounted by the Bhim Army and other Dalit organisations. The same happened in Delhi over the demolition of Sant Shiromani Ravidas Maharaj’s Gurughar. Bahujans were at the forefront of the protest and I was sent to jail as punishment for leading the Bahujans’ struggle then.
Once again, we are facing a similar situation.
The anti-Constitution government of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has come up with the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). This wretched legislation is not only against Muslims but against every Bahujan – SC/ST/OBC and all religious minorities. And because we protested it, I am back in jail again.
I have learnt about the tragic deaths of so many protesters in Uttar Pradesh. I am saddened to not be with my Bahujans in this painful time. The way peaceful protesters are being fired upon, it’s clear that the Yogi Adityanath government is turning completely autocratic. But we must understand that these bullets are not fired upon the Bahujans but on the Constitution of India. All those of us who are the followers of the Constitution must fight to save it but through constitutional ways.
There is no doubt that ever since the BJP came into power, it has resolved to make India a Hindu Rashtra. As Babasaheb Ambedkar used to say, once it becomes a Hindu Rashtra, India’s fall is certain. The BJP is taking India towards that path. But I take heart from the fact that despite me being in jail and despite hundreds of our supporters being detained, you haven’t let the movement slow down. Let me repeat that this fight is not of the Muslim community alone; the CAA will impact each member of the Bahujan class.
That’s why dear Bahujan fellows, we have to realise that the CAA is against India and it’s against the Constitution. When the Modi government asks for citizenship proof under the National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise, then it won’t just be Muslims who will be its target – every Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, poor, homeless, nomad, farmer, and tribal person will be asked to prove they belong.
You, reader, will be asked to produce papers to prove you are an Indian. This means that all those homeless, forest dwellers, nomads, and illiterate Bahujans and tribal people will lose their voting rights and the reservation overnight.
This is the main agenda of the RSS. We will be brought under the very same system that Babasaheb Ambedkar fought against and put his life in danger for. That’s why we have to fight this battle together. The BJP government would do well to remember that it can’t crush this movement by putting us in jail. This fight is about ideologies, about Manusmriti versus Constitution; this battle is about the existence of the Bahujan class, and if I have to spend my entire life in jail for this fight, then I will.
I am ready to sacrifice everything to defend India’s Constitution. All I hope from my fellow Bahujans is that they never stop this movement, and prevent it from turning violent because this movement is huge and violence will weaken it. My heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost their close ones and I will meet all these families once I am out of jail.
The conduct of the Uttar Pradesh Police is suspicious; it is behaving like RSS members because of its biases. Meerut City SP Akhilesh Singh, who was seen threatening Muslims and telling them to go to Pakistan in a viral video, is the latest example. The Supreme Court must immediately take cognisance of this and a committee of SC judges should be formed to investigate police brutality.
I not only hope but fully believe that you will support the victims of Home Minister Amit Shah’s police, which has filed false cases against the victims. Keep the morale of ordinary Bhim Army workers high, and save your movement from the police’s inhuman acts and tricks.
We exist because of the Constitution. It is our primal, basic thought; it is the protective shield for the Bahujan class. So, keep ensuring that every move that targets the Constitution fails.
In the end, I would like to congratulate the people of Jharkhand. By dislodging the Manuvadi government of the BJP from power, they have shown a ray of light in these times of emergency.
Chief, Bhim Army
Views are personal.
This article has been translated from Hindi. Read the original here.