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Dalit youth have no use for leaders any longer

Emergence of Jignesh Mevani in Gujarat and Chandrashekhar Azad in UP as Dalit leaders reflect the predicament of conventional leaders attached to political parties - Sujata Anandan, National Herald, 15 April 2018

When Rohith Vemula committed suicide at the Hyderabad Central University in January 2016, both Ramdas Athawale, a union minister in the NDA government, and Bhalchandra Mungekar, former vice chancellor of Bombay University and a member of the Planning Commission under the UPA, were barred by the students from entering the campus. They were seen as stooges of the BJP and Congress respectively and the students wanted to have nothing to do with either of them.

Prahlad Jogdand, Professor of Sociology at the Bombay University was greatly heartened. He had then predicted that the worm might have turned so far as Dalit movements in the country were concerned and hoped they wold take charge of their own lives. Dalit youth had no use for such ‘leaders’ any longer, he held.

According to Dr Tushar Jagtap, a Dalit activist and social thinker, Dalit youth today have no use for leaders. “The self-serving accommodation of many of them in the past with vested interests who do not have Dalit interests at heart had already pushed these leaders to the fringes. And with no use to their community any more, they are likely to be pushed further out to the furthest periphery of society.”

Read the full article here.