Want to be voice of Dalits in private cos, rather than reservation: Mevani

Dalit activist Jignesh Mevani attends Delhi University Forum for Social Justice's Sanvidhan Bachao Andolan outside Arts Faculty in North Campus | Photo: PTI

Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani on Friday said he wanted to be a voice for Dalits working in private companies, sanitation workers and landless agricultural labourers, than being a voice for reservation.

He was speaking while taking part in a protest meeting in Delhi University.

"As my Ambedkarite and Marxist orientation increased, I felt the need to repeat to myself that even more than reservation, I should become the voice of Dalit labourers in this country's private companies and factories," the Dalit activist said.

"I became more conscious, that more than reservation, I must speak for the sanitation workers who enter sewers, and landless agricultural labourers," he added.

Mevani said when he went to Vadgam recently, he asked two officers about the attempts to stop him from entering the state assembly.

"They were instructed to destroy some documents in my nominations and find some technical faults," he alleged.

He said when such attempts were being made to stop "just one Jignesh", there was a need to fight for sending their representatives to Parliament and every assembly.

"Today the Constitution, farmers, Dalit labourers, tribals and teachers are in such a crisis, despite varying ideologies, there is a need for us to come together," Mevani said.

Rebel JD(U) leaders Sharad Yadav and Ali Anwar, Samajwadi Party MP Dharmendra Yadav and student union leaders of universities across north India took part in the event organised by Delhi University Forum for Social Justice.

The one-day event was organised against a UGC circular that directed all universities, colleges and other grant-in-aid institutions and centres to prepare roster system keeping the department/subject as a unit for all levels of teachers, instead of a roster taking college or university as a unit.

"This means that reservations in appointments will be as good as over, because the number of vacancies department/subject wise are limited," DUTA president Rajib Ray said.