Dalit community protests following violence in Indian state of Maharashtra
- The violence arose during celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the battle of Bhima-Koregaon, where low-caste Dalits sided with the British colonial army to defeat the upper-caste rulers of the region.
- The rally was allegedly attacked by a right-wing Hindu nationalists, leading to the death of a 28-year-old man and protests throughout Maharashtra calling for justice for Dalits.
- Demonstrations in Mumbai blocked highways and train stations, leading to mass arrests and violent clashes with police.
“Dalit protests: How Mumbai was shut down” (Al Jazeera | January 2018)
“Bhima-Koregaon violence: 3,000 Dalit youths detained, no action against right-wing leaders, alleges Ambedkar” (Hindustan Times | January 2018)
“Caste violence erupts in India over 200-year-old faultline” (CNN | January 2018)
“Indian Dalit recalls protest that paralysed Mumbai” (BBC News | January 2018)
India PM launches entrepreneurship initiative for members of historically disadvantaged communities
- PM Narendra Modi announced Stand Up India, a program to spur entrepreneurship and business-technological integration among women and India’s Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, historically disadvantaged groups subject to affirmative action by the government.
- Banks will be required to sponsor relatively inexpensive loans for entrepreneurs from disadvantaged and underrepresented communities.
- The initiative comes ahead of next year’s elections in the state of Uttar Pradesh, with the Modi-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition seeking to court Dalit and tribal votes.
“PM promises to ‘change’ lives of tribals, Dalits with ‘Stand up India’” (The Hindustan Times)
“‘Stand Up India’ will transform lives of Dalits, tribals: Modi” (The Hindu)
“‘Stand up India’: PM Modi to book first e-rickshaw through Ola” (The Times of India)
(Image Credit: Sandeep Saxena/The Hindu)