Dalits give gun salute to Ambedkar
statue in Damoh
Flexing muscles for the first time, a group of dalits fired
in air on Saturday to welcome the arrival of a statue of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar
that will replace a bust installed at the busy traffic square in Damoh, a
backward district in Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh.
The statue will be installed at the traffic square at a
function on April 14, Ambedkar Jayanti, in the presence of chief minister
Shivraj Singh Chouhan. Surprisingly, this incident took place two days after a
dalit was allegedly beaten up and denied entry to a temple in the district.
Chinga Ahirwar who tried to enter a temple was allegedly beaten up in Semra
Madhiya village of Nohta about 40 km away from Damoh district headquarters.
Ahirwar, who was allegedly denied entry in a temple, had filed a written
complaint with the local police, but no FIR was lodged. As a group of dalits
welcomed the arrival of the statue, some of them fired in air and celebrated its
arrival. As the sound of fire reverberated, the onlookers were taken aback- for
this possibly was the first occasion when dalits were flexing muscles, a
privilege that remained with upper castes and landlords in the region.
Though the tradition to fire in air is prevalent in various
parts of Madhya Pradesh, dalits have hardly been seen indulging in such an act.
Mostly, this is done in political processions to welcome a political leader in
northern MP or during marriage processions when Thakurs fire in air to
Courtesy : The Times of India