Nashik, 21st Sept.
One month after the assassination of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, rationalist and founder of MANIS (Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti), the police have been unable to identify suspects and nab the killers and their masterminds. The activists of Nashik branch of ANIS (Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti) and MANIS decided to hold a protest on 21st September 2013, to urge the government authorities to transfer the case to a competent investigative agency so that justice is served speedily.
Dr. Dabholkar had recently held a training workshop at Nashik in his campaign against caste panchayats.
I reached the spot at 10.30 AM and the activists had started gathering in front of the Collector’s office. Regional channels from major television networks were present to cover the event. About 140-160 activists, stoically sat down for an hour of silent protest with black bands tied around our mouths.
The protest ended with singing of MANIS’s signature song in Marathi, “Doke wapra” (use your heads/brains) exhorting people to take rational decisions and not be swayed by superstition.
I discovered that Dr. Dabholkar’s name had entered the realms of the subaltern heroes, as I heard the second song to the tune of Marathi folk ballads which eulogised Dr. Dabholkar as being born in the land of Bheem and Phule (Dr. B. Ambedkar and J. Phule – the great social reformers).
We then marched across and handed over the letter from MANIS to the Collector, Nashik, who assured us that the criminal investigation was not being neglected and the killers would be caught and prosecuted.
As we dispersed, veteran activists told the younger ones that it’s your responsibility now to take the movement forward. MANIS has published a booklet to distribute in its camps to create awareness about the Ordinance passed the State government:
“Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifice and Other Inhuman, Evil and
Aghori Practices and Black Magic Act- 2013″ (In Hindi-English)
Here is the link to the booklet on their Facebook page.
Here is a video clip of the protest from Star Majha news channel: