Maratha agitation: Rally in Nagpur tomorrow

Cracks seem to have developed between two factions of the community, with the Maratha Kunbis being excluded from the agitation.

By: PTI | Nagpur | Published:October 24, 2016 4:01 pm
Marathas, Maratha agitation, Maratha community, Maratha rallies, Kunbis, Maharashtra news, India news, latest news, Indian express A Maratha rally in Thane district. Deepak Joshi

The Marathas will be taking out a ‘silent march’ on Tuesday as part of their statewide mobilisation to press for demands like reservation in jobs and education for their community. The protest march, organised by Sakal Maratha Samaj will start around 10 AM from Reshimbagh ground in South-Eastern part of the city and culminate at Kasturchand Park, a member of the erstwhile royal family Raje Mudhoji Bhosale said Monday. Also, cracks seem to have developed between two factions of the community, with the Maratha Kunbis, a sect predominant in Vidarbha region, being excluded from the agitation.

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Now, the Sakal Maratha-Kunbi Samaj has announced December 14 as the date for its massive march.

Bhosale however denied any rift of the sort between the two sects while talking to PTI.

Members of the Sakal Maratha Samaj also downplayed the divide in the community.

“The December 14 rally is a statewide one and we too will participate in it. The community is united,” an office-bearer said.

Besides, reservation for their community in jobs and educational institutions, the Marathas want a stop on the misuse of SC/ST Atrocities Act 1989.

The city police and the district administration are busy in keeping a tight vigil for tomorrow’s morcha.

According to sources, clubbing and naming the banner as Maratha-Kunbi Samaj march was apparently the deal breaker between the two factions.

There is one section of Marathas (essentially the warrior clan) which has nothing to do with the Kunbi community, which is primarily into agriculture as its occupation, they said.

The Maratha-Kunbi is a mix typical to Vidarbha region where the two seem to have assimilated.

Over six decades ago, this happened with the initiatives of stalwarts like late Panjabrao Deshmukh, the Agriculture Minister in the then Jawahralal Nehru Cabinet, allowing ‘roti-beti’ (exchanging food and allowing marriages) relations between the two.

The descendants of the warrior community, tracing back to Chhatrapati Shivaji, want to assert their lineage and maintain separate identity, the sources said.

So far, the Maratha-Kunbi Samaj, that has overwhelming presence of members in Maratha Vidya Prasarak Mandal and Maratha Sewa Samiti, has been dominating the morcha scene.

It had earlier planned the march on October 16, but later claimed that the state-level coordination committee instructed it to defer it till December when the winter session of the Legislature commences here, to put pressure on the state government, sources added.