Nashik rally today: OBCs unite to show might against Marathas

The decision reflects the resentment within the OBCs and Dalits following the upper caste Maratha community’s growing assertion through its silent rallies under way across the state.

Written by Shubhangi Khapre | Mumbai | Updated: October 3, 2016 5:49 am
Marathas rally, Maratha community, Maratha, OBC, Other Backward Castes, dalits, dalits maharashtra, OBC maharshtra, Nashik rally, maharshtra news, india news The Maratha protest rally in Ahmednagar on Friday. (Source: Express file photo by Shubhangi Khapre)

To display their show of strength, the Other Backward Castes (OBCs) in the state have joined hands to effectively counter the consolidation of Marathas across Maharashtra. On October 3, an OBC rally will take place in Nashik, signalling a clear polarisation on the lines of caste in the state.

The decision reflects the resentment within the OBCs and Dalits following the upper caste Maratha community’s growing assertion through its silent rallies under way across the state.

Maharashtra Malli Samaj Mahasangh (MSMM) president Anil Mahajan said, “The silent OBC rally will not have any leader. Every individual participating in the rally across regions and sub-backward castes will unite. It will be a collective leadership of OBCs.”

A senior OBC activist from Vidarbha said, “Initially, OBCs and Dalits had decided not to hold counter rallies fearing it would escalate the caste conflict with Marathas. What made them change the decision was the Kranti Maratha Morcha’s demand for reservation under the OBC category.”

In Maharashtra, quota for OBCs is 27 per cent, while that for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes is 10.5 per cent and 8 per cent, respectively. The total reservation across SC/ST/OBCs and nomadic tribes and special economically backward accounts for 51 per cent.

Mahajan said, “At Nashik rally, we will demand that the Marathas should not be included in the existing OBC category.

We want our 27 per cent quota to remain intact. The OBCs are not against Maratha reservation provided the government gives them separate quota.”

With the silent rallies by the Maratha community eliciting some promises and assurances, Dalits have already
started staging demonstrations in the districts of Marathwada to warn that they would not like any tampering with the reservation norms or any amendment to the SC/ST Prevention of Atrocities Act, as demanded by the Marathas.

The OBC mobilisation has already begun across dominant constituencies such as Dhule, Nandurbar, Jalgaon, Akola, Buldhana, Yavatmal, Beed, Parbhani, Jalna, Hingoli, Solapur, Pune and Mumbai.

More than 3,500 vehicles have been deployed to ferry the people to the Nashik rally venue by the organisers. Individuals and groups have also organised food and arranged other logistics, complete with 20 medical vans and a team of 50 doctors.

Though the exact amount to be spent on the rally would be calculated later, an MMSM member said, “We have already
collected Rs 40 lakh. But every OBC individual is contributing in different ways by arranging transport, food, lodging etc.”

A sizeable number of Bharip Bahujan Mahasangh (BBM) supporters have extended their solidarity to the rally. Sources in the BBM said since it was not under any political banner, BBM leader Prakash Ambedkar might not object to the individuals’ decision to participate in the OBC rally. However, Prakash, grandson of late B R Ambedkar, has been appealing to OBCs and Dalits not to get provoked by Maratha rallies.

Mahajan said, “We are not going to raise any anti-Maratha slogan at the rally. Our demand will be to not include Marathas under OBC category. Our OBC rally is not against the state government. We will also urge the government to provide bail to our leader Chhagan Bhujbal, an OBC leader undergoing treatment in a Mumbai hospital.” Senior NCP leader Bhujbal was arrested following charges of corruption.

Sensing the OBC mobilisation, political leaders from mainstream parties are trying to extend their support. Not surprisingly, NCP leader Ajit Pawar appealed to party workers to attend the Nashik rally. Bhujbal’s MLA son Pankaj has also appealed to people to participate in the rally to show support to his father.

Mahajan, however, warned, “The NCP leaders should not interfere with out OBC rally.”
According to Latur-based Dalit activist Keshav Kamble, “Although Marathas claim it to be silent rallies, the motive is to show their strength. As a result, it automatically leads Dalits/OBCs to unite. Gradually, it is veering towards 33 per cent Marathas versus 67 per cent non-Marathas in rural Maharashtra.”

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  1. G
    Oct 3, 2016 at 2:31 am
    Again a show of illiteracy. Bhujbal was caught for corruption, and he amed wealth of a king by corruption. Yet this OBC's want to support him. In Maharashtra some members of the Pawars, Bhujbal and Thackrey families have ruined the State. It is sad to see a prosperous State and its people been exploited by some politicians. BMC, Adarash Society are case in point.
  2. S
    Oct 3, 2016 at 7:32 am
    Get well soon..!
    1. S
      Oct 3, 2016 at 7:02 am
      It's good that now people are coming forward to show their opposition to Maratha andolan. Marathas where spreading rumors that OBC and SC/ST are supporting them, this now stands exposed. Maratha andolan Is taking government for granted..
      1. S
        Oct 3, 2016 at 7:19 am
        Keep dreaming of reservations and Atrocities Act. Nothing will happen 😂😂😂
      2. S
        Oct 3, 2016 at 7:12 am
        Yes, this OBC rally is in support for chagan bhujbal only.
        1. S
          Subhash Bennur
          Oct 3, 2016 at 3:48 am
          This cannot be a faceless meet. Opposition politicians are playing shadow game knowing that the carpet is being slowly pulled their own feet. It is NCP and Chaggan Bhujbal being both Maratha and OBC faceless meet. These guys are kala nags and hope god will punish them suitably.
          1. C
            claire smith
            Oct 3, 2016 at 2:11 am
            everyone in india should be given quotalt;br/gt;higher the potion lower the quotalt;br/gt;guess parsis will get highest quotslt;br/gt;lt;br/gt;mindless people...
            1. A
              Alok gautam
              Oct 3, 2016 at 8:48 am
              Before SC, ST and OBC, now upper cl..let's reserve 100%...we deserve for our own plight...god only can save this country...
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