In the beginning of the year 2018, Maharashtra did’nt had a good start.
In Pune, on 1st January, dalits were recalling 200th anniversary of Koregaon Bhima Battle. But incident turned violent between some locals and Dalit groups due to some clash.
This clash spread immediately to Mumbai on January 2. Dalits were armed and protesting with posters, stopped everyone on the way. It was named ‘Rasta Roko’ protest. Protest reached other parts of Maharashtra including Thane on January 3.
But what’s the main reason of this protest and what the dalit group was recalling in Pune?
200 years ago, on January 1, 1818, one of the last battles of Third Anglo-Maratha war took place in the Bhima-Koregaon village when British army defeated Peshwa Bajirao II’s army.
The british army fought bravely, even with less number of troops, and resulted in domination of Pune. Defeating Peshwa’s army, British established domination in Pune.
British army had huge number of Mahars as said by Babasaheb Ambedkar. Mahars are the untouchables who fought in the various battles of Karegaon. Mahars helped British to establish their empire in India and conquer India.
The Koregaon Ranstambh is still considered to be symbol of Dalit pride
Even Babasaheb Ambedkar visited the site on January 1, 1927 and considered this site as a rallying point for dalit community to recall the bravery of Dalit soldiers who fought bravely.
On 200th anniversary of this victory of Dalits over Peshwas who were Brahmins originally, the Dalit group indulged in a clash with some locals and a 28 year old boy was killed and various violent activities were noticed.
As a revenge, the Dalits started protest in Chembur, Mumbai. It had led to Maharashtra Bandh. Number of violent activities and protests have been conducted in various parts of Maharashtra and the matter is still on rage.