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Mohua Chatterjee | TNN | New Delhi | Sep 21, 2016:: An RSS-affiliated Dalit group has claimed that the four Scheduled Caste youth who were brutally assaulted by cow vigilantes in Una, Gujarat, will join a march organised as part of the Sangh Parivar’s ambitious outreach to Dalits.
The stunning claim came from Bhante Sanghpriya Rahul, president of Bharatiya Bauddha Sangh. “The four will participate in the yatra for about 10-12 days when it enters poll-bound UP,” he added. If true, the assertion will mark a big success for BJP, which has been at the receiving end of Dalit groups’ resentment over the Una episode and the suicide of Hyderabad University scholar Rohith Vemula.
The yatra is part of the Sangh Parivar’s effort to bring Dalits to the Hindutva mainstream. It is expected to help with the project of consolidation of Hindus into a political group and, simultaneously, prevent conversions to Christianity.
The chief patron of Bauddha Sangh is BJP MP and former Union minister Satyanarain Jatia, in whose name the invitation to people to join the outreach programme has gone out. “To reach out to Dalit people across the country, we will go to their homes to spread awareness about Buddha and his teachings. The yatra will pass through every village in UP and finally wind up in Junagarh in Gujarat on May 26,” said Rahul.
The yatra will be flagged off from Alipur Road in Delhi on October 14, which is commemorated as the date when B R Ambedkar converted to Buddhism. Jignesh Mewani, a Dalit leader, saw the participation of the Una youth as an attempt to disintegrate the Dalit movement. “If it is so… I will definitely try to convince them not to go,” he added.