Update on BJP activists' intimidation of a Bookseller(Mumbai)
After the morcha of Human rights activists to Nirmal Nagar police station, Bandra East, Mumbai (1st May) for confiscating the books of Periyar Ramasamy Naicker and Dr. Ambedkar, the police sent an apology note to Salim Saboowala, the bookseller concerned and returned his books.
Not satisfied with this development the local BJP activists led by BJP leader Vinod Tawade staged a protest in front of the office of Mahanagar, a paper, which had carried this news item, on 4th May. Mr. Tawade presented a memorandum addressed to Mahanagar Editor stating that these books have derogatory references to Hindu gods, Sant Ramdas and Shivaji. He demanded that the sale of these books should be banned and if these are allowed to be sold then his volunteers will physically prevent this sale.
The sale of such books will create a social tension, and in that case Govt. will be responsible for the consequences. Meanwhile a delegation of Vidrohi Sanskritic Chalwal and Janata Party leaders met the Home secretary, Maharashtra, requesting for an action against the illegal activity of the concerned Police officer.
This seems to be setting the ball rolling for agitation by the Vidrohi Sanskritic Chalwal and counter-reaction by BJP both, and many a prominent writers like A.H.Salunkhe have expressed their disgust at the action of the police and attitude of BJP workers. Vidrohi activists are planning a major campaign for the right to sell the books and literature of Periyar and Ambedkar while BJP leaders are threatening to prevent this democratic right by the use of their muscle power. Vidrohi activist Subodh More has also called for a broader meeting and platform of progressive workers to defend the right of freedom of expression.
We should recall the Periyar the pioneer of Self Respect movement, was for the rights of Dalits and women and his books give a subaltern version of the Ramayan, while Dr. Ambedkar again struggled for the rights of women and Dalits and was critical of Ram for his murder of Shambuk, and banishment of Sita by him when she was pregnant with his children.