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Cobbler's Solidarity Conference


Today, a "Mochi Ekta Sammelan (Cobblers Solidarity Conference) was organized here in local Ramlila Ground by BSS in support of the grievances and general problems of the cobblers of Delhi. Right from 0:00am, thousands of the cobblers and other activists of BSS have begun to throng upon the ground to occupy their places and by 12:00 noon, there were about 15-16000 people gathered to witness the first ever such congregation on the problems of the dalit amongst the dalit (cobblers). It was really a matter of great and pleasant surprise to see this oppressed- most section of our society/community so enthusiast!

It may be noted that the Social Welfare and Employment minister Mrs. Krishna Tirath, a dalit women has promised the Cobblers of Delhi that she will get their place of works (sitting) constructed pukka. To this effect a news was flashed in Hindi dailies and about 25 curious cobblers have come to our office to know as to what the Delhi government really intend to do for them. We told them not be over enthusiast over these promises as the politicians particularly the Congressmen and Bhajpais are habitual of making false promises when they are in trouble. Now the elections to the Municipal Corporation of Delhi are round the corner and Congress wants to get some momentum out of their misdeeds or inaction that too towards our people.

We have cautioned them about the false promises of eradication of poverty by late Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi during 1971 when she was in trouble. She came out victorious in the General Election with a thumping majority and then slept and virtually did nothing for the poor and persecuted. In 1987 as we remember, another Late Prime Minister Mr. Rajiv Gandhi again promised relief to these poor cobblers but of no avail. Both the above two prime Ministers have escaped with the wrath of these poor. We have warned the poor cobblers not to be over enthusiast over the promise of the minister but asked them to get united/organised to snatch their rights from the powerful teeth of the government led the Brahmins. We have written to that Minister seeking a clarifications:-

(1) as to what the Delhi government is really intend to give the Mochis?

(2) What is their policies, planning and modus operandi on the issue?

(3) in how many days they are going to get their promise materialised?

After getting a due reply from the government, we shall get hold the government by their neck and do not allow to escape this time. Just to awaken the cobblers (mochies) of Delhi (they are over a lakh in numbers), BSS is going to hold a big open conference ( MOCHI EKTA SAMMELAN) on 22nd October, 2000 in Delhi. Let us stand for the solidarity of dalit amongst dalits (cobblers) to put pressure on the government so that it could not escape this time! While speaking on the occasion, these facts and figures were elaborated by Bhai Tej Singh, the Commander in Chief of BSS. He has expressed satisfaction over the turnout of the people (the mochies) in this Solidarity Conference and told them that he can do any damn thing for the welfare of theirs with these numbers (unity).

Bhai Tej Singh further reminded them that they used to run their family affairs while toiling day and night by performing the abominable profession of repairing/mending old and used shoes, even then, they are subjected to humiliation and oppression at the hands of the so called highbred, the police personnel, the MCD people etc. All this happens with them daily of no fault of theirs! He asserted that if they want an honorable life like their other brethren then they will have to be united. With such unity of theirs, they can compel anybody and everybody to listen to them and put an end to their undue and long-lasting oppression and exploitation. With the result of their unity and commitment, no government can dare not to fulfill their promises.

On this occasion, while extolling the efforts of defeating the ego of the brahminical giants of Varanasi that too about 600 years ago, the great saint of ours, Guru Ravidas ji Maharaj, the C-in-C of BSS urged the humble audience (the cobblers) not to give shoulder to the prevailing superstitions of Hinduism which cost them dearly of their hard-earned money and asked them to put an end to the evil practice of performing community feasts after the death of their dear ones, denounce drinking liquor, and other worthless community rituals. He has also reminded them the resolution passed at the end of Mahar Conference of Dadar, Bombay in 1936 by which Baba Sahib Dr. Ambedkar has urged the Mahar community upon to refrain thenceforth from worshipping Hindu deities, to put an end to the observance of Hindu festivals and to stop visiting Hindu place of worship. In the same vein Bhai Tej Singh has also held responsible this ‘Bloody Hinduism’ for all of our miseries and asserted them that so long as we are Hindus, we are supposed to be inferior-most to everybody, untouchables, shudras, backwards etc. etc. Let us forthwith denounce it. By following the Hindu superstitious way of life, they born in debts and die in debts thus used to make our generations slave forcing them to be bonded labourers on account of their indebtedness.

Apart from Bhai Tej Singh, other prominent speakers were brother B.P. Singh, Asstt. Commander in Chief (Hqrs.), the Chief commanders of Delhi, U.P., Maharashtra, Gujrat Br. Brij Mohan Sagar, Ram Sabal, Udaram Jairam ji Patre, Babu Bhai Shrimali, respectively and Bhai Sahab Singh, Chief National Brigadier, Rashtriya Joota Brigade, Dr. David, Mugees Zilani etc.

The well known folk-singer, Bhai Netra Pal Brijwasi has played the role of an anchor and also delighted the capacity crowd with his melodious songs fit for the occasion.

At the end of this ‘Mochi Ekta Sammelan’, a resolution was also adopted for sending it to the government for implementing their promises made to cobblers community that the government of Delhi:-

should make its intentions clear and public as to what they really want to give to the cobblers?

should fix up its priorities for the purpose.

should fix up time limit for the implementation of their proposal.

should ensure safety and security of the mochi community and protect them from humiliation and oppression from the so called highbred, the police personnel and other government agencies.

should allot concrete platforms/kiosks to the cobblers as promised.

The conference has given three months time to implement their promises. Failing which, BSS will be compelled to take on the Government of Delhi led by Mrs. Sheila Dikshit. New Delhi.

22nd Oct.,2000.

Jagdish Chaudhary,
Secy. to C-in-C BSS

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Published on: October 24, 2000