In this Chota Interview, Newslaundry’s Abhinandan Sekhri sits down with #ChandrashekharAzad, the co-founder and current president of the #BhimArmy, an Ambedkarite #Dalitorganisation. An activist and politician known for his vocal stand against anti-Dalit sentiments in India, #Chandrashekhar has been jailed multiple times over the years.
Abhinandan and Chandrashekhar discuss the Supreme Court’s decisions on the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Amendment Act, his own political ambitions, the Dalit movement and his experiences in jail, and #BahujanSamajParty leader #Mayawati, among other things.
Chandrashekhar talks about the recent Supreme Court order that states aren’t bound to provide reservation in appointments and promotions. “I request the Dalit MPs who are sitting in Parliament, thanks to the reservation given by Dr BR #Ambedkar, to pressure the government to bring in an ordinance overruling this judgement,” he says.
He says the Dalit community can’t afford to leave work, but has still come to the streets “when our rights are being taken, and [when] we lost hope from the government and administration”. About his stints in jail, Chandrashekhar says, “With the kind of laws the government has recently brought, many will be put in detention camps. So they must get used to staying in jail already.”
Chandrashekhar is critical of #Mayawati, pointing out: “Had she done her work effectively and responsibly, thousands like me would not have had to leave their jobs and careers to form the Bhim Army.”
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