Elgar Parishad can be defined as sending out a loud invitation or a declaration per retired Judge P.B. Sawant. It is an event celebrated on the 200th ceremony for the battle of the Koregaon Bhima.
The Elgar Parishad dates back to January 1, 1818, symbolising the Dalit community’s strength. The Shaniwarwada was a sitting fort for the Peshwas. The Mahar Dalits, who were a part of the British Army, had beaten the Peshwa dynasty.
The first Elgar Parishad was held on 31ist December 2017. The tents were set up in Shaniwarwada Pune. There were a large number of people who gathered. There were numerous events, speeches and slogans which raised the issue of casteism.
Several activists had gathered there. A few of them were Adivasi activist Soni Sori, Gujarat MLA Jignesh Mevani, Dalit activist Radhika Vemula, retired Bombay High Court Justice BG Kholse-Patil, Dalit leader Prakash Ambedkar, Bhim Army President Vinay Ratan Singh, and student leader Umar Khalid were among the event’s organisers and speakers.
The reason why the case came out to be important was that many activists were arrested. The charges filed against them were for sedition, promoting enmity amount the groups, outraging religious feelings of the people, and some charges of the IT act.
IPC explains sedition under section 124A. It explains that written or spoken words, signs or representation that attempts to bring hatred among the people regarding the country’s government amount to the crime of sedition.
Promoting enmity among the groups is defined under section 153A of the IPC. It explains that a person would be punished if he is indulged in the deliberate vilification or attacks a specific religion or other factors that may be close to the heart of people. One of the essentials of this section is that it uses criminal force and violence.
Outraging religious feelings of the people is explained under section 295A of the IPC. This punishes deliberated and malicious acts that are done to hurt the feelings of class or a religion or a religious belief. The act should be done by way of words, be it spoken or written; these can also be visible actions or representations. The person who commits such a crime can be arrested without a warrant.
The arrest of Umar Khalid was one such highlight point of this case. He was a student leader and was arrested because of 2 FIRs against him. The first was done by BJP member Pradip Gavade who accused him of hurting the people’s religious sentiments. In the second FIR, he was accused of propagating hatred against UP CM- Yogi Adtiyanath.
On January 1, 2018, lakhs of Dalit started a battle of Bhima Koregaon, which started the violence. This lead to several people being injured and one person dead. The Pune Police alleged that the event was organised and funded by the Maoist community that was banned already.
On January 30, 2021, the Pune police had once again granted permission for the Elgar Parishad. This commemorates the battle of Bhima Koregaon.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.
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