Carry one brick each: Dalit group launches. campaign to rebuild samadhi of Govind Gopal!
Lakhs from the Dalit community gather at the Vijay Stambh (victory pillar) in the Koregaon Bhima region each year on January 1 to commemorate the Observers have pointed out that tensions may be likely to prevail in the vicinity of the Vijay Stambh (victory pillar) once more, even as the Bhim Army has kicked off a campaign on social media this week, appealing to the lakhs of visitors to the monument to carry one brick each. According to them, this will be a bid to reconstruct venerated Dalit ancestor Govind Gopal’s samadhi (tomb) that was desecrated.
It is believed by a section that opal had conducted the last rites of Maratha king Chhatrapati Sambhaji
Maharaj in the village of Vadhu, and his tombstone is situated in the same hamlet that houses the tomb of Sambhaji Maharaj, too. In December 2017, Gopal’s tomb was disrespected, creating a strain between two communities residing in the village, which ultimately lead to the violence that followed.
As the iconic anniversary of the battle looms, various Dalit organisations have begun chalking out plans to celebrate the occasion, given that lakhs of community members gather in this region to commemorate the battle fought and won by Mahar soldiers.
One such Dalit organisation, Bhim Army, just days ago announced that on January 1, 2020, they will start
work on reconstructing Gopal’s lost tomb, for which members of their group have launched a campaign on social media.
The state chief of the Bhim Army, Ashok Kamble, who is heading this campaign, told Mirror, “Through
social networks, we are trying to reach out to as many supporters as we can for the reconstruction of the samadhi of Govind Gopal, which was desecrated by miscreants in 2017. It was the government’s responsibility to reconstruct the tomb, but even after two years, it has shown no positive movement towards this goal. So, we have decided to take up the task on our own.”
Now, in a clarion call online, the group is appealing to supporters to carry bricks to the celebration. “When we started the campaign, a lot of people came forward with money for the reconstruction — but we do not want money. All we want is public participation. We want a brick in the hands of each of our supporters to rebuild the samadhi,” Kamble said, adding that on January 1 next year itself, the tomb’s reconstruction will begin at the hands of Bhim Army national chief, Chandrashekhar Azad. “Last year, police did not allow Azad to visit the tomb in Vadhu — this time, we will not only visit, but rebuild starting with his hands,” Kamble asserted.
Courtesy: Pune Mirror