Dalit leader Jignesh Mevani who recently announced that he will contest the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls has got support from noted writer-activist Arundhati Roy.
Roy contributed a sum of Rs 3 lakh which is one-third of the total amount of money Jignesh raised online till then from a total of 203 donors. He used crowd-sourcing platform Crowdnewsing for raising money. At the time of writing, Jignesh had collected a sum of Rs 9, 76,000 from 248 contributors.
"I contributed because I believe Jignesh Mevani represents a kind of breakthrough in mainstream Indian politics. A solidarity that rises from the bottom upwards.. one with vision, sophistication, confidence and a real, multi-faceted understanding of the direction we as a people need to move in," Roy said on the crowdsourcing website on why she chose to support him.
Reacting to this, Jignesh said, "From the very beginning of the Una movement, we have not taken any contribution from political parties, corporates or NGOs. This movement belongs to the people and it's their responsibility to run it and sustain it financially. In that respect we welcome contributions made by each of the 200 plus people. It doesn't matter what amount you give, as long as you contribute.”
“Financially, the odds are against us, the enemy camp in power has immense backing not just from Indian corporations but global capital as well. But the people of India are responding and the fight is on,” he added.
Jignesh,a social activist and lawyer, has announced that he will contest as an independent candidate from Vadgam constituency on Monday after the Congress failed to put up a candidate in the constituency.
Prior to this, the leader of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch (a non-political organisation) had maintained that he will support the Congress and not jump in the electoral fray himself. He had also met Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in the run up to the party’s campaign in the coming polls.
The young Dalit leader had made the headlines after he led the Dalit pride march from Ahmedabad to Una to protest the attack on Dalit skinners from Saurashtra region by cow vigilantes in 2016.