Dalits, Backward Caste members fight over installation of Ambedkar statue in Telangana

The Goud community is allegedly obstructing the installation as it would hinder the installation of a Ganesh statue during Ganesh Chaturthi.
 Dalits, Backward Caste members fight over installation of Ambedkar statue in Telangana
Dalits, Backward Caste members fight over installation of Ambedkar statue in Telangana

A conflict between Dalits and Backward Castes is brewing in Jadcherla, Telangana, over the installation of a statue of Dr B R Ambedkar.

Dalits are determined to erect the statue in Ambedkar Nagar and allege that the members belonging to the BC community are against the statue because it might ‘pollute’ their colony.

However, the Gouds, who belong to the BC community, claim that they are objecting to it because the statue would occupy space and be a hindrance while installing the Ganesh statue during Ganesh Chaturthi.

On January 24, Dalits in the town procured permission from the Rural Divisional Officer and the Commissioner of Police, and also invited Health Minister C Laxma Reddy to unveil the statue.

Convinced that the statue would be unveiled after meeting the Minister, the Dalits brought the statue to Ambedkar Nagar on February 3, although they hadn’t received permission from the Municipal Commissioner.

The police booked 15 persons from the Dalit community on the same day, as they sensed trouble.

Speaking to TNM, Jadcherla Town Inspector Balaraju said that it was an internal dispute between the two groups. “Both the groups want to show their dominance,” he said.

He added that cases were booked against the Dalits as a preventive measure in order to avoid any untoward incident.

Speaking to TNM, Kurumurthy, a Dalit student-activist and one of the persons against whom a case was booked, said, “We have been trying to erect the Ambedkar statue for over a year. Finally, we gathered funds and sought permission from the authorities to erect the statue. However, the Goud (BC) community is obstructing us.”

“What is wrong in erecting a statue of Ambedkar who fought for us? We tried convincing them, but they won’t budge,” he added.

“Members of the Goud community who are in the Telangana Rashtra Samiti are giving silly reasons for objecting the installation. They earlier claimed that the statue would eat into the space meant for installing the statue of Ganesh, and now they are claiming that they want to erect a statue for Bharat Mata in the same spot,” Kurumurthy alleged.

On Monday, Dalit activists and lawyers from Hyderabad went to Jadcherla to show solidarity and seek permission from the Municipal Commissioner to erect the statue. 

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