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Dalits stand up against ‘anti-Brahmin’ book
Five prominent Dalits have filed a police complaint against Puroshottam Khedekar’s book, saying it is ‘anti-constitutional and derogatory to Brahmins’
Dalits stand up against ‘anti-Brahmin’ book
Posted On Tuesday, June 07, 2011 at 12:53:00 AM
While Brahmins are still contemplating legal action against Puroshottam Khedekar’s controversial book, prominent Dalits across the city who had filed a complaint with the police on May 18, are now demanding that it should be turned into a first information report (FIR). However, the police are sitting pretty and have done nothing about the complaint.
The cover of Khedekar’s controversial book
The controversy surrounding Khedekar’s book Shivrayanchya Badnamichi Kendre has been going on for a while. Last week, a meeting was organised by the Akhil Bhartiya Brahmin Mahasangh in the city to condemn the book.
The speakers included veteran Sanskrit scholar Vasant Gadgil. Govind Kulkarni, president of the organisation, told Pune Mirror, “This time, we are asking the governor to act in this regard.
There is no use approaching the government because they are hand-in-glove with Maratha organisations. At the time of Dadoji Konddev’s statue removal, Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan had promised to meet us, but till date, he has done nothing.
Kulkarni added that the community members are also thinking about approaching the High Court to ban the book, but it depends on the stand taken by the Governor. A delegation of the organisation will meet the Governor, present him with a set of Khedekar’s books and ask him to take action.
“Khedekar has written some 30 books with content against our community. We ignored them, thinking that this is a lunatic tendency. However, it is now turning into a Goebbels’ pattern — to turn lies into truth,” he added.
While Brahmins are yet to take that final decision of filing a complaint, five Dalits, including academicians and activists, registered a complaint with then Joint Police Commissioner Ashok Dhiware against Khedekar, who is president of Maratha Seva Sangh and his book.
Professor Hari Narke, head of the Mahatma Jotiba Phule chair at the University of Pune and Sanjay Sonawani, author of 62 books in Marathi, are among those who signed the application. They are joined by Dalit activists Madhukar Ramteke, Sham Satpute and Bhupal Patwardhan.
According to them, Khedekar has made certain obscene and malicious observations in his new book and even exhorted his followers to carry out systematic riots in the state. The complaint says, ‘Khedekar has in his book appealed to his organisation members to carry out systematic riots against Brahmins. This is anti-constitutional.
In the same book,he has written about Brahmin women in the most derogatory language. All this deserves stringent legal action.’ Surekha Lokhande, leader of the Republican Party of India, even met Home Minister R R Patil to take action against the book.
The complaint has been gathering dust in the police files. It is yet to be turned into an FIR which will prompt the police to take action against the book. A case under section 66 (A) of Information Technology Act, 2000 was registered by the police immediately. Meanwhile, Dhiware has been transferred as the Director, Criminal Investigation Department.
Speaking to Pune Mirror, Sonawani said, “It is strange that the police is not taking any action. I don’t know what kind of pressure has forced them to turn a blind eye to the issue.” Narke said, “I raised this issue on April 1 this year in the presence of Khedekar at a function in Balgandharv Rangmandir. It has been over three months since then but the police has done nothing. This inaction surprises me.”
Meanwhile, the same police department acted swiftly in registering a case against a Facebook user for allegedly defaming deputy CM Ajit Pawar on the social networking website.
According to a complaint filed by a Nationalist Congress Party worker, Arvind Gore, the user, Amit Jadhav, has posted a blackened picture of Pawar on the social networking site, asking fellow users to post abuses about him. A lot of obscene comments are being posted.
According to Sangita Alphonso Shinde, inspector, Pune Police Cyber Cell, the police have asked for user information from Facebook to trace the culprit.
► Khedekar has, in his book, appealed to his organisation to carry out systematic riots against Brahmins. This is anti-constitutional. He has also written about Brahmin women in most derogatory language, the complaint states.
► It is strange that the police is not taking any action. I don’t know what kind of pressure has forced them to turn a blind eye to the issue.
- Sanjay Sonawani, dalit author