On June 20, ‘Sakal Bharatiya Samaj’ protest march was organised in Kalyan, Thane to protest against the rift being created against the Buddhists and the Agri Koli community which has been living harmoniously in the area for years.
There was an issue over Ekvira Devi and the Buddhist caves at Karla, Lonavala which caused clashes in which the young boy was attacked. Apparently, the entrance to the Buddhist caves is eclipsed by the Ekvira Devi temple; this appears to be the cause of the clashes.
The two communities have a history of standing shoulder to shoulder under the leadership of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar to fight for the Bombay Tenancy and Agricultural Act 1948. Narayan Nago Patil, a senior leader of the Agri community, was in the forefront of this fight. It is because of this background that for the last 80-90 years the OBC community and the Dalit community on the sea coast like Agri, Koli, Kunbi, Bhandari etc. have lived together harmoniously.
The protest march was organised to create a wise progressive leadership from both communities to oppose the polarisation that creates social animosity such as Buddhist Dalit versus Agri Koli society.
Hence, this ‘Sakal Bharatiya Samaj Mahanishedh Morcha’ was organised under the leadership of Shyam Dada Gaikwad, a senior leader of the Dalit movement. All the Dalit organisations, agri community organisations, koli community organisations and left parties of Kalyan Ambernath area organised this march together.
The Dalit community in Kalyan and Agri, Koli, Kunbi communities spontaneously participated in this march in large numbers. Sakal Bharatiya Samaj Mahamorcha claims to be directly challenging the bigotry and casteist propaganda and violence in Maharashtra and aims to keep socio-religious harmony intact in Maharashtra.
Calls for resignation of Devendra Fadnavis were also made at the morcha and placards of “Dalit lives matter” were seen as well.