Protests Brew in Gujarat as Summit Approaches: Vibrant Gujarat 2017

OBC, Patidar, Dalit youth leaders join hands to hold ‘unemployment march’: Debunking the exaggerated claims around Vibrant Gujarat summits, Thakor said that unemployment was the harsh reality of Gujarat not investment.

Gujarat Unemployment Protest
Image: Indian Express

Dalit, OBC and Patidar (Patel) youth on one platform fighting Unemployment their collective slogan?

Youth leaders cutting across caste lines once have again joined hands on the issue of unemployment and declared Berojgar Yatra (unemployment march) from Becharaji in Mehsana to the Collector office near Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on January 6. They have asked the Gujarat government to ensure that 85 per cent jobs were given to Gujarati youths by companies investing in the state. There are also threats to disrupt or protest outside the Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

 The march has been organised by OBC leader Alpesh Thakor under the banner of Thakor-Kshatriya Sena and it has been supported from Dalit youth leader Jignesh Mevani and Patidar leader Varun Patel, who is the media convener of Patidar Anamat Andolan Samiti (PAAS), led by Hardik Patel.

The three were joined by people from other communities on Tuesday, when Thakor addressed a press conference to announce the march from Becharaji, which is part of the Gujarat Government’s ambitious Mandal-Becharaji Special Investment Region (MB-SIR) project. Farmer leader Sagar Rabari, a couple of Muslim youth workers and some Brahmin leaders joined them in solidarity. Rabari on Monday had concluded 20-day-long farmers’ march to highlight the plight of Gujarat farmers in Gandhinagar.

Debunking the exaggerated claims around Vibrant Gujarat summits, Thakor said that unemployment was the harsh reality of Gujarat not investment. “The Gujarat government has been signing MoUs worth lakhs of crores of rupees during the Vibrant Gujarat Summit. However, the reality is that 60 lakh youths are unemployed in Gujarat. So, we want the government to declare the figures of how many youths were given employment by companies who come through MoUs during the Vibrant Gujarat Summits.”

“If the government does not make sincere efforts to ensure that 85 per cent jobs in these companies are given to Gujaratis, then we are going to disrupt the Vibrant Summit… We have support from all communities,” Thakor said. According to Thakor, around 3 lakh youths would likely join the Berojgar Yatra.

Varun Patel of PAAS said that while the outfit’s priority remains the Patidar reservation agitation, it was also with the unemployed youth of Gujarat. “There are a number of agitations going on in Gujarat like the Patidar agitation, the Dalit agitation and the OBC agitation. The root of these agitations is unemployment,” he added.

Jignesh, meanwhile, said, “If we analyse the root of the Dalit agitation, the Patidar agitation or the OBC agitation, three things emerge as the main reasons — unemployment among youths, exploitation of youths and labourers in government jobs, private jobs and factories and deep rooted agrarian crisis in the state. And so, this time, cutting across caste and communal lines, we have come together on the issue of unemployment and we will oppose this year’s Vibrant Gujarat Summit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi while telling him, ‘Modi, go back’.”

Events related to Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit are scheduled between January 9 and January 13. Modi will be in Gujarat on January 9 and 10.



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