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Chhagan Bhujbal Raises Alarm on Emerging Caste Divisions in Maharashtra

Bhujbal's Concerns Voiced at Mahatma Phule Memorial Day Program in Pune

Pune | November 29, 2023: Speaking at a program organized at Mahatma Phule Palace in Pune on the occasion of Mahatma Phule Memorial Day, Chhagan Bhujbal, the leader of the Ajit Pawar faction of the Nationalist Congress Party and the state’s Food and Civil Supplies Minister, expressed his concerns about the emergence of a new caste system in the state. Bhujbal emphasized that this caste system differs from the previous one, as it revolves around the removal of merits.

During his address, Bhujbal touched upon the recent incident of a Dalit youth being beaten in Nagpur, highlighting the need for collective efforts to eradicate such discrimination. He stated, “In Ramtek, only a Dalit was beaten up and one died. This shows how much more work we have to do. Still, big and small distinctions are made. Everyone should read books on Mahatma Phule, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, Shahu Maharaj. Books about Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj must be read.”

Bhujbal also pointed out the ongoing need to educate people on the teachings of Mahatma Phule, Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Shahu Maharaj to eliminate biases. He remarked, “Now a new caste system has started coming in the state. This varna system was different; the previous one was different. Now the merit is being drawn. A few days ago, it was thought that the caste system was over. But the morning was yesterday, and the night has become dark.”

Addressing the importance of unity, Bhujbal stated, “I am not against any society. No one will be against any society. Everyone should live together. No one should be wronged, but if there is injustice, it should not be tolerated.”

The program witnessed the presence of individuals from different ideological camps, honoring Mahatma Phule, including Mahatma Gandhi, Swatantra Veer Savarkar, and Chhatrapati Shahu Maharaj. Bhujbal advocated for the construction of a memorial around Mahatma Phule Palace, stating, “I don’t think we need to protest for that.”

The leader also addressed the war of words between Maratha activist Manoj Jarange and himself over reservation. Jarange had earlier made a controversial statement regarding working under the hands of people who are not ‘worthy.’ However, in response to criticism, Jarange retracted his words, taking a cautious stance and withdrawing the contentious statement after advice from Prakash Ambedkar.


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