Will Ask PM to Choose Between Manusmriti and Constitution: Mevani
Jignesh Mevani calls the BJP government a ‘fascist force’.
The Quint DAILY
For impactful stories you just can’t miss
I am a lawyer myself. I have always worked under the guidelines of the law. My speech is not inflammatory or provocative in any way; it’s a conspiracy against me.Jignesh Mevani, Vadgam MLA
Independent MLA from Vadgam, Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani spoke to The Quint, on Friday, 5 January, about the FIRs filed against him and Jawaharlal Nehru University student activist Umar Khalid for instigating violence in the bicentenary celebration of the Bhima Koregaon battle near Pune.
Two people have been killed and several injured after violence broke out across Maharashtra following clashes on 1 January, at an event to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Koregaon near Pune. An FIR was filed against Mevani soon after for making provocative speeches before the incident.
“If you review my speech with a constitutional expert, they will tell you that this is a frivolous complaint. Not a single word of my speech is provocative. In fact, I have been appealing for peace, but cases are being filed against me,” the Dalit leader said.
Mevani said that he thinks Prime Minister Narendra Modi is trying to bend the Constitution according to the ideals of Manusmriti.
He (PM Modi) is on his way to distort the constitutional provisions. He has already distorted labour laws.Jignesh Mevani
When asked about the problems faced by Dalits in the country, Mevani said that caste is not just the problem of Dalits, but of India. “We should kill this monster of caste,” he said, urging for social justice.
Rule of law should prevail and the constitutional provisions should be implemented properly. We should all focus on what we can do to annihilate caste so that we can ensure social justice.Jignesh Mevani
The first-time MLA from Vadgam said he will campaign against the BJP on the national level.
Mevani, who will hold a rally in Delhi on 9 January, said he plans to go to the Prime Minister’s residence and present the Manusmriti and the Indian Constitution before him, and ask him which one be chooses to follow.
‘BJP Frustrated for Not Accomplishing Mission 150’
Addressing a press conference in New Delhi earlier in the day, Mevani said the FIR filed against him is the BJP’s way of venting out their frustration for not being able to win 150 seats in the recently-concluded Assembly elections in Gujarat.
As the 150 seats they had promised turned out to be just 99, and as my profile keeps getting better everyday, they see me as a threat for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. This is why they are making these childish attempts to tarnish my image.Jignesh Mevani
According to Mevani, the government is concentrating on tarnishing his image rather than ensuring the rule of law.
I believe in constitutional values, that’s why I am appealing to my supporters that if, by chance, anyone is offended by the false complaints against me, they should not take to the streets.Jignesh Mevani
The Independent MLA ended the press conference with a warning for Prime Minister Narendra Modi that if Dalits are oppressed in any way in Gujarat or Maharashtra, and if more attempts are made to target him or tarnish his image, he will make up for all of it in 2019.
(We Indians have much to talk about these days. But what would you tell India if you had the chance? Pick up the phone and write or record your Letter To India. Don’t be silent, tell her how you feel. Mail us your letter at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll make sure India gets your message.)
(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)
Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from news and india
Topics: Caste System Jignesh Mewani Jignesh Mevani
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.