The sleepy town of Udupi woke up to the call for unity of all Dalit, backward castes and minorities by progressive Dalit and like-minded organizations.
The main theme of this march from Bangalore on October 4th to Udupi (October 9th)-“Udupi chalo” was “Food is our choice, Land is our right.”
Jignesh Mewani, convenor of Una Dalits Atyachar Ladat Samiti also participated in the event and said, “Some people say Gujarat model is good. But nearly 119 villages are living under police protection in Gujarat and people are still lifting carcasses in 55 villages. Modi is portraying himself as avid follower of Ambedkar. But Dalit women harassment has increased by 30% in 10 years. And Modi has not met any of the victims. There is now a need to fight against caste based discrimination. Modi supports capitalists and allots land for Adani and Ambani. Why he does not give land to Dalits?” land meant for the landless.
The important question of land to the Dalits and backward communities came up in Udupi. The leaders demanded that the Karnataka state government should bring out a white paper on the land allotted to the Dalits and tribes. Nearly 10 lakh acres of land was still lying uncultivated though it was earmarked for them.
The caste discrimination practiced in Lord Krishna mutt in Udupi was also questioned. The Dalits promised to enter the mutt in the recent future ( in the next two months),even though the sure result would be arrest.
Reservation policy should apply for private sector and proper rules to be made for controlling private sector was another major demand. It was attended by thousands of progressive and other organizations with the same ideals. Many Muslims and Christians attended the rally.