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Savitri Bai Phule: The Dalit Leader Who Resigned From BJP

Savitri Bai Phule had been attacking the BJP and its governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh for their alleged indifference to the concerns of Scheduled Castes.

Savitri Bai Phule: The Dalit Leader Who Resigned From BJP
Savitri Bai Phule: The Dalit Leader Who Resigned From BJP
outlookindia.com
2018-12-06T16:42:38+0530

Sadhvi Savitribai Phule, a firebrand BJP MP from Bahraich who is known for being outspoken and a rebel has resigned from the party on Thursday.

The Dalit leader said her objective was to get the Constitution implemented in letter and spirit.

"I have resigned from the party. But I will continue as a Lok Sabha member till the end of my tenure," she said in Lucknow.

She said she will launch an agitation to champion the cause of Dalits from December 23, adding that the country needs a Constitution not a temple.

Phule had been attacking the BJP and its governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh for their alleged indifference to the concerns of Scheduled Castes.

She had also accused the BJP of dividing society and often the party over its Hindutva plank.

Phule had joined the BSP as a teenager and later went on to join the the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2012 and has at multiple events shown disappointment with the kind of work the party was doing.

Known for her controversial comments, Phule does not leave a chance pass by to not speak her mind out. She has always looked up to Ambedkar and his teachings and follows his path to fight for the rights of Dalits and the opressed in India.

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had said at a poll rally in Malakheda of Alwar district, Rajasthan, that "Bajrang Bali was a forest dweller, deprived and a Dalit, who worked to connect all Indian communities together, from north to south and east to west.”

Phule reacted to Yogi's comment and PTI reported her as saying, "When Hanuman did all for Lord Ram with devotion, he (Lord Hanuman) should have been made a human and not a ‘bandar’ (monkey). At that time also he had to face humilation due to being a Dalit. Why can’t we Dalits be considered humans?"

Following Yogi Adityanath's comment, Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar had asked members of his community to take over all temples belonging to Lord Hanuman. “Dalits should take over all Hanuman temples in the country and appoint Dalits as priests there,” he said to which Phule's responded as saying, "The country does not need a temple. Will it end unemployment and other problems of Dalits and backwards? The temple will benefit Brahmins, who are only 3%. The money offered in temples are used by them for their gains and make our community (Dalits) their slave."

Phule had advocated for restoring the Atrocities Act taking a stand for the Bahujan people of India. She says, Dr Ambedkar had misgivings that no matter how good the Constitution of India is, if the one implementing it does not have a clear heart then it will be meaningless and somehow, that fear is coming true.

In an interview with Outlookindia, Phule had said, "Babasaheb Ambedkar had one dream — no matter which party’s ticket a Dalit wins in an election on a reserved seat, they have to fight the oppression the SC people face. If the Constitution provides for SCs and reserved seats it is my duty to ensure that those conditions are fulfilled."

Earlier this year, amid row on Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s portrait at the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU), Bahraich BJP MP Savitri Bai Phule had termed the founder of Pakistan a ‘mahapurush’ (great personality), causing embarrassment to her party.

The BJP MP said that the Jinnah controversy was being raked up in order to divert attention from the real issues of ‘bahujan samaj’ of poverty, starvation, etc.

Phule had also earlier raised questions on BJP leaders dining at the houses of Dalits.

(With Agency Inputs)

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