LUCKNOW – Dalits, a scheduled caste in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh have alleged that they were given soap and shampoo by the local administration ahead of a visit by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath last week.
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One of the poorest in the state, members of the Mushahar community said they were asked to take a bath and clean up properly before attending a function in Kushinagar. The district administration has refused to comment on the matter, NDTV reported.
A video had also surfaced on YouTube where a man is seen claiming he and others like him were asked to clean up using soaps and shampoos before the CM’s visit.
The Congress demanded that he tender an apology to Dalits and a case be registered against him for insulting them.
Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi said: “The incident has depicted the true face of the BJP and the RSS, particularly the chief minister.”
Reacting to the CM’s discriminatory actions, a newly formed Dalit outfit in Gujarat has planned to prepare a 16-ft-long soap to gift it to Yogi Adityanath.
“The attitude of Yogi Adiyanath indicates his manuvadi (casteist) approach. He needs to cleanse himself of these impurities,” Kirit Rahtod and Kantilal Parmar, members of Dr Ambedkar Vechan Pratibandh Samiti were quoted as saying on Thursday. Reportedly, the duo is also associated with Navsarjan – an Ahmedabad-based NGO that fights for Dalit rights.
According to a report in The Indian Express, the soap will be displayed at a public function in Ahmedabad on June 9 before it is packed. Later, it will be sent to UP CM Adityanath in Lucknow.
The soap will be prepared by a woman from the balmiki community, considered to be the lowest rung within the Dalit community.