Removal of Mahar samadhi board near Pune sparked clashes

removal-mahar-samadhi-board-near-pune-sparked-clashes

The samadhi or tomb of Govind Gopal (Mahar) Gaikwad is near the complex which has the samadhi of Sambhaji Maharaj.

For five days now, people in Vudhu Budruk village, about 30 km northeast of Pune, have been living amidst heavy police presence.

Because it was here that the spark was lit on December 29, leading to violent clashes between Dalits and Marathas — the removal of a board placed at the samadhi of a 17th century Dalit who, according to Mahar accounts, defied Emperor Aurangzeb’s orders and carried out the last rites of Chhatrapati Sambhaji Maharaj, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj’s son who was tortured to death in 1689.

The samadhi or tomb of Govind Gopal (Mahar) Gaikwad is near the complex which has the samadhi of Sambhaji Maharaj. On the night of December 28, local residents say, a board was placed at the samadhi of Gaikwad which described him as the one who had gone against Aurangzeb to carry out the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj.

The next day, the board was removed, and a concrete umbrella-like structure over the samadhi was found damaged. The Dalits blamed it on the Marathas who maintain that their ancestors, and not Gaikwad, carried out the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj. The Marathas felt that the board was a Dalit attempt to “distort history”.

The samadhi or tomb of Govind Gopal (Mahar) Gaikwad is near the complex which has the samadhi of Sambhaji Maharaj. On the night of December 28, local residents say, a board was placed at the samadhi of Gaikwad which described him as the one who had gone against Aurangzeb to carry out the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj.

The next day, the board was removed, and a concrete umbrella-like structure over the samadhi was found damaged. The Dalits blamed it on the Marathas who maintain that their ancestors, and not Gaikwad, carried out the last rites of Sambhaji Maharaj. The Marathas felt that the board was a Dalit attempt to “distort history”.

Source: The Indian Express

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