If you are living in Maharashtra you must have definitely seen the huge posters for ‘Maratha Kranti Morcha’. These are silent protests by the Maratha community of Maharashtra. They have no political backing or sponsorship. Typically people decide a date, time and place from where then walk silently to the district headquarter or a city center where a memorandum of demands is handed over to district administration by youth. The first protest happened in Aurangabad on 9th August, 2016 as a reaction to the Kopardi village rape and murder case of a teenager.
The main agenda of these protests are,
Justice to Rape victim: A teenage girl was allegedly stopped by 3 men when she was returning from her grandparents house in the same locality. These men raped her and then killed her by strangling. The post mortem report had confirmed that she was raped and beaten up brutally as she had fractured limbs, broken shoulder and human-bite marks on her body. This barbaric act triggered unrest as the girl belonged to Maratha community and the convicts are from Dalit community.
Atrocity Act change: The atrocity act was passed to curb the caste systems in India. It gives a certain security to the SC and ST castes. There is widespread belief in Maratha community that many crimes are not reported because of the consequences that can be caused due to atrocities act. So they are now demanding a change in it.
Reservation: Marathas were one of the most powerful communities in Maharashtra, but are now declining. They are demanding reservation for the community. Maharashtra Council had previously passed the Bill but disputes are still on going.
There are various other demands too. After Aurangabad, protests followed in Ahmednagar, Osmanabad, Jalgaon and Jalna. Planned silent marches happened in Navi Mumbai, Latur, Beed and Amravati too. Coming days will see more of this in Nashik, Sangli and Pune as well. The surprising fact about these protests is, though there are lakhs of people, there have been no acts of violence anywhere. This is the biggest silent protest in the History of Maharashtra. Their slogan is ‘Ek Maratha, Lakh Maratha!’