Chitralekha, a Dalit woman auto-driver who was tormented by CPM has not written an autobiography where she has made a startling revelation. Chitralekha has said that she faced caste discrimination at the house of Jignesh Mevani, who has been touting himself as a Dalit politician.
In her biography, titled KL 13 L 8527, Chithralekha says she faced gross discrimination at Mevani’s house when she visited Gujarat for taking part in a protest organised by Rashtriya Mevani’s Dalit Adhikar Manch (RDMM). In her book, according to local media, Chitralekha said she was not allowed to bathe in the house and suffered through caste-discrimination.
Chitralekha’s book reportedly contains many such incidents where she exposes the caste-discrimination that Jignesh Mevani meets out and his hypocrisy on caste-issues.
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Chitralekha was hounded and tormented by the communists after she had married an upper-caste man. In a revenge attack, CPM workers set her auto-rickshaw on fire in 2005. Following the incident, she and her family came on the radar of the CPM leadership. As she did not succumb to the threats, the CPM socially ostracised her family; they were forced to flee their home village. She was physically attacked by CPM goons and her auto-rickshaw was destroyed several times.
After Chitralekha refused to cower to threats, the Communists had even put up posters terming her a ‘prostitute’.
Reportedly, Chitralekha had alleged that the time that the CPM leadership had told her that ‘The Pulaya women shouldn’t run an Auto Rickshaw’. Pulaya caste is one of the most downtrodden classes in Kerala’s Scheduled caste.
Read: Journalist at ‘The Wire’ : Heckled by Dalit and Leftist activists, told by Editors to ‘let it go’
Interestingly, Jignesh Mevani, who has now been accused by Chitralekha of discriminating against her on the basis of caste, had spoken up for the plight of Chitralekha back in 2018.
In 2018, Jignesh Mevani, who was fashioning himself as a Dalit politician had backed out from an event organised by a CPM-backed organisation saying that he had reservations about their stand on Dalit issues.
The Pattika Jathi Kshema Samiti (PKS) was a Dalit organisation floated by CPM and its invite was declined by Mevani back then. He had also condemned the treatment meted out to Chitralekha and has asserted that he stood with her in her struggle.
Vadgam MLA and divisive ‘caste activist’ Jignesh Mevani have developed a penchant for rabble-rousing and instigating violence to meet his political ends. In early April this year, TimesNow had caught him on video instigating the crowd ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Karnataka rally ahead of Karnataka elections. In the video, Jignesh Mevani is heard saying that the youth should play an important role in disrupting the Prime Minister’s rally in Bangalore by throwing chairs and asking him as to what happened to the two crore jobs that he had promised.
Jignesh Mevani and controversy go hand in hand, caught frequently making such crass comments. Not too long ago, Jignesh Mevani on RepublicTV had asked the PM to “go to the Himalayas and melt his bones“. He was also caught on tape inciting people right before violence erupted in the Bhima-Koregaon incident. Not just the PM, Jignesh Mevani was also caught on tape abusing policemen after which, he had proceeded to play the victim.