Mahad satyagraha venue Chavdar Lake that commemorates Dalits fight for rights hosts Iftar

Story by  ATV | Posted by  Aasha Khosa | Date 31-03-2024
Volunteers serving food at Mahad Satyagraha venue of Chavdar Lake
Volunteers serving food at Mahad Satyagraha venue of Chavdar Lake


Saurabh Chandanshive/Pune

Recently a historic event took place at Chavdar Lake in Mahadd, Maharashtra. For the first time, an Iftaar was organized for the community that had gathered to commemorate the 96th anniversary of the Mahad Satyagraha.

The Mahad Satyagraha, led by Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar in 1927, was a landmark event in the fight for equality for Dalits in India. It was at Chavdar Lake located in the district of Raigarh that Ambedkar and his followers were denied access to water, sparking a movement that would eventually lead to the abolition of untouchability. The Mahad Satyagraha was a watershed moment in the fight for Dalit rights in India.

The Chavdar Lake iftar

From across the country, the Dalit Bahujan community comes to visit Chavdar Lake. After visiting Chavdar Lake, this community takes the energy of revolution from here. That is why this place is also called 'Krantibhumi'.

This year too, a large crowd had come from all parts of the country to visit Chavdar Lake. The special feature of this year is that the month of Ramzan is also going on at the same time. Ramzan is a month not only of fasting and penance but also of service and help. Therefore, the Muslim community took the initiative to serve the people who had come to Chavdar Lake.This year, as Dalits from across the country gathered at Chavdar Lake to pay homage to Ambedkar, the Muslim community of Mahad came forward to organize an iftar for them. The iftar at Chavdar Lake was a powerful symbol of solidarity and brotherhood between the Dalit and Muslim communities, and it evoked appreciation.

This year, for the first time, a Roza-iftar program was organized at the Chavdar Lake site. It was attended by a large number of citizens of all religions. The program was organized by various religious organizations, including the Mulnivasi Muslim Manch, Sambhaji Brigade, Bhim Army Bahujan Ekta Mission, Regional Christian Society, and the Muslim community of Mahad.

Chavdar Lake with statue of B R Ambedkar

After the iftar program, many dignitaries interacted with the audience. Speaking on the occasion, Anjum Inamdar, President of the Mulnivasi Muslim Manch highlighted the close relationship between Ambedkar and the Muslim community and said that the iftar was a way of paying tribute to their shared legacy.

He said, "Our campaign will continue for a total of six months, from Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Jayanti to Prophet Muhammad Jayanti. We will visit 355 talukas and 36 districts of Maharashtra to create harmony among all social groups and to promote respect for each other's religion by all religious people.

“This sacred work has been started in Pune. We are very proud of the fact that We are especially inspired by the fact that a great freedom fighter and poet, Maulana Hasrat Mohani, and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar shared an iftar. It was as a reminder of this that the Roza iftari program was organized at the Chavdar Lake site in Mahad as part of the 'Aman ka Karwan (the caravan of peace) campaign."

An artistic work depicting B R Ambedkar-led Mahad satyagraha at Chavdar Lake

The Roza-iftar was attended by a large number of women from various districts of Maharashtra. A 90-year-old grandmother from Mumbai offered her blessings to the organizers of the Roza-iftar. The program highlighted the co-existence of the Muslim community and the Ambedkarite community, which together maintain brotherhood. The program held in Maharashtra, which fostered mutual harmony and brotherhood, is an example that the entire country should follow.

The iftar was a heart-warming event, and it served as a reminder of the importance of compassion, understanding, and unity in our society. It is a message that is especially relevant in today's times when we are witnessing increasing polarization and division.

The Roza iftar program in Mahad was a success thanks to the dedicated efforts of several individuals and organizations. Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar National Memorial, led by its head, Mr Jamdade, collaborated with Ekta Manav Sanghṭana, headed by President Sadiq Sheikh. Mehboob Sheikh, Vice President of the Pimpri Chinchwad City Congress Committee, also lent his support.

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Additionally, senior Mahad social workers Dildar Purkar, Hanif Purkar, Anant Kamble, and Mushtaq Qazi, along with many other organizers, played a crucial role in making the program a success.