The Maratha community in has decided to hold its “biggest” silent march in Mumbai on August 9 to press for their various demands, including reservation. This planned rally would mark the completion of the one year of the Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha, the silent marches taken out by the community, as the first such rally was taken out on August 9 last year in Aurangabad, followed by other cities across the state. One of the organisers of the Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha, Sanjeev Bhor Patil, said, “We will hold the biggest rally on August 9 this year in Mumbai. It will start from Jijamata Udyan in Byculla and end at Azad Maidan.”
The Sakal Maratha Samaj, an umbrella organisation of several Maratha groups, will organise the event. “As the first Maratha Kranti Muk Morcha was held on August 9 last year, the community members decided to hold the biggest rally in Mumbai on the same day this year,” he added.
The Marathas have been holding silent marches in different parts of the state to press for their demands, including punishment for culprits in Kopardi rape and murder case, quota in education and government jobs, Amendment in SC, ST (Prevention of Atrocities Act) to stop its misuse, loan waiver to farmers to curb suicides, and guaranteed rate for agricultural produce.
According to Bhor Patil, before the march, a meeting will be held in Kopardi village in Ahmednagar district on July 13 in memory of the Kopardi gang-rape and murder victim. “A meeting will take place in Kopardi village of Karjat tehsil in Ahmednagar on July 13. A girl from Maratha community was raped and murdered on that day last year, which triggered an outrage among the Marathas and led to the silent marches. The meeting will be held in her memory,” Bhor Patil said.
A member of the organising committee, Nanasaheb Patil said, “The code of conduct for the rally will be the same as it was in the past. There will be no slogan-shouting and everyone will march silently and peacefully.” Another member, Rajendra Kondhare, said the community has submitted a list of 20 different demands to the state government.
A meeting will also be held in June on Raigad fort, where the members would take a pledge to continue the struggle for the welfare of the community.
“We will meet on Raigad fort on June 6, the anniversary of the coronation ceremony of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,” Shantaram Kunjir, member of the Sakal Maratha Samaj, said.