The Man Booker award winning author Arundhati Roy donated 3,00,000 to the face of Dalit agitation in Gujarat, Jignesh Mevani to kick start his election campaign. Mevani had raised a fundraiser titled ‘Janta ki ladai janta ke pese se’ (Citizens’ fight with citizens’ money) for his movement.
“I am just one of his many supporters. I contributed to his campaign because I believe Jignesh Mevani represents a kind of breakthrough in mainstream Indian politics. A solidarity that rises from the bottom upwards…one with vision, sophistication, confidence and a real, multi-faceted understanding of the direction we as a people need to move in,” Roy toldOutlook.
Roy contributed one-third of the total amount of money Jignesh raised online till then. Until Thursday, November 30, 2017 – 18:31 Mevani has raised a sum of Rs 9, 76,000 from 248 contributors using a crowd-sourcingplatformCrowdnewsing.
Mevani thanked Arundhati Roy for her contribution. Roy is a strong advocate for Dalit rights. She criticised the BJP government in her books vigorously, which accused her of being ‘anti-national’. In 2015, Arundhati Roy returned her National Award in protest which she called “unparalleled political movement against ideological viciousness”
Mevani said he will stay away from political and corporate funding to maintain ‘autonomy and complete freedom of the movement. “From the very beginning of the Una movement, we have not taken any contribution from political parties, corporates or NGOs. This movement belongs to the people and it’s their responsibility to run it and sustain it financially. In that respect, we welcome contributions made by each of the 200 plus people. It doesn’t matter what amount you give, as long as you contribute.”
“Financially, the odds are against us, the enemy camp in power has immense backing not just from Indian corporations but global capital as well. But the people of India are responding and the fight is on,” he added.
Jignesh Mevani a lawyer, the leader of Rashtriya Dalit Adhikar Manch has said he will contest as an independent candidate from Vadgam constituency on Monday.