No Bhaiyalal will ever return this land: No Justice, No Life for Bhotmanges

23Jan17

Waiting for justice, Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange, the lone survivor of Khairlanji Massacre, breathed his last in the evening of 20th January, 2017. He was declared dead in Nagpur’s Shrikrishna’s hospital due to major heart attack. Earlier when he came back from his work to his residence at MHADA colony, Bhandara he did not feel well. Immediately, he was taken to Dr Chavan , MD, who diagnosed him with major heart attack and referred him to Nagpur’s Shrikrishna Hospital. After about an hour in ICCU of the hospital, he succumbed to the heart attack and passed away. It is reported by one of his relatives and activists closer to him, that before 4 months he suffered the paralytic attack for which he was treated from a local doctor and got recovered.

 

Pic01: Bhayyalal Bhotmange father of Priyaka, Sudhir died last week..

Pic01: Bhayyalal Bhotmange father of Priyaka, Sudhir died last week..

Born on 13th March, 1956 to mother, Mrs Sasubai and father Sudama,  Bhaiyyalal was hardly educated upto 4th Standard. His major occupation was farming. When he got married to Surekha, he shifted to Khairlanji to cultivate the ancestral small piece of land which was earlier barren. He and his wife with their hard-work, nourished the land and harvested the good deal of paddy. Though, not educated, he understood the importance of education due to Babasaheb’’s message of educating the children well even at the expense of filing up the belly. His efforts were well responded by his children as daughter Priyanka wanted to become a police officer and son, an engineer. But his dreams remained unfulfilled as caste hatred destroyed their lives on 29th September, 2016.

The massacre completely devastated his life, but the Ambedkarite activists rallied behind. He first stayed in the house of Mr Dilip Ukey in Varathi , the railway station town place of Bhandara. He accommodated himself very well with his family and was also very caring to his children. However, he left Mr Ukey’s house and started staying alone in MHADA house given by government. He used to appear before all the police and CBI enquiries without fear. Whenever there were deputations to the dignitaries like the then Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh and Congress President, Sonia Gandhi, he was in complete control of himself. He was also composed in front of media. Many of the activists visited and interviewed him who were well responded by him without any hesitation. Wherever he went he appeared to be a walking symbol of injustice and discrimination, the reality with which the Dalits are still identified with. This reality is pushing them for revolt which Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange symbolized!

Bhaiyyalal’s struggle with justice can be reckoned with great bravery and courage. From trial court in Bhandara to High Court in Nagpur, he would attend all the hearing even though not specifically called by court. He would also attend the public programs organized by Ambedkarites. He along with activists from Nagpur would organize the annual function to commemorate the deaths of his wife and children at Deulagaon, the place of their graveyard. Last time he was seen in the program for awareness on Atrocity Act organized by Dalit activists in the month of November, 2016 in the backdrop of the demand for the repeal of the act by Maratha Kranti Morcha. His mere presence said it all about caste atrocities. He was also present in Mumbai to pay homage to Babasaheb on 6th December,2016 at Chaitya Bhoomi. But ironically, he passed away without seeing the dawn of justice which was delayed and denied!  He rests in peace near graves of his wife and children.

 



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