A place called Kranti-Chowk in Aurangabad city is an extremely important site. This place is famous for numerous reasons, most importantly for Shivaji’s statue. The localities around this Chowk primarily comprises of Muslim and Dalit population. Historically, this area was considered to be the outer part of the town. This area would have witnessed thousands of protests, rallies, programs etc., through time.
Since this morning (1/4/2016), some people had started gathering at Kranti Chowk carrying canvases and painting tools; they started unpacking their bags, setting up drawing boards, and began painting– it was a group of local Dalit Bahujan artists and activists. This was a protest against the institutional murder of Rohith Vemula and caste discrimination in educational institutions. This was a day long protest, and was unique in itself, where the artists expressed their protest through their paintings, along with several people sharing their views, and discussing about innovative and effective forms of anti-caste protest. Some of the artist activists engaged in this protest were, Nandu Jogdand, Mahendra Khajekar, Kailas Magare and Buddhapriya Kabir and several others.
I was fortunate to be there today, listening and documenting the protest traditions of my hometown. It is my privilege to share some of the protest paintings here on SAVARI and Round Table India.
Pradnya Jadhav is a research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.