Bharat Mukti Morcha (BMM) is protesting the ‘Roll of Honour’ plaque that is placed on the Jaystambh by the Army’s Poona Horse Regiment. The plaque has the names of the martyrs from the regiment who fought in the 1965 and 1971 wars against Pakistan.
Built by the British to remember the soldiers who were a part of their Army in the Battle of Bhima Koregaon in 1818, the Jayastambh was built after the British won the battle against the Peshwas.
National president of BMM, Waman Meshram, was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, “The government should construct another war memorial for the martyrs of the 1965 and 1971 wars. If the government lacks funds to do so, then we are ready to offer it. Putting their names on the Jaystambh is an attempt to diminish the importance of those warriors from Dalit and backward classes who fought the Peshwas on January 1, 1818. So, the plaque should be removed… We have started communication in this regard with the Defence Ministry.”
Unless the plaque is removed, there will be an unrest on January 1, 2018, a book called “1 January 1818 Swatantryache Band” has mentioned. Authored by BMM’s associate, Prof. Vilas Kharat, it accuses that the plaque is an attempt to erase the history of 1818 by mentioning the names of upper-caste Brahmin soldiers.
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