At Gujarati Literature Festival, Ahmedabad on 16 December 2016
|MLA of Gujarat|
|Assumed office |
|Born||11 December 1982|
Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India
|Alma mater||Gujarat University|
|Occupation||lawyer, social activist, politician|
Jignesh Mevani (born 11 December 1982) is a politician from Gujarat, India. He is a member representing Vadgam constituency in Gujarat Legislative Assembly. He has worked as a social activist and lawyer. He had led protests by Dalits, considered 'lower castes' in the Indian caste hierarchy, in Gujarat in 2016.
Mevani was born on 11 December 1982 in Ahmedabad, Gujarat to a Dalit family. His family is native of Meu, a village in Mehsana district. He completed his schooling from Swastik Vidyalaya and Vishwa Vidyalay Madhaymik Shala in Ahmedabad. He completed Bachelor of Arts in English literature in 2003 from H.K Arts College, Ahmedabad. In 2004, he received Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication. From 2004 to 2007, he served as a reporter for Abhiyan, a Gujarati magazine. In 2013, he received Bachelor of Laws from D. T. Law College, Ahmedabad.
2016 Gujarat Dalit unrest
After attack on Dalit men in Una village in Saurashtra region of Gujarat by claimed members of cow protection group, protests broke out across Gujarat. Jignesh Mevani led the protest march called Dalit Asmita Yatra from Ahmedabad to Una, which culminated on 15 August 2016 and was attended by some 20,000 Dalits, including dalit women, who took a pledge to give up their traditional jobs of removing cow carcasses. He demanded the land for upliftment of Dalits.
In Gujarat Legislative Assembly election, 2017, he contested and won the election from Vadgam constituency, running as an independent candidate with support of the Indian National Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party.
Mevani was allegedly photographed receiving a cheque from members of the Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI), the political wing of the Popular Front of India (PFI), under the National Investigation Agency radar after many of its members were allegedly found fighting for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. In response, speaking to Times Now, senior SDPI official Abrar Ahmed said, "We are extending full support to Mevani. We will support any party which fights communal forces." When the BJP accused Mevani of terrorism links, Mevani denied the charges, and threatened to sue BJP for defamation. However two days after winning the Vadgam seat in the Gujarat Assembly election, speaking to CNN-News18, he admitted that he had taken ₹ 51,000 as donation from the PFI for his campaign, and challenged the central government to ban the organisation.
- 2018 Bhima Koregaon violence
Along with Umar Khalid, Jignesh Mevani was booked under an FIR for giving 'provocative' speeches in Pune. The criminal offence against Mevani and Khalid was for promoting enmity between different groups through their speeches. The Elgaar Parishad rally, where this reportedly happened, was held in Pune to mark the 200th year of the Battle of Koregaon, a place in present-day Pune district, which was fought between the then British Indian Army and the Peshwas. Besides Mevani and Khalid, the mother of Rohith Vemula, Radhika Vemula, Dalit leader Prakash Yashwant Ambedkar, Adivasi activist Soni Sori, and Bhim Army’s Vinay Ratan Singh were among others who attended the conference.
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- "Bhima-Koregaon violence: FIR against Jignesh Mevani, Umar Khalid for 'provocative' speeches in Pune". Indian Express. 2018-01-04. Retrieved 2016-12-20.