Mumbai shuts down as lakhs of Marathas begin historic march

Over a whopping 10 lakh Marathas from all over the state have begun a March in the state capital Mumbai this morning at 10 a.m.

This is a culmination of many morchas carried out in different towns over the last few years. Till date in various regions across Maharashtra almost 20 to 30 Million people have actively participated in this march at different locations.

The morcha,  will start from Jijamata Udayan at 11am and terminate at Azad Maidan near Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus at 5pm.

The vehicles coming for the morcha would be moving from the Suman Nagar junction towards the Bhaktipark Marg and reach CST through the Eastern Freeway, then exit through the Port Trust Marg. The traffic department has made arrangements for parking at the vacant space near the Port Trust.

No toll will be collected from vehicles coming for the morcha!

The four main demands of the morcha are:

1. Punishment to culprits in Kopardi rape and murder case.
2. Reservation in education and government jobs.
3. Implement recommendations of National Commision on Farmers  chaired by Prof. M. S. Swaminathan.
4. Amendment in Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to stop its misuse.

The Morchas have followed some strict rules and discipline which have made them unique in the world

Being silent protest this march follows some rules and discipline.
* As a silent protest no talking while walking in march.
* No any voice announcement during walking.
* Only simple banners in hand.
* To avoid politicizing of this protest, No politician are allowed to walk in front of the protest. Politicians are allowed to walk at the last of the march.

Speaking to media, NCP leader Sunil Tatkare says that the Devendra Fadnavis government must be proactive in addressing the demands of the Maratha community. He also acknowledged the help received by the Maratha community from the OBC and Muslim community in Maharashtra.

Dabbawallahs back protest
The lifeline of Mumbai people, about 5000 dabbawallahs who distribute thousands of lunch tiffins to Mumbai offices have decided to observe a band today in support of the protest.

Maratha morcha gets support from Pakistan too!
Not just in India, but the Maratha morcha demanding reservation is also resonating in neighbouring Pakistan. A group of Marathas, who settled in Balochistan after being defeated in the battle of Panipat, have backed the protest.

“Chief Maratha Qaumi Itehad fully supports this protest. In India, the  community is facing injustice. I condemn it strictly. Reservation in government jobs and education should be given to the Maratha community, which is its national right. Disfavour with the community will not be tolerated. We are with it in every protest,” Wadera Din Muhammad, chief of Maratha Qaumi Ittehad, Pakistan said in a Facebook post.

All schools and most offices in Mumbai will remain closed today as it will be impossible to ply vehicles on many roads.
The repurcussions of the Maratha demands – which have been rejected by Mumbai High Court – will resound in the State Assembly today.