The Maratha Kranti Morcha, loosely translated as “Maratha revolutionary demonstration” in the Marathi language, is a series of silent protests organized by the Maratha community in various cities across India as well as overseas. Other groups, such as religious minorities including Muslims, have also supported the Morcha. The impetus for the rallies is the rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl in Kopardi village, Maharashtra, on 13 July 2016. The protesters have demanded the death sentence for the rapists. It is not politically motivated social movement. In fact, Maratha caste is the largest caste of India and dominate the power structure in Maharashtra because of their numerical strength, especially in the rural society.
|Native name||मराठा क्रांती मोर्चा|
|Also known as||मराठा क्रांती (मूक) मोर्चा|
|Organised by||Maratha Community|
The rallies feature no leaders and no slogans. Millions of people from all parts of Maharashtra came together to protest, and initially no harm was done to any public or private property until a few instances of violence were noted in January 2017.
The demand for reservations in educational positions and government jobs has also been a part of these protests. Recently, the Bombay High Court upheld the reservations granted to the Maratha community but also mentioned that the percentage of quotas given wasn’t justifiable. A large percentage of Marathis are farmers, and the community has been severely affected by droughts and degraded arable land. Due to the lack of reservations, unemployment has become a major problem in the Maratha community. Some castes within the Maratha community, known as Kunbi, do receive the benefits of reservations provided to the Other Backward Class category; however, most people are allegedly out of benefits. More than 95% of the Maratha are socially and educationally backward.
- Punishment of culprits in the Kopardi rape and murder case
- Reservations in educational positions and government jobs
- Implementation of recommendations of the National Commission on Farmers chaired by Dr. M. S. Swaminathan
- Amendment of Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 to stop its misuse.
09 August 2016 -Aurangabad 30 August 2016- Beed
21 September 2016 – Navi Mumbai
23 September 2016 – Ahmednagar
25 September 2016 – Pune
25 September 2016 – Yavatmal
25 September 2016 – Washim
26 September 2016 – Saint Petersburg
27 September 2016 – Sangli
28 September 2016 – Dhule
2 October 2016 – Hyderabad
3 October 2016 – Dubai
9 October 2016 – Tweet Morcha
9 October 2016 – Daman district, India
9 October 2016 – Badlapur
15 October 2016 – Kolhapur
16 October 2016 – Thane
16 October 2016 – Chiplun
16 October 2016 – New York City
19 October 2016 – Chandrapur
19 October 2016 – Bidar, Karnataka
9 August 2017 – Mumbai.
The Maratha caste was originally formed in the earlier centuries from the amalgamation of families from the peasant (Kunbi), shepherd (Dhangar), blacksmith (Lohar), Sutar (carpenter), Bhandari, Thakar and Koli castes in Maharashtra. Many of them took to military service in the 16th century such as the Deccan sultanates or the Mughals. Later in the 17th and 18th centuries, they served in the armies of the Maratha empire, founded by the Maratha king Shivaji. Some were granted fiefs by the rulers for their service.
On 23 July 2018, a Maratha Kranti Morcha activist committed suicide; the protesters refuse to collect the body and demanded the resignation of Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra. Kakasaheb Shinde-Patil, aged 28 committed suicide by jumping into the Godavari river during agitations at the village of Kaygaon Toka in the [[Gangapur, Maharashtra |Gangapur]] taluka of Aurangabad District. The protesters blamed the district administration for not deploying boats and lifeguards despite being forewarned about the agitations.
On 24 July 2018, protests turned violent; protesters attacked police officers and torched buses, police vehicles, and private cars.