Mahad Satyagraha 1927
Mahad Satyagraha was launched by Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar on 20 March 1927 at Mahad in current Raigarh District of Maharashtra.
Background to Mahad Satyagraha
In 1926, Municipal Board of Mahad, Maharashtra passed orders to throw open the famous tank of Mahad city to all communities. Earlier, untouchables were not allowed to use water from Mahad tank. High caste Hindus opposed this order of Municipal Board. In response, Ambedkar organised a conference of ten thousand untouchable delegates at Mahad on March 20, 1927 to support the decision of Municipal Board. Ambedkar, in his presidential address, stressed the necessity of rooting out ideas of highness or lowness and inculcating self-elevation through self-help, self-respect and self-knowledge. After the conference all delegates marched to the tank and asserted their right to drink and take water from the tank. A Satyagrah Conference was organised at Mahad on December 25, 1925 which demanded that Hindu society should be organised on the basis of equality and absence of casteism. It was also resolved to burn Manusmriti, as according to Ambedkar, it perpetuated the social, economic, religious and political slavery of the untouchables. As per the resolution, Manusmriti was burnt on December 25, 1927.
Legacy of Mahad Satyagarah
Mahad Satyagraha was first collective protest of untouchables under the leadership of Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar. This movement was although withdrawn but gave confidence to the untouchables to fight against social disability. Every year, March 20 is observed as Social Empowerment day in India to commemorate the Mahad Satyagrah.