In Photos: How the protest against the Ravidas temple demolition unfolded in Delhi

22 August 2019
The rally witnessed the participation of Dalit groups from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The protesters assembled in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, and marched through areas of central Delhi before heading to the site of the demolished temple, in Tughlakabad.
Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
The rally witnessed the participation of Dalit groups from Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The protesters assembled in Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan, and marched through areas of central Delhi before heading to the site of the demolished temple, in Tughlakabad.
Shahid Tantray for The Caravan

On 21 August, a massive rally of tens of thousands of protesters marched from Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan to Tughlakabad, where the Delhi Development Authority had demolished a temple of Ravidas, a fifteenth-century Dalit saint and poet, following a Supreme Court order. Various Dalit groups had come together under an umbrella body called the Akhil Bharatiya Sant Shiromani Guru Ravidas Mandir Sanyukta Sanrakhshan Samiti to protest the demolition and demand for the temple to be rebuilt. Three days after the demolition, on 13 August, a similar protest was conducted in Punjab, where the Ravidassia community has a large presence. The rally in Delhi was led by the Bhim Army, and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad, was detained during the protest. Less than one kilometre away from the site of the demolished temple, the Delhi Police personnel prevented the protesters from proceeding further. In an ensuing clash, the protesters engaged in stone pelting and broke the windows of a few nearby vehicles, following which the Delhi Police used tear gas to disperse them.

Throughout the rally in Delhi, protestors could be seen waving blue flags and carrying posters of BR Ambedkar and Ravidas, a fifteenth-century poet who is revered in the Dalit community. The Ravidassias have a significant presence in Punjab, where Dalits comprise around thirty percent of the population—the largest proportional concentration of the Dalit community in any Indian state.. Shahid Tantray for The Caravan Throughout the rally in Delhi, protestors could be seen waving blue flags and carrying posters of BR Ambedkar and Ravidas, a fifteenth-century poet who is revered in the Dalit community. The Ravidassias have a significant presence in Punjab, where Dalits comprise around thirty percent of the population—the largest proportional concentration of the Dalit community in any Indian state.. Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
Throughout the rally in Delhi, protestors could be seen waving blue flags and carrying posters of BR Ambedkar and Ravidas, a fifteenth-century poet who is revered in the Dalit community. The Ravidassias have a significant presence in Punjab, where Dalits comprise around thirty percent of the population—the largest proportional concentration of the Dalit community in any Indian state.
Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
At the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, the Ravidassia protests were joined and spearheaded by the Bhim Army and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad. He delivered a rousing speech from a dais constructed on top of a tempo. “If every person here places a brick, we will be able to rebuild the temple within an hour,” Azad said, as chants of “Jai Bhim”—Long Live Ambedkar—and “Mandir wahin banayenge”—We will build the temple there itself—echoed through the gathering.. Shahid Tantray for The Caravan At the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, the Ravidassia protests were joined and spearheaded by the Bhim Army and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad. He delivered a rousing speech from a dais constructed on top of a tempo. “If every person here places a brick, we will be able to rebuild the temple within an hour,” Azad said, as chants of “Jai Bhim”—Long Live Ambedkar—and “Mandir wahin banayenge”—We will build the temple there itself—echoed through the gathering.. Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
At the Ramlila Maidan in Delhi, the Ravidassia protests were joined and spearheaded by the Bhim Army and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad. He delivered a rousing speech from a dais constructed on top of a tempo. “If every person here places a brick, we will be able to rebuild the temple within an hour,” Azad said, as chants of “Jai Bhim”—Long Live Ambedkar—and “Mandir wahin banayenge”—We will build the temple there itself—echoed through the gathering.
Shahid Tantray for The Caravan
At around 2 pm on 21 August, while addressing the rally at the Ramlila Maidan, the Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad called for the protesters to march to Tughlakabad. Later that day, Azad was reportedly detained along with over fifty other protesters by the Delhi Police.. Rishi Kochhar for The Caravan At around 2 pm on 21 August, while addressing the rally at the Ramlila Maidan, the Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad called for the protesters to march to Tughlakabad. Later that day, Azad was reportedly detained along with over fifty other protesters by the Delhi Police.. Rishi Kochhar for The Caravan
At around 2 pm on 21 August, while addressing the rally at the Ramlila Maidan, the Bhim Army chief Chandrashekhar Azad called for the protesters to march to Tughlakabad. Later that day, Azad was reportedly detained along with over fifty other protesters by the Delhi Police.
Rishi Kochhar for The Caravan
On 10 August, the Delhi Development Authority demolished the temple of Ravidas, a fifteenth-century poet who is revered in the Dalit community, following a Supreme Court order, prompting Dalit groups to organise protests in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The massive rally in Delhi was led by the Bhim Army, and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad.. Rishi Kochhar for The Caravan On 10 August, the Delhi Development Authority demolished the temple of Ravidas, a fifteenth-century poet who is revered in the Dalit community, following a Supreme Court order, prompting Dalit groups to organise protests in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The massive rally in Delhi was led by the Bhim Army, and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad.. Rishi Kochhar for The Caravan
On 10 August, the Delhi Development Authority demolished the temple of Ravidas, a fifteenth-century poet who is revered in the Dalit community, following a Supreme Court order, prompting Dalit groups to organise protests in Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. The massive rally in Delhi was led by the Bhim Army, and its chief, Chandrashekhar Azad.
Rishi Kochhar for The Caravan

Shahid Tantray is an assistant photo editor at The Caravan.

Rishi Kochhar is a photo intern at The Caravan.

Keywords: Ravidas Bhim Army caste Dalit protest Delhi
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