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Raja Dhale, Author & Founder of Dalit Panthers, Dies

He was 78 years old.

Well-known activist, author and founder of Dalit Panthers Raja Dhale died at his residence in Mumbai on Tuesday, July 16. He was 78 years old.

Inspired by the Black Panthers group in United States, Dhale, co-founded the Dalit Panthers in 1972 along with Namdeo Dhasal and Arun Krushnaji Kamble, to raise the voices of Dalits in India.

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Dhale’s article ‘Kala Swatantriyadin‘ (Black Independence Day) published in Sadhana journal in 1972, caused a stir and helped the movement and its ideas gain recognition across Maharashtra. The article juxtaposed the national flag and the humiliation of Dalit women being disrobed.

Even though the Dalit Panthers disbanded a few years down the line, their ideas had a significant influence on Dalit leaders across the country.

Dhale also fought Lok Sabha election in 1999 and 2004 from Mumbai.

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