A Prosperous Clan in India Rallies for Government Aid
Violence erupted throughout the western Indian state of Gujarat on Tuesday night after an emotionally charged rally where one of India’s most prosperous clans had gathered to demand that they be included in government programs for the socially disadvantaged.
The “megarally” had brought the city center of Ahmedabad to a standstill Tuesday as thousands of members of the powerful Patidar, or Patel, community marched in the streets, waving banners critical of government programs for those on the lower end of India’s ancient social order, the caste system.
The relatively peaceful rally descended into chaos after night fell and police briefly detained the movement’s charismatic young leader, 22-year-old Hardik Patel, triggering disruptions around the state. Patel protesters clashed with locals, including some from the Dalit community, once known as “untouchables,” as agitators threw stones, burned police stations and dozens of buses, and set a state minister’s home ablaze. Details