People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 23

June 22 , 2008


AIDWA Calls For Protests  Against Price Rise On June 25

THE central executive committee meeting of All India Democratic Women's Association met at Solan from June 13-15, 2008. 51 members from 17 states attended the meeting which was presided over by Subhashini Ali, president and N Amritam, P K Zainaba and T Jyothi, vice presidents of AIDWA.

The general secretary, Sudha Sundararaman, expressed the organisation's grave concern at the phenomenal rise in prices, particularly of essential commodities like food grains, edible oils and the most recent move by the government of hiking prices of all petroleum products. The AIDWA feels that this price rise is primarily due to the neo liberal policies being implemented by the government which began with the deregulation of the future trading and dilution of the essential commodities act by the NDA government. The PDS is being dismantled at a time when essential commodities are going beyond the reach of the common people.

The discussion also focused women's high participation in work under the NREGA.  In a situation where employment opportunities are scarce and shrinking further, NREGA offers some paid work for the rural poor. Severe impediments are being placed in its implementation by vested interests. These include insufficient financial allocations, delayed payments, unrealistic task targets and financial irregularities.

There has been a tremendous increase in the incidents of violence against women and no day passes without reports of rape, particularly child rape, honor killings, acid attacks and other crimes against women and children. It was noted that atrocities against dalits especially dalit women, are also rising rapidly.

The CEC expressed its condolences and sorrow at the loss of life and injury to innocent people including women and children from all communities in the bomb blasts in Jaipur. The communal forces have sought to create divisions among the people, but with little success. The Vasundhara Raje government in Rajasthan stands guilty of the merciless killing of 42 Gujjars and injuring scores of others in the ongoing Gujjars agitation. In Himachal Pradesh, the newly elected BJP government has increased bus fares by 25 percent while lowering the price of a bottle of liquor by Rs 45. The communal forces, instead of addressing the basic problems of the people are adopting a particularly aggressive stance, emboldened by their electoral victories.

In the face of the continued on-slaughts, the issue of 33 percent reservation for women gains significance as a step forward for the democratic movement. Welcoming the introduction of the Women's Reservation Bill in the Rajya Sabha, the AIDWA calls upon women and other democratic forces and organisations to push for its passage in the forthcoming session of parliament. In this situation, the AIDWA calls upon women to:

A resolution was passed condemning the Harayna police leading to the death of Sarita in front of a police station in Rohtak. AIDWA demands compensation for the children, and exemplary punishment of those guilty of this offence.

The central committee of AIDWA condemns the rape by two constables of Haryana police (9/4/08) in police station and the continuous denial of justice by the police administration which forced Sarita to commit suicide (9/6/08) in the DGPs office itself. Now the reactionary and casteist forces are actively trying to protect the rapist constables. In this context we demand strictest punishment to rapists who have been arrested and active action against SP Rohtak, IG Rohtak range and removal of the DGP Haryana police. Sufficient financial aid for the upbringing and education of the two daughters of Sarita should be ensured. Action should be taken against the so called panchayat leaders who are trying to give casteist turn to the whole issue and are trying to obstruct the course of justice.