People's Democracy

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


No. 27

July 04, 2010

Haryana: Women to Press for Social Reforms




THE Haryana state unit of the Janwadi Mahila Samiti (an AIDWA affiliate) concluded its seventh state conference on June 27, with the call for a strong social reform movement in the state. A Social Reform Convention was also held on this occasion to underline the priority issues and evolve counter strategies. First of all, Jagmati Sangwan (AIDWA) placed a resolution on the vision of social reform movement in the specific context of Haryana. The resolution explained how the society in Haryana was passing through an unprecedented socio-economic crisis and how the retrograde forces symbolising patriarchy and casteist hegemony were seeking to mislead the people of the state. The main features underlined were female foeticide, sale and purchase of women for marriage, and at the same time the increasing demand of dowry. Sexual expiration of women and girls, even in the police stations and educational institutions, continuing honour killing of young boys and girls, increasing alcoholism, indecent portrayal of women in media, the decadent culture and finally the total “systemic failure” to deal with these issues which came to the surface through the Ruchika Girotra case and the struggle in this regard.


The resolution mentioned that this all-round crisis underlined the urgency of a social reform movement, aiming at all-inclusive development, reforming the structures of social relations according to the need of the deprived sections, bringing pressure on the law enforcing agencies to work justly, building libraries, playgrounds, cultural troupes and theatres. Tracing the progressive legacies of the state and making a strong bond with it was also emphasised.


Several prominent personalities devoted to the cause of social justice added their experiences to the resolution. Subhashini Ali Sahgal, president of the All India Democratic Women’s Association, rejected the new definitions of tradition and culture by some self-styled leaders and stressed that their strength rested on their control of votes. Swami Agnivesh from Arya Samaj gave the slogan for fighting for and winning over the deprived sections. He asked the audience to launch a movement for the passage of a bill against the so called honour killings.


Smt Vimal Thorat from Dalit Mahila Manch wondered how some people could take away our right to live and expect no one to complain. Madhu Parkash and Anand Prakash, who fought Ruchika’s case for justice, also addressed the convention. They said: we have got only partial victory which is good, but we would have to continue the struggle with the help of AIDWA and others against the politicians and bureaucrats who shielded DGP Rathor and delayed the process of justice. They also took the occasion to thank the Janwadi Mahila Samiti for its role in the struggle in the Ruchika case.


Other prominent speakers included were renowned journalist Govind Thukral, HPSC ex-chairperson Professor  D R Chowdhry, Krishan Sawaroop (Kisan Sabha), Surender Pal from Democratic Forum (Panchkula) and Chanderpatiji, mother of Manoj from Karora.


Social activist Shubha presided over the convention. She summed up the proceedings, stressing on the need to tackle the skewed sex ratio, trafficking of women, sexual harassment in schools and increasing menace of alcohol and drug abuse in the state.