AIDWA session passes resolution against communal polarisation

Communist Party of India (Marxist) Polit Bureau member and former MP Brinda Karat on Friday said the biggest challenge women faced was gender violence and demanded action against people in office who used sexist language.

“Violence is the most important issue that women’s organisations have to contend with. While there are several dimensions to it, the Delhi gang-rape case represented the exploitation and experience of lakhs of women,” she said.

Speaking at the inaugural session of the national conference of the All India Democratic Women’s Association (AIDWA) in Bodh Gaya, Ms. Karat criticised the uninhibited use of sexist language. She referred to the controversial remark, linking rape and gambling, by Central Bureau of Investigation Director Ranjit Sinha.

“Such language creates an oppressive environment for women. We need a code of conduct for MPs and MLAs. If they use sexist language, the Parliament or the Assembly should pass a resolution against them by naming them and suspend them for repeated violation. That should be a blot on their service record,” she said.

Ms. Karat said the communalism embodied by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) posed yet another challenge for women.

“We can see the RSS using women’s consciousness about their rights to push their communal agenda. In Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, the group that claimed to protect women under the banner of ‘bahu-beti bachao samiti’ [save the daughter and daughter-in-law] was from the same community where honour killings were found to be high. Women’s organisations have to be conscious to the danger of the selective use of issues to communalise a real problem like sexual harassment.”

She hit out at saffron outfits for coming out in support of the “serial rapist” Asaram Bapu.

The conference passed a resolution for women’s unity against increasing communal polarisation.

“With the approaching Lok Sabha elections and the projection of Narendra Modi as the prime-ministerial candidate of the BJP, a planned attempt to polarise communities on religious lines and incite violence is becoming apparent,” the resolution stated.

Ms Karat underscored the peculiar aspect of caste violence experienced by Dalit women. Citing caste atrocity cases in Haryana, she said women’s unity was not possible without including the “specific struggles of women from the Scheduled Caste community”.

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