“Govt Has Systematically Weakened All the Institutions”: Women Across India To March On April 4, Raise Voice Against Modi Govt
March will ignite women to use their vote to reject the politics of hatred and violence, one activist said.
Women across the county will march on April 4 to speak up against the injustice and inequalities they have faced every day since Prime Minister Narendra Modi formed the government at Centre. In Delhi, hundreds of protesters will proceed from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar at 11 am.
Speaking in a press conference, activist Anjali Bhardwaj said, “In 2019, children are dying of hunger in India. I consider these deaths to be murders.” She added that inequality has become one of the biggest challenges in the country, severely affecting women and marginalised communities.
Further, Bhardwaj underlined that nine families own 50 per cent of the country’s wealth. “The government has systematically weakened all the institutions that empower people and hold the government accountable,” she said.
Several women activists pointed out that the Modi government has led a war against its own citizens. Social activist Shabnam Hashmi emphasised that the march will ignite the women of the country to use their vote to reject the current government’s politics of hatred and violence. She said that the purpose of the “March for Change” is to push women to claim their constitutional rights.
Similarly, activist Deepta Bhog stressed on how the government has systematically weakened fundamental rights, especially those of women. Bhog said, “Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao did not have any impact, the sex ratio has worsened further,” adding, “The present government has slashed the education budget, which shows how concerned we are about our education system.”
Women are not recognised as farmers even though a large section of the female labour force is dependant on agriculture. Commenting on the issue, activist Soma KP said, “Women are the backbone of the rural economy. When this government says farmers will be given Rs. 6,000, they only mean the men.”
Another worrying factor is the rise in violence-related cases and violence against transgender is not even recorded, the activists said. Nandini Rao and Purnima Gupta underlined that what is chilling is the way elected representatives have reacted to these cases in the last five years. Citing the Kathua rape case, Rao told reporters that it was an example of how the rape of a little girl was celebrated. She also pointed out that even though crime against women is on the rise, conviction rates in such cases are falling.
Gupta emphasises on the fact that women have always been disproportionately at the receiving end of violence and the women’s march is a call to defeat the divisive force.