By Special Correspondent
New Delhi: Dozens of civil society organizations under the banner of the “If We Do Not Rise” campaign staged demonstrations across India and expressed solidarity with the farmers. They also condemned the government for passing the farmers’ bills and denying division of vote in the Upper House. They termed the happenings in the Rajya Sabha as ‘black day’ in Parliamentary democracy.
In the national capital women groups’ representatives organized a protest outside the Constitution Club, near the national parliament where the monsoon session was in progress.
During the demonstration, they display 110 demands under 13 sections: democratic rights, transparency and accountability, institutional autonomy and integrity, right to life and safety, food security, right to education, right to work, right to political participation, right to health, access to natural resources, technology and surveillance, rights of persons with disabilities and media.
The protestors strongly raised their voices against the farmers’ bills passed recently in the parliament as well as strongly critiqued the fact that the demand for division of vote in Rajya Sabha was denied. They called it a black day for parliamentary democracy in India.
The ‘If We Do not Rise campaign’ extended solidarity to the protesting farmers. They said the government under Modi has become totally “authoritarian’ and is using draconian laws like UAPA and sedition to silence the voices of dissent and opposition to his government.
Representatives based in Delhi of various organizations including AIDWA, AIDMAM, Anhad, and Indian Christians for Democracy, Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Mother Teresa Foundation, NFIW, NTUI, Pehchan, Purogami Mahila Sangathan, Rehabilitation Research initiative, Satark nagrik sangathan, United Christian Forum, Unity of Christ and others jointly organized the protest.
The Charter of demand prepared by the campaign ‘If We Do Not Rise’ representing 632 Women’s groups (national women’s organizations and autonomous ones); LGBTQIA communities; human rights organizations; trade unions and farmers’ organizations was displayed on placards. The Charter of Demands covers 13 thematic areas and it contains a total 110 demands. The demands were displayed both in Hindi and English on placards.
Those who participated included Annie Raja, Dipti Bharti from NFIW, Mariam Dhavle, Maimoona Mollah, Asha Sharma from AIDWA, Abirami Jothee from All India Dalit Adhikar Manch, Minakshi Singh from Unity of Christ, Suchitra from Purogamini Mahila Samiti, Birju Naik from Mazdoor Ekta Committee, Shabnam Hashmi, Tarun Sagar from Anhad , Gauhar Raza , poet, scientist and many others.
Earlier the Charter of Demands was also submitted to several MPs and political leaders including Kanimozhi Karunanidhi (DMK) , D Raja ( General Secretary CPI) , Binoy Vishvam (CPI), Sanjay Singh (AAP), Manoj Jha (RJD), Kunwar Danish Ali ( BSP), Javed Ali (SP), Shakti Sinh ( INC), Elamaram Kareem (CPM), Kumar Ketkar ( nominated member) and KK Ragesh (CPM).