Hundreds of activists and supporters of the Party — women and girls, men and youth — participated enthusiastically in a meeting organized by the Communist Ghadar Party of India in Delhi on April 11, 2010. The meeting was organized by the Party as part of the countrywide celebrations of the struggle of Indian women for their emancipation, in this the centenary year of the declaration of International Women’s Day.
The meeting was chaired by the General Secretary Comrade Lal Singh. Welcoming the participants, he spoke of the terrible pressure that women and girls face in our society. In this capitalist system, women are considered the private property of men, incapable of achieving anything on their own. He pointed out that life experience shows that women are the best organizers, most hard working and conscientious about their duties at home and at all the work they take up. Our party has always paid the greatest attention to mobilizing women in its ranks, and the women comrades have played a heroic role in building the party, through the most difficult conditions in the early years. They have staunchly defended the party and contributed to strengthening its ranks.
The oppression of women is an essential feature of the capitalist system of exploitation. To hide this fact, to prevent women from joining hands with the working class and as part of the working class, in the struggle to overthrow the capitalist system and put an end to all forms of exploitation by building socialism and communism, the bourgeoisie ruling our country uses various tactics. One such method is reservation of seats for women in parliament and state assemblies. But as long as political power remains in the hands of the bourgeoisie, executed through its political parties, workers, peasants, women or any other oppressed section of people will not get their rights. Our party has always organized and mobilised women to come forward in the struggle to establish the rule of the working class. With political power in our hands, we the working and oppressed can take control of the means of production and create the conditions for the emancipation of women and all exploited sections of society, he pointed out. To achieve this, the working class needs its party to provide leadership to the struggle. Comrade Lal Singh called upon all the women and men present at the meeting to keep the building and strengthening of the Party as their foremost preoccupation.
Comrade Lal Singh then presented awards to the women comrades who have worked tirelessly, against all odds, to build the party over the last 30 years. These were the women comrades who thrity years ago not only took up the great task of building the Party, but also the great task of organizing and providing leadership to masses of working women. These are the comrades who played an important role in fighting alien tendencies in the women’s movement of our country, and strove to ensure that the women’s movement for emancipation was organically linked with the movement of the working class for its emancipation. Amidst enthusiastic applause from the audience, the comrades came forward as they were called, to accept this honour that the party was giving them.
Following this, dozens of comrades came up to express their views on this occasion.
A young woman comrade, actively organizing working class women in the slums and resettlement colonies, spoke about the miserable conditions in which women are forced to live – without toilets and sanitation, the daily struggle for water and other basic amenities, the dangers and constant harassment young women face. She highlighted the many struggles that the party has led in this region, in which women have participated in large numbers. If this is the condition of masses of women in the capital city of Delhi, when we have a woman Chief Minister, what emancipation can women hope for by reservation of seats for women in parliament, she asked? We have to take political power from the hands of the bourgeoisie and establish the political power of the toiling and oppressed men and women. Then only can we create the conditions for the real emancipation of women, she asserted. She pointed out that our Party has created a beautiful atmosphere for women to work in with dignity and respect. Our Party has made special efforts in nurturing women as communist leaders. This is the kind of society we are striving to create — where women and girls will be treated with dignity and respect.
Veteran women comrades came up to relate their early experiences. They spoke of the difficulties of organising in places where they did not know the local language, of making inroads among the people in new places and eventually coming to be accepted by them. They hailed the party for the inspiration that the party had always provided to brave the adverse circumstances and march ahead. They expressed happiness at the presence of an overwhelmingly large number of young people, girls and boys, school and college students, at the meeting.
A youth activist spoke of the militant participation of women in the struggle for ration cards, water, sanitation and other basic amenities, against price rise and demolition of their slums by the government.
A comrade pointed out that the level of advance of a society can be clearly measured by the dignity and freedom enjoyed by its women. The life of the vast masses of women and girls of our country is terrible. They suffer indignities and face oppression and exploitation day in and day out. It does not matter that the bourgeoisie is today claiming that India is advancing towards becoming a big power in the world or that 33% of all seats in parliament will now be held by women, when the masses of Indian people and in particular Indian women face such abuse and discrimination. The existing political system is based on ensuring super profits for a handful of capitalist exploiters, by denying even the most basic rights to the masses of working people. Such a society can never liberate women. We need political power in our hands, — in the hands of workers, peasants, women and yoith — he declared, to create the conditions for ending all forms of exploitation of humans by humans, including the exploitation of women.
Many school and college girls came up to talk of the inequality they face in the society, the struggle they were waging against discrimination and oppression both in society and at home. They expressed their great happiness that the Party was paying special attention to organizing and enabling women and girls to play their rightful role in the struggle for the new society. In the discussion that followed, Comrade Lal Singh explained that we have to blame the existing system for the inequality we face, and not individual parents or families. Together we must fight for ending this system based on exploitation and inequality, and build a new society in which all members, women and men, will be able to enjoy their rights to the full.
School girls from a resettlement colony in East Delhi performed a short skit, accompanied by a song that calls on women to not rely on the parliamentary political parties, the police and law courts, but to build their own fighting organization, shoulder to shoulder with men, as the way towards their liberation. This song, composed by the women comrades of the party nearly 30 years ago, has been a vital tool in spreading the political message of the party among the masses of women throughout all these years. It was indeed heartening to see the young girls coming around the party today, taking the same message, with fresh enthusiasm, among the people.
The meeting ended on a spirited note, with the rendition of a song hailing the leadership provided by the CGPI to the struggle to end this system of exploitation and plunder and build a new India where people will be the masers of their own destiny.