The bestial multiple rape and murder of 8-year old Asifa in Kathua, the rape and torture of the Unnao girl by the MLA, the untold miseries including rape suffered by the Surat girl before her murder – all these have shaken up the people of our country. The involvement of the police and MLA in these crimes, the shameless support given by ministers of the Jammu and Kashmir government to the perpetrators of the Kathua crime, the UP government’s role in trying to shield the MLA of its party as well as the prolonged silence of the PM before he reluctantly came out with a couple of sentences once again revealed the thoroughly anti-people nature of the state. People all over the country are raising their voice in protest. They realise that unless they unite and fight, these crimes will be pushed under the carpet and the criminals will go scot-free.
Militant demonstration in Bhivandi
Public meeting on Women's safety in Delhi, April 2018
In Bhivandi, a town in Thane district of Maharashtra, over ten thousand people marched militantly on 20th April, 2018, raising slogans demanding exemplary punishment for the perpetrators. The demonstration was organised under the leadership of Lok Raj Sangathan, Jamiat-Ulema and Jamat-e-Islami, with the support of Movement for Peace and Justice, the Communist Ghadar Party of India and the SUCI (Communist). Bold, attractive banners and posters expressed the sentiment of the protestors. “India UNITES Against Rape and Murder!” “You CANNOT Divide Us on a Communal Basis!” This was the fitting answer given to those who are trying to exploit these incidents to create communal divides. “Government, Stop Shielding the Rapists and Murderers!” sounded a warning to the powers that be to stop obstructing justice. . “No More Rapists as Legislators!” gave vent to the people’s fury against so-called representatives. “Was ‘Beti Bachao’ a slogan or a threat?” This placard reflected the utterly two-faced, anti-people nature of the regime.
Thousands of copies of the leaflet brought out by the organisers were eagerly received by the people. The leaflet pointed out that we cannot depend on the government for protecting women.
The march to the local Prant Adhikari’s office was preceded by brief speeches from all the organisers. The representative of Lok Raj Sangathan pointed out that in the India of today, the main problem is that in the name of democracy, power is actually concentrated in a very few hands. That is why the country works only in the interests of a handful of people and against the interests of the crores of toiling people. Those who have power at any level know that they are not accountable to the people at all. They commit serious crimes secure in the knowledge that their leaders have committed even worse crimes and are sure to protect them. We have to organise for our empowerment!
The speaker from the Communist Ghadar Party of India asserted that the rape and murder of Asifa is not an attack on a particular tribe or religion but on all of us. She said that today criminals feel confident of strutting around freely, while the victims of crimes are terrorised. This is because the rulers of today have inherited the anti-people state apparatus from the British. We cannot tolerate this state of affairs! Our country is crying for a revolution! We have to build a society where we workers, peasants, women and youth will be the real rulers, where crimes against people will not be tolerated!
One speaker after another hailed the significance of so many organisers coming together and pledged to continue this collaboration and organise many such programs.
Once the march started, it was like a river of humanity flowing to the Prant Adhikari’s office to hand him the memorandum of demands. Determined people, angry youth, raising slogans to deafen the heartless rulers. Those who participated in the march and those who even just saw it will surely remember it for a long, long time.