People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIII

No. 29

July 19, 2009

AIDWA Condemns Offensive

 Remarks Of Health Minister

 

The All India Democratic Womenís Association (AIDWA) has issued the following statement July 13, 2009

 

THE AIDWA has passed a resolution condemning the offensive and ill-informed speech of the Health minister Ghulam Nabi Azad on World Population Day, at the CEC meeting held in Delhi on July 11-12, 2009. The resolution pointed out that the ministerís frivolous reference to the rural populace as producing more children due to lack of other recreation was derogatory, and untrue. His views on late marriage as the only way of checking population growth quite unrealistically proposes to recognise only marriages contracted after 30 years of age. The reality that lack of development is the biggest driver of high birth rate has been ignored. Not provision of TV sets, or enforcing coercive measures, but rather, lowering maternal mortality rates, infant mortality rates, providing education and health facilities, and addressing the huge unmet demand for family planning services, is the way forward, the resolution said.

The CEC also passed a resolution expressing its deep concern regarding the Gujarat liquor tragedy in which more then 180 people have lost their lives. In a so-called dry state, the occurrence of such a tragedy exposed the complicity of the police and the administration. AIDWA demanded stringent action against the guilty and adequate compensation for the bereaved families.

The CEC also expressed concern about the growing violence in Jammu and Kashmir, with the Shopian incident of rape and murder of two women exposing the criminal negligence of the police, leading to social unrest in the valley. The state governmentís insensitivity, and the role of the security forces had led to a situation where extremist forces have been able to vitiate the peace, the resolution said, and demanded urgent measures for restoration of normalcy.

 

Future programmes

 

Protesting price rise: The steep price rise intensified by the present hike in prices of petrol and diesel was condemned by the CEC members, and it was decided that on July 30, women will come onto the streets in dharnas and protests through out the country, and congregate at district head quarters demanding the roll back of prices, and provision of essential commodities at affordable rates through the public distribution system.

 

On 33 per cent Womenís Reservation Bill:  The CEC also expressed disappointment that the presidentís promise of passing the 33 per cent womenís reservation bill in 100 days was already a non starter, and decided to launch a national struggle from the 101st day onwards. AIDWA will also hand over a memorandum with over a lakh signatures of Muslim women collected from all over the country for the speedy implementation of the Sachar committee recommendations to the prime minister. A young womenís convention on the issue of right to choose will be held to highlight the different ways in which their democratic rights are sought to be curtailed

The CEC meeting was presided over by the all India president, Subhashini Ali with the participation of 56 members from 17 states, with the general secretary, Sudha Sundararaman placing the central report. The meeting reviewed the existing situation of continuing economic recession, the adverse impact of the price rise, and the extreme brutality of acts of violence that were seriously affecting womenís survival.

At the outset, the CEC paid homage to its veteran leader Ahilya Rangnekar on her demise at the age of 87 years, expressed grief over the deaths of hundreds of people in AILA in West Bengal, and condoled the demise of theatre personality Habib Tanveer and poet Kamla Suriya.