Jaipur: The Citizenship (Amendment) Act dominated the 21st congress of the National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) held at the Ravindra Manch in Jaipur on Saturday. Members, who had gathered from across the country, termed the newly amended law as “anti-women”.
“Have you ever wondered how women in the country will present documentary proof of their residence when all the property is in the name of the man of the house? The actual reality of the ‘Hindu Rashtra’ is to create a savarna purush Hindu Rashtra,” an NFIW member said in her address.
“Society believes that women are born only to serve men and that’s how discrimination against women comes naturally. However, history is witness to women being an integral part of all the major movements in the world because when women fight, they do it for the entire society,” she added.
Discussing the impression that people have about young women activists, a member said, “We are considered ‘first-time protestors’ but in reality, we have been resisting patriarchy right from our childhood. Every woman is born a protestor – she has struggled for every little thing that comes comfortably to a man.”
“We receive political training from every woman who opposes the system – be it the Muslim women bravely protesting against the newly amended citizenship law at Shaheen Bagh or the female students opposing it in the universities.”
The NFIW members also spoke about why the CAA should be opposed.
“The law, in a way, is trying to suggest that those Muslims who came to India before a certain period were good and rest are bad. The discourse on CAA should not be about who is a good Muslim or a bad Muslim, it should only be restricted to the law being communal,” said a woman member.
The chief guest at the programme, chief minister Ashok Gehlot also criticised the CAA. “The manner in which the home minister and prime minister are speaking inside and outside the parliament is happening for the first time in the country. To hide their failure on the economic front, the Centre is bringing such communal laws,” he said.
Deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot also commented on the Modi government’s attitude. “We should celebrate a difference of thoughts but the Modi government doesn’t feel the need to consult the opposition. They don’t want to listen to why protests are happening, forget deciding what is right or wrong. In today’s politics, no leaders accept their mistakes,” he said.
“Law can be made out of numbers but the nation wants the economy to heal but who will pay attention to that?”
“Political discourse should have no space for abuse. In the previous tenure of the Vasundhara Raje government, I ensured that she doesn’t sleep peacefully for a single day but never used abusive language against her,” Pilot added.
Senior leader of the Communist Party of India (CPI), D. Raja, also present at the event, said that a threat to democracy is a threat to women.
“Those who divide the nation in the name of Bharat Mata, I ask them, who is your Bharat Mata? Because our Bharat Mata works in the agricultural field, lives in jungles with the tribals and goes out to work,” said Raja.
Giving assurances that the NFIW would fight the draconian citizenship law, president Aruna Roy said, “The Federation has turned 65 while continuing its remarkable contribution in fighting against the atrocities on women but today there is a big danger on our country and the constitution. The Federation has fought many battles and now it will fight against the forces that divide the country.”