Statement of the Maharashtra Council of the Lok Raj Sangathan, April 28, 2018
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Day in day out we hear and read about brutal rape of young children, girls and women. We hear about innocent youth who have disappeared, and of false cases due to which men and women are languishing in jail.
Those in power are not protecting the people from such crimes. In the recent case of a girl child being raped in Kathua, ministers of the Jammu & Kashmir government organised rallies to protect the guilty. In the case of the rape of a minor girl in Unnao, the Uttar Pradesh government watched silently as the MLA involved in the crime organised the murder of the victim’s father.
In stark contrast to the behaviour of the authorities, the people of our country are getting more and more outraged. They are expressing their feelings on social media, with candle light protests as well as through other manifestations. After the recent incidents of rape, daily protests are occurring all across the length and breadth of our country. On 20th April, over 15,000 people marched in the town of Bhiwandi under the leadership of Lok Raj Sangathan, Jamiat Ulema (Bhiwandi), Jamat-e-Islami (Bhiwandi), MPJ (Bhivandi), Communist Ghadar Party of India and the SUCI (Communist) asserting that “An Attack on One is an Attack on All!” They demanded exemplary punishment for the guilty.
It is only due to the angry mass protests all over the country that the ruling party was forced to remove two ministers from the J&K government and to arrest the accused MLA in UP.
Those who rule us spin lie after lie, to justify these brutal crimes. The rulers are trying to use the Kathua incident to cause deep communal divisions.
We cannot afford to forget the lessons of history. In the seven decades since Independence, we have seen innumerable communal massacres. The anti-Sikh communal massacre that occurred in 1984 saw hundreds of women being raped and their men-folk killed at the behest of the then ruling Congress Party. In the 1990s the Congress and the BJP colluded to spread religious hatred and hysteria, to then demolish the Babri Masjid and subsequently to unleash brutal massacres of Hindus and Muslims in many places in the country. In 2002 mass rapes and murders of women and innumerable murders of men were organised by the BJP that was ruling Gujarat.
All these horrific crimes were organised by the rulers. It has been the sickening practice of our rulers to target women wherever they wish to crush people’s striving for justice, as has been happening in Kashmir, the North East and other places. What justice can we expect from such rulers, from parties like the Congress and BJP, whose leaders have commanded and organised numerous rapes and mass murders?
The basic problem is that the people are powerless in the present system. The political process of representative democracy that we have in our country actually serves to keep the vast majority of people away from power. Elections are won by candidates selected by parties backed by big money power. It is obvious that those who are elected have to fulfill the demands of those who funded them. People have no power over them. The most that people can do is cast their votes. Elected representatives are not accountable to the people. People have no say in who forms the government and what the government does or does not do. Sovereignty, the supreme decision-making power, is in the hands of the Cabinet within Parliament. There is no mechanism to ensure that the will of the people prevails.
We have to address the basic flaw in the existing system. We have to bring political power into the hands of the people. With political power in our hands, we the people will not only be able to ensure our safety and that of our children, but we will also be able to address other problems like poverty and lack of necessities required for a dignified human life.
While we keep up our united protests and demand exemplary punishment for the criminals, let us work to prepare the conditions for people’s empowerment. Lok Raj Sangathan is striving to do just that.
Lok Raj Sangathan works to build the political unity of all people. We work to build unity in action, in defence of the people’s rights, rising above all petty differences and party rivalries.
We call on all the people to unite and raise a powerful voice to demand the strictest possible exemplary punishment for those guilty of every type of crime against women, men and youth.
We appeal to the men and women in uniform, whether of the police and other security forces to protect our daughters and sons. After all, you too are sons and daughters of workers and peasants. Those who are attacked are just like your children. We know that deep in your hearts, there is anger at this unjust system in which the rulers openly carry out rape and murder of girls and boys.
Come let us all work together for the political empowerment of people to ensure for ourselves a safe, dignified life!