THE ATTACK on a teen aged girl in Guwahati by a gang of youth becomes more horrifying because the Northeast states, especially Assam used to take pride till few years back about the respect given to women in the society. During the Assamese student movement which had stirred the whole society and in which more girls and women than men had participated was an example of this. The women were respected and given almost equal status in the movement. But today the picture has changed. One of the major factors which caused this change is the military occupation and imposition of AFSPA which has made the uniformed men immune to law even after indulging in many assaults on women as happened in numerous cases like the rape and murder of Manorama in Manipur. Plus the new culture created by the neo-liberal raj which has de-humanized the society has played a major role in the ever intensifying attacks on women.
Similarly, even though in each region there may be area specific reasons, it is the long standing brutal patriarchy coupled with the two decades of neo-liberal regime which has caused the intensification of crimes against women. In western societies the overthrow of feudalism and advent of capitalism had assured at least bourgeois democratic rights to women. But under the crony capitalism developing in countries like India under neo-colonization which has made the entry of finance capital, market forces and technology easier, even all existing renaissance values are destroyed and medieval thinking under modern garb is gaining dominance. Thus under patriarchy and rule of private property women are subjected to worst ever attacks in all forms. Forget about equal rights, even existing rights are snatched away. Even a small reform like providing one-third reservation for women in parliament and assemblies is gathering dust for a long time. Increasing availability and consumption of liquor and other intoxicants by men are also important factors which are making women’s life intolerable. Liquor makes most of the men least bothered about running their homes and a pretext for beating up and insulting wives.
It is in this context the AIRWO has called for a three months campaign from 1st July to 30th September for equal rights to women, against all oppression and atrocities against women and the wanton abuses created by liquor and intoxicants. CPI (ML) calls upon all Party committees and all progressive, democratic forces to join this campaign so that this message reaches ever larger number of women and inspire them to launch struggles for these demands.