Activists rise against 'attacks on constitution, democracy'

Updated: 28 August, 2020 07:50 IST | Gaurav Sarkar | Mumbai

More than 400 women's groups, LGBTQIA collectives and human rights bodies will launch nationwide protest on September 5

Chaya Khobragade
Chaya Khobragade

On September 5, hundreds of human rights groups will take to the streets and launch a campaign on social media platforms against the "targeted attacks on the constitutional rights" of the Indian citizens.

Over 400 women's groups, LGBTQIA collectives and human rights organisations will launch a nationwide campaign -- "Hum agar uthe nahi toh... (If we do not rise...)". Due to the pandemic, the streets would see about 5-10 demonstrators, while the rest would raise their voices on Twitter, Facebook, WhatsApp, etc.

In a note, the groups said India's democracy and the Constitution are facing an unprecedented crisis, and that the "growth of fascist and new-liberal forces in the country and the resulting rise in violence has deeply impacted the lives of women and members of the LGBTQIA community."

Hasina Khan, activist and founder of Bebaak Collective, said, "Currently a lot of wrongdoings are going on in the country. The economy has been drastically affected because of the prevailing lockdown and workers/labourers are in trouble. And the central government has left them to fend for themselves by asking them to be atmanirbhar, and are also suppressing the voices of dissent that dare to question them on their regressive policies." Speaking on the Maharashtra chapter of the campaign, she said that like every other state, "our members will go and speak to the people in non-containment zones about their grievances."

While smaller groups will gather on the streets, the rest will raise their voices on social media platforms
While smaller groups will gather on the streets, the rest will raise their voices on social media platforms

Meena Saraswathi, a member of the National Network of Sex Workers (South Maharashtra Chapter), said the campaign will also highlight the plight of female, male and transgender persons involved in sex work. Saraswathi said that during the pandemic, the sex workers did not get any relief from the government programmes, instead they were dependent on NGOs.

Chaya Khobragade of the Sambudh Mahila Sangathana, which works for the cause of Dalit, tribal and OBC women across Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, said the government did not do their best to support the daily-wage workers and labourers who lost their jobs during the lockdown.

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First Published: 28 August, 2020 07:06 IST

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