Ten women’s groups and over a hundred activists have released a joint statement calling for an end to the “shameful attempt to pin blame for the terrible violence in Delhi on women and all the peaceful protestors against NPR-CAA-NRC.”
They have called for the government and civil society to help citizens seek justice, take action against the real perpetrators of the riots, help citizens come together again, and help heal the country.
Following is the full text of their statement:
Delhi is struggling to recover from the terrible violence in the north east that hit some of the poorest people in our country – tailors, scrap dealers, carpenters, and daily wagers. Scared and displaced Muslims, who were the primary target of this hate-attack, are still in relief camps, holding on to their children and their dignity despite this devastation.
Hindu families who lost homes and properties are struggling to come to terms with this nightmare as well. Both communities bear the sorrow of lives and livelihoods lost in this senseless violence. We stand with each of them.
This is a moment when we need our governments to give us justice, reassurance and relief. But what we see instead is that the State, a section of the media, and vested interests are creating even more hate. Instead of taking action against an erring police force, and against those who openly instigated and perpetrated this violence, we find them trying to pin the blame on the women for protesting peacefully.
What we are witnessing is a concerted misinformation campaign that criminalises the protestors, spins conspiracy theories, and targets all those who supported the protests. Anyone who has been to these protests will know how morally low this is.
These protests brought together all the colours of our country.
We are proud that Muslim women led these protests, in the best tradition of our freedom struggle, and proud that we joined this struggle with them, in full measure as Indians – as students, women’s rights activists and queer groups, people’s movements, farmers and workers collectives, and as ordinary citizens; to fight for justice, harmony and peace for all.
Clearly, something resonated in the soul of India, which is why in over 300 places, women sat and many still sit on our streets to be heard, to be visible as democratic citizens. This is surely what women’s empowerment is all about. This is what India must celebrate and stand behind.
Today, the rainbow that is India is being targeted. There is intimidation, FIRs based on falsehoods, threat of arrest against the protestors and those who stood with the protests. This politics of intimidation threatens all women, it threatens each citizen, and it must end. Now.
This vicious campaign against citizens of a free democratic country and our collective right to protest must stop immediately.
We say, across identities of religion, caste, class, gender, sexuality and ability, that we oppose the proposed National Population Register (NPR), Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC). We stand by the protestors and the right to protest. And we shall defend that right.
We demand that:
• ACTION BE TAKEN against those who have conducted systematic hate campaigns, spread falsehood, instigated and perpetrated the violence.
• FALSE CASES BE WITHDRAWN against protestors exercising their democratic rights.
• The Union government WITHDRAW NPR-CAA-NRC, and initiate dialogue with the protesting women without any further delay.
• The Delhi government DELINK THE NPR from the Census.
• STATE EFFORTS BE EXPEDITED to provide time bound relief and compensation to families of all who lost lives in the Delhi violence, and full rehabilitation to those displaced.
WE REITERATE OUR COMMITMENT to the values of peace and communal amity even as we continue our struggle:
● FOR the preservation of constitutional values
● AGAINST NPR-CAA-NRC
● FOR de-linking of the Census and NPR
● FOR the protection of the democratic rights of the people of India to live, speak, believe, work, protest without fear.
We stand united.
1. Devaki Jain, economist, New Delhi
2. Uma Chakravarti, New Delhi
3. Tanika Sarkar, New Delhi
4. Kamla Bhasin, feminist activist, New Delhi
5. Farah Naqvi, New Delhi
6. Annie Raja, NFIW
7. Mariam Dhawale, AIDWA, New Delhi
8. Roshmi Goswami, feminist human rights activist
9. Navsharan Singh, Karwan-e-Mohabbat
10. Ajita Rao, dalit feminist, New Delhi
11. Meera Sanghamitra, National Alliance of People’s Movements
12. Bittu K, activist, New Delhi
13. Maya Krishna Rao, theatre artist, New Delhi
14. Abha Bhaiya, activist, New Delhi
15. Pratiksha Baxi, sociologist, New Delhi
16. Ayesha Kidwai, professor, JNU, New Delhi
17. Freny Manecksha, independent journalist, Mumbai
18. Jayati Ghosh, New Delhi
19. Pamela Philipose, New Delhi
20. Kavita Srivastava
21. Amrita Johri, New Delhi
22. Amutha Jayadeep, joint secretary, JNUSU, New Delhi
23. Anamika Mishra, Karwan e Mohabbat
24. Anjali Bharadwaj, New Delhi
25. Anomita Sen, New Delhi
26. Anubhuti Sharma, research scholar, New Delhi
27. Anuradha Banerji, researcher, New Delhi
28. Apurba Kumar Baruah, president, Sustha Samaj Bikash Chakra, and academic advisor, Assam School of Journalism, Guwahati
29. Arpita Jaya, Quill Foundation, New Delhi.
30. Ashima Roy Chowdhury, Saheli, New Delhi.
31. Bratati Pande, retired teacher, I.P. College, New Delhi.
32. Cheryl D’Souza, advocate
33. Chhaya Basu, Karwan e Mohabbat
34. Darshana Mitra, legal researcher
35. Deepa V, feminist health activist, New Delhi
37. Dev Desai, social activist, ANHAD, Gujarat
38. Devika Singh
39. Dipa Sinha
40. Ditilekha, New Delhi
41. Dyuti, New Delhi
42. Esther M., public health researcher
43. Faruque ul Islam, Karwan e Mohabbat
44. Gargi Mishra, public health researcher
45. Gitanjali Prasad, legal researcher
46. Guneet Kaur, IHRL, researcher, lawyer
47. Hena Faqurudheen, mental health professional, New Delhi
48. Inayat Singh Kakar, Jan Swasthya Abhiyan
49. Indira Unninayar, advocate, Supreme Court and Delhi High Court, New Delhi
50. Jaya Sharma, activist, New Delhi
51. Jeevika S, lawyer, New Delhi
52. Johanna Lokhande
53. Khadija Faruqui, human rights activist
54. Madhur Bharatiya, advocate, Delhi
55. Maheen Mirza, filmmaker, Bhopal
56. Mamata, activist, Delhi
57. Manasi Pingle, Bangalore
58. Meenal Manolika, New Delhi
59. Meghna Mehra, founder, All India Queer Association
60. Minakshi Singh, Unity of Christ
61. Mohd. Arif, Karwan e Mohabbat
62. Mushtaque Ali Shaikh, cultural activist, Ahmedabad, Gujarat
63. Nandini Rao Akkaraju, New Delhi
64. Nandita Narain, Delhi University
65. Nidhi Agrawal, activist, New Delhi
66. Nikita Agrawal, advocate, New Delhi
67. Nikita Sonavane, lawyer and activist, Bhopal
68. Nisha Biswas, scientist and activist, Kolkata
69. Nitika Khaitan, PUDR
70. Padmaja Shaw, retired professor, Osmania University, Hyderabad
71. Poonam Kaushik, Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan, New Delhi
72. Prabha, New Delhi
73. Priya Pillai, environmental activist, New Delhi
74. Priyanka Kumari, social worker
75. Pyoli, WSS
76. Radhika Chitkara, assistant professor, JGLS, Sonipat
77. Radhika Menon
78. Rakshi Rath, psychologist
79. Rinchin, activist, Chhattisgarh
80. Rituparna Borah, activist, New Delhi
81. Roop Rekha Verma, Saajhi Duniya, Lucknow
82. Rushda, working president, NFIW Delhi
83. Sadhna Arya, Delhi University, New Delhi
84. Sarojini N, New Delhi
85. Satnam Kaur, Saheli, New Delhi.
86. Satyaveer Aman Sathi
87. Savita Sharma, feminist activist, New Delhi
88. Shambhavi Saxena, writer, New Delhi
89. Shipra Nigam, research scholar, New Delhi
90. Shivangi Bhasin, student, New Delhi
91. Shomona Khanna, advocate, New Delhi
92. Shradha Lama, student, New Delhi
93. Shruti Iyer, student, University of Oxford
94. Sneha Makkad, public health activist and researcher
95. Snehal Shah, New Delhi
96. Soma KP, gender and policy researcher, New Delhi
97. Sumita Hazarika, advocate, New Delhi
98. Suroor Mander, advocate, New Delhi
99. Sushama Ramswami, Indian Christian Women’s Movement, New Delhi
100. Susheela, public health researcher
101. Tani Bhargava, New Delhi
102. Tanima, New Delhi
103. Urvashi, Nirantar, New Delhi
104. Vani Subramanian, filmmaker, New Delhi
105. Vidya Dinkar, INSAF
1. Saheli Women’s Resource Centre
2. All India Women’s Democratic Association
3. Centre for Struggling Women
4. Democratic Teacher’s Front
5. Hasratein – a queer group
6. Indian Christian Women’s Movement, New Delhi
7. National Federation of Indian Women
8. One Billion Rising
9. Pragatisheel Mahila Sangathan
10. Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression
Lead image: Parveen Negi, EPS / The New Indian Express