Skip to main content

Top Gujarat-based woman rights activist regrets it's "common" for Indian women leaders to face sexual abuse

Manjula Pradeep during a women rights campaign
By Our Representative
Foremost woman Dalit rights activist from Gujarat, Manjula Pradeep, executive director of Navsarjan Trust, referring to a gruesome incident of sexual abuse in a Facebook post on October 30, 2015 on her timeline, has said that “it is high time" one raised the point of concern as it is not only happening or happen to one person, but many women across India who are in leadership position.”
Referring to an incident of how a former male employee (we are withdrawing the name -- Editor) of a Dalit rights organization had “sexually attacked” a senior woman leader in a campaign of violence against women, which she began on November 25, 2014, she said, in her Facebook post, the incident “completely shocked” her. She added, it is only "only a woman who can understand what it means to be attacked sexually.”
The Gujarat-wide campaign attracted considerable attention, so much so that it was called an effort by a “green gang” to fight for women’s rights. In one such campaign, a media report said, 1,600 “bravehearts” from various villages of the state joined a rally with green muffler tied around the forehead on the first day of the rally.
The media report said, “These women have done incredible work in the field of human rights. They would talk about the issues and challenges pertaining to women.” The motto of the campaign was – Dalit women suffered two types of oppression, one as a Dalit, and another as a woman.
Pradeep, who has been one of the top Indian activists who successfully campaigned for taking Dalit plight in international forums, including in the United Nations, says, though this employee had been given chance apologize ... he did not.”
In fact, pointing towards how an male employee behaves, she regretted, instead of apologising, this male employee "tried to do everything by filing a case in the labour court, lodging a police complaint, by trying to lodge a petition in the High Court of Gujarat”, adding, this employee went so far as to “a letter to the charity commissioner."
Recalling what it means for a woman to be in the leading position, Pradeep said, “Eleven years back, I was elected against five Dalit men who were my colleagues, to lead Navsarjan. From the first day itself, I started tasting the bitter truth of what it means to be head. Those men who lost against me, tried to make my life hell”, Pradeep says.
“They tried to implicate me in a false murder case. There were several of them who sat with banners, placards, stripping themselves saying, I am the worst ever person in Dalit movement. They equated me with Hitler. They humiliated me by saying that I am a loose character woman”, she angrily said.
“Despite all odds”, she said, she went on doing her work. “There were several times, when I wanted to submit my resignation, but the board did not accept it. During my tenure as Director of Navsarjan, the organization grew up as one of the effective grass roots organizations and also received few recognitions.”

Comments

TRENDING

Vaccine nationalism? Covaxin isn't safe either, perhaps it's worse: Experts

By Rajiv Shah  I was a little awestruck: The news had already spread that Astrazeneca – whose Indian variant Covishield was delivered to nearly 80% of Indian vaccine recipients during the Covid-19 era – has been withdrawn by the manufacturers following the admission by its UK pharma giant that its Covid-19 vector-based vaccine in “rare” instances cause TTS, or “thrombocytopenia thrombosis syndrome”, which lead to the blood to clump and form clots. The vaccine reportedly led to at least 81 deaths in the UK.

'Scientifically flawed': 22 examples of the failure of vaccine passports

By Vratesh Srivastava*   Vaccine passports were introduced in late 2021 in a number of places across the world, with the primary objective of curtailing community spread and inducing "vaccine hesitant" people to get vaccinated, ostensibly to ensure herd immunity. The case for vaccine passports was scientifically flawed and ethically questionable.

'Misleading' ads: Are our celebrities and public figures acting responsibly?

By Deepika* It is imperative for celebrities and public figures to act responsibly while endorsing a consumer product, the Supreme Court said as it recently clamped down on misleading advertisements.

Magnetic, stunning, Protima Bedi 'exposed' malice of sexual repression in society

By Harsh Thakor*  Protima Bedi was born to a baniya businessman and a Bengali mother as Protima Gupta in Delhi in 1949. Her father was a small-time trader, who was thrown out of his family for marrying a dark Bengali women. The theme of her early life was to rebel against traditional bondage. It was extraordinary how Protima underwent a metamorphosis from a conventional convent-educated girl into a freak. On October 12th was her 75th birthday; earlier this year, on August 18th it was her 25th death anniversary.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Palm oil industry 'deceptively using' geenwashing to market products

By Athena*  Corporate hypocrisy is a masterclass in manipulation that mostly remains undetected by consumers and citizens. Companies often boast about their environmental and social responsibilities. Yet their actions betray these promises, creating a chasm between their public image and the grim on-the-ground reality. This duplicity and severely erodes public trust and undermines the strong foundations of our society.

'Fake encounter': 12 Adivasis killed being dubbed Maoists, says FACAM

Counterview Desk   The civil rights network* Forum Against Corporatization and Militarization (FACAM), even as condemn what it has called "fake encounter" of 12 Adivasi villagers in Gangaloor, has taken strong exception to they being presented by the authorities as Maoists.

No compensation to family, reluctance to file FIR: Manual scavengers' death

By Arun Khote, Sanjeev Kumar*  Recently, there have been four instances of horrifying deaths of sewer/septic tank workers in Uttar Pradesh. On 2 May, 2024, Shobran Yadav, 56, and his son Sushil Yadav, 28, died from suffocation while cleaning a sewer line in Lucknow’s Wazirganj area. In another incident on 3 May 2024, two workers Nooni Mandal, 36 and Kokan Mandal aka Tapan Mandal, 40 were killed while cleaning the septic tank in a house in Noida, Sector 26. The two workers were residents of Malda district of West Bengal and lived in the slum area of Noida Sector 9. 

India 'not keen' on legally binding global treaty to reduce plastic production

By Rajiv Shah  Even as offering lip-service to the United Nations Environment Agency (UNEA) for the need to curb plastic production, the Government of India appears reluctant in reducing the production of plastic. A senior participant at the UNEP’s fourth session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC-4), which took place in Ottawa in April last week, told a plastics pollution seminar that India, along with China and Russia, did not want any legally binding agreement for curbing plastic pollution.

Mired in controversy, India's polio jab programme 'led to suffering, misery'

By Vratesh Srivastava*  Following the 1988 World Health Assembly declaration to eradicate polio by the year 2000, to which India was a signatory, India ran intensive pulse polio immunization campaigns since 1995. After 19 years, in 2014, polio was declared officially eradicated in India. India was formally acknowledged by WHO as being free of polio.