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Thousands of women farmers celebrate International Women's Day in Barnala

By Harsh Thakor 

In response to a call given by Bharti Kisan Union (Ekta Ugrahan) today here in grain market in Barnala town in Punjab, around Twenty five thousand women flooded the venue, wearing yellow head gears (chunian), shimmering spark of the Inter National Women Day with burning enthusiasm. They vociferously raised slogans 'Aurat Divas da ih paigam, jari rakhna hai sangram (Message of Woman Day is, shall keep the struggle continuing.)
A most commendable rally in the context of economic crisis aggravating as never before. It summarised diverse issues, struck the chord of the inter relationship between women’s bondage and the socio-economic system and projected the leading role of women in farmers struggles in recent times.
Only women leaders, prominent in various districts, were on the stage while Kamaldeep Kaur Barnala acted as Stage Secretary.
Navsharan Kaur, Woman’s Rights Activist from Delhi illustrated the legacy of history of the glorious struggle of the Woman's Day. She expressed how the status of woman in our social and political frame work is still stands as that of a second rate citizen, due to which she has to be confronted with vast problems and odd situations in each field of life. She stressed that the eradication of economic exploitation and social discrimination of the farmers, farm labours and the working class is possible only with long drawn strong joint struggles by women along with men.
Woman leader Harinder Kaur Bindu summarised in brief of the significant and sacrificing role played by women in shaping the farmers struggles launched and won till date by citing concrete examples. She also issued a call to all women to participate in a big way in struggles in future on the fierce issues such as for implementation of the new policy on agriculture proposed by the organisation, legal guarantee of MSP along with complete loan waiver.
Sukhdev Singh Kokri Kalan, General Secretary of the Organisation, while addressing the historical significance of the historical woman’s day in present context, focused on the issue of t the new agriculture policy by Punjab Government. He expressed how it would affect the livelihood of farmers and farm labour, which is the central issue of today’s woman conference. The issue of freedom of woman, plays an integral role in the complete emancipation of the sections of toiling masses from the gross exploitation. The three big blood sucker exploiters ( leeches) squeezing the hard labour of the occupation of agriculture, namely the feudal big land lords, money lenders and the corporator of imperialism, have to be extinguished from the agriculture for terminating this naked exploitation. In order to abolish the unjust unequal land holdings and the monopoly of the instruments of agrarian production, strict implementation of the land sealing act, Complete abolishing of the money lending process by way of strict laws and removal of the corporates of imperialists from the farming inputs and agri markets are main designs of the new agri policy proposed by the union.
State President, Joginder Singh Ugrahan, honoured Meena Rathi, a resident of Delhi, on the stage by presenting a shawl, and a time piece with the emblem of the organisation, for her services provided by her by donating her house as office of the organisation and for providing all kinds of support at Tikri Border, amidst the terror unleashed by the Government. Ugrahan said that path of woman emancipation lies in the path of the intense struggles for emancipation of farmers and farm labour. The character of the successive Governments that patronise the big land lords, money lenders and the corporate of imperialism, makes it patently clear that struggle against these forces is absolutely imperative.
A resolution for huge participation of by women in the future struggles was passed by the women present in one voice. Another resolution strongly condemned the attack on modesty of a woman coach by Sandip Singh, Sports Minister of Haryana, and dismissal of the minister along with his arrest after registering a police case has been demanded. At this occasion besides the prominent woman leaders, namely Manjit Kaur Sangrur, Bachittar Kaur Moga, Saroj Rani Mansa, Paramjit Kaur Bathinda, Rajandip kaur Fazilka and Jaspal Kaur Muktsar, state leaders including Jhanda Singh Jethu ke, Shingara Singh maan, Hardip Singh Tallewal, Rup Singh Chhanna, Janak Singh Bhutal, Jagtar Singh Kalajhaar and a few District, Block and Village level leaders were also present. Hundreds of ex-army men along with women also participated.
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Harsh Thakor is a freelance journalist who has covered mass movements around India and frequently toured Punjab

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