Hundreds of women activists, students and professionals hit the streets Thursday to demand ‘azadi’ (freedom) from all kinds of oppression under the BJP regime.
The women, raising slogans of “Azadi lekar rahenge”, marched from Mandi House to Jantar Mantar in the national capital under the banner of ‘Women March 4 Change’.
Such marches were organised at several places across 20 states of the country.
With just a week left for the Lok Sabha elections to begin, women across the country protested against the “environment of hate and violence” under the BJP regime.
“We need equality. We do not want war, we do not want violence. We say no to mob lynching. We say no to hate politics and atrocities,” said journalist Bhasha Singh addressing the gathering at Jantar Mantar.
“Women are not baby-producing machines. We have fought enough and we will continue to fight for our freedom. No one can dictate to us on what we should wear, or whom to love. Humara time aa gaya hain (our time has come),” she said.
Rights activist Aruna Roy also slammed the Centre for its “repressive” policies.
“If we get this government back, women will lose two fundamental rights–right to freedom of expression and right to equality– because they (Centre) are threatening to change the Constitution,” she told PTI.
“For me, it is absolutely important as a woman that this party does not come back. The last four years have seen the culture of politics change in this country. Violence has become the norm, hatred has become a value. How can I let my country go that way?” the activist said.
Addressing the crowd, Sumedha Bodh, representative of Rashtriya Dalit Mahila Andolan, said although women vote their voices are rarely heard.
“Modiji speaks about ‘vikas’ (development), but there is no vikas for women. Caste-based politics will not work. If women are not given their rights, we will find an alternative,” she said.
Another protester said women feel the need to get rid of the present government as they feel unsafe under the Modi regime.
“We live in dangerous times. People are being killed in the name of cow. Women do not feel safe. Even cows are safe only on posters. Only Ambanis and Adanis are safe under this government,” Deepali, a theatre practitioner, said.
“It is important to safeguard our Constitution and this government is a threat to our democracy,” she added.