Dear comrades, friends and well-wishers,
For the first time since our 12th conference in December 2019 we were able to hold the meeting of our Central Executive Committee physically and not virtually in Delhi on the 20th and 21st of November, 2021. It was a breaking of barriers imposed on us not only by the pandemic but by the mindless muscle-flexings of the Modi-Shah-Doval regime, by the terror manifested in the utterly irrational measures, half-measures and no-measures devised by these cronies of corporate capitalists like Ambani and Adani, in the lack of food and jobs, lack of basic health facilities, lack of vaccines and most of all in the absolute lack of concern for human suffering.
We crossed a sea of deprivations and bereavements, managed somehow to hold the organisation together in the different states without losing track of the movement which constitutes its togetherness and at last met our comrades face to face, both familiar faces and new ones. These two days were most exhilarating for us and the exchanges of experience gave us back our sense of direction and confidence in our still unachieved mission.
The call we gave from the platform of our organisation this time was for our activists to overcome this atmosphere of terror created deliberately by those for whom the dreaded pandemic has been but an occasion for fattening themselves on the riches of the land and enhancing control not over the pandemic but over the distressed; our call was for our activists to break away from the nation-wide unofficially-imposed moratorium on all organised protests. It is not enough for us to hold our ground, but to advance irresistibly to seize the initiative from our adversaries.
Rational protection against the pandemic must be taken, but we must be on the streets to regain our hard-won basic rights which are being snatched away from us by blinding us with irrational terror and forcing us to stay at home. Our activists must discover new ways of becoming fully active and of renewing their ties everywhere with women in farms and factories, women migrating to feed the family and women keeping the home fire burning somehow. The farmers’ movement, in which many of our women participated, has shown us that it is only united struggle on our part that can force our exploiters to yield place. Let that be a beacon for us in our own movement too.
Malini Bhattacharya, President, All India Democratic Women’s Association