On the eve of 126th Birth Anniversary of Dr BR Ambedkar, Dalit Sthree Sakthi has organised conferences in the states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. The women collective leaders mobilized at the Ambedkar statues in Guntur and Hyderadad on 11th& 14th April garlanded the statues gave slogans and presented songs on Ambedkar which has touched various audience.
The conference was held at Guntur on 11th April at conference hall of SC Corporation on the topic “Ambedkar – Women”. 11th April being the birth anniversary of Phule the conference also focussed on the works of Jyothi Bai Phule. The dignitaries on the dais were PSN Murthy IDAS (VR) and Founder of Ambedkar Mission, Prof Ch Swaroopa Rani of ANU, Jhansi Geddam National Convener-DSS and the conference was presided over by GDV Prakash National Programme Manager of DSS. Women Collective leaders from various districts have participated in the conference. The photo of Ambedkar was garlanded by PSN Murthy and mother of deceased Sravana Sandhya. The photo of Phule was garlanded by Swaroopa Rani and Jhansi Geddam. The slogans and songs on Ambedkar by the cultural team has echoed the conference hall.
GDV Prakash in his presidential addresshas reminded the great works done by Ambedkar and Phule and said that last year on the eve of Ambedkar’s 125th Birth Anniversary, DSS launched a campaign on “Ambedkar – Women” and has continued it throughout the year until this day.
Prof Swaroopa Rani said that we have many social reformers but the social reformers who have come from the 3% of the communities such as brahmins etc have been focussed more though their contribution is not that much, for instance, Rajaram Mohan Roy is one of them. Phule, Savithribaiphule, Periyar, Narayan Guru and Ambedkar are the real social reformers and have done a lot but we were very less about them and that to since 1990s. The minor issues such as Sati Sahagamanam, Child Marriages, widows etc have been focussed much and even included in the academic syllabus. The major issues of the drown trodden women such as illiteracy, poverty, bonded labor, Jogini, Mathangietc have not been included in the academic syllabus.
Veeresalingam, Gurajada have wrote about dominant caste women where as they never thought about the perennial issues of the downtrodden women who form the 95% of population. Ambedkar and Phule have fought to bring many rights for the women such as working hours, equal wages, toilets at work place, Hindu Code Bill etc. In 1992 Ambedkar
formed an exclusively organization for the women and his wife was elected as the president. He thought to the women that they have to change their dressing style, get educated, change their food habits, leave eating beef, should be clean and hygiene. All the religions have never said about the problems & rights of women, it was only Ambedkar who said to the women that whenever their rights are denied/violated, they should revolt. The family, children and the society revolves around the women, therefore if they change, everything changes. In 1956 Ambedkar took Buddhism, left Mahar and formed new a religion Neo Buddhism and ensured that it is included in the census. He fought against the informal customs such as domestic labour at in-law’s house, severe punishment such as tying to poles, burn with heated iron rods if the women revolt and ensured that all these are abolished.
PSN Murthy IDAS (VR) has said that today is Mahatma Jyothi Rao Phule’s birth anniversary. Phule has worked for many poor people such as women, leprosy, worker in mines, etc, hence lakhs of people from this communities have named him as Mahatma. Whereas Gandhi was Ravindranath Tagore while praising each other, Tagore praised Gandhi as Mahatma and Gandhi praised Tagore as Viswa Kavi and this itself has become is the father of modern India,
modernity means thought. Ambedkar said that the sudras and atisudras are considered less than the animals by the dominant communities as they are illiterate and don’t think. In those days if the women use an umbrella, sit on the chairs, wear chappals, eat food earlier than men used to be considered as the women insult men. It used to be said that if a man is questioned, it means that God is being questioned. Ambedkar &Phule have that if a human being has no right to question what & why means he is not a human being, similarly everyone should know the difference between good & bad, men & women should be treated equally. The religion says that a widow must be dressed in white saree, should not have bindu, tonsure hair and appear ugly, so that no one looks at her and also that she should not have any desire for physical needs from the men. Buddhism is against all these customs and says that all should be considered as equals. There is a law in the BJP ruled states that if anyone kills a cow is a crime, but if anyone kills the person who has killed the cow is not a crime. Similarly if dalit adivasis are killed, murdered or raped the culprits are left scot-free, it is because still we have not yet started thinking and questioning the injustice. We are not doing what Ambedkar has asked us to do. Ambedkar has given us a power to change our lives and fate, but as we are failing to exercise our power during the elections, deny to become leaders as Ambedkar said, hence we are unable to change our lives and fate. The modern society means a thinking society, if we start thinking our lives will change or else we remain the same.
Jhansi Geddam National Convener – DSS has said that though many decades have passed by still we are celebrating their birth & death anniversaries as they have thought to bring a
change in this exploiting society and followed the principles to bring a change. Therefore, we need to have a clear plan on what we need to do religiously, politically and socially. These thoughts should have power and commitment. Ambedkar’s thought process is the only way to grow economically and politically.
The conference was over with a vote of thanks from the district coordinator K. Vijay Kumari.
126th Birth Anniversary celebrations started on a big note in Hyderabad and DSS contingent assembled around Ambedkar statue near Tank Bund. The slogans and songs on Ambedkar have inspired the audience and the electronic media. All the cameras focused on the DSS
team, it has focussed Ambedkar as “Father of Modern India”. Later all the DSS leaders garlanded Ambedkar statue and reached DSS National Office and participated in the conference held on the topic “Ambedkar’s Thought is a Shield to the Country”.
Jhansi Geddam addressing the gathering has said that in view of the changing political and socio-economic conditions, there is a need for the dalits to align with the likeminded forces and generate strong leadership. Ambedkar after having been considered as the icon of the scheduled castes and backward class communities for all these years, it is amazing that now Ambedkar is being considered as the icon of all. She said that there is a danger from some political partiesthat they may limit Ambedkar to themselves for their own benefits. Ambedkar’s ideology and the constitution given by him will only free our country from all the evils and bondages. The UNO has announced Ambedkar as “VishwaVignan Divas”, meaning that the most educated intellectual in the world. She said that he was the first one in the country to take the side of women and fight for their rights.
Programme Manager said that Ambedkar is the only intellectual who wanted the nation to be
with Liberty, Equality and Self-Respect. He said that the need of the hour is that all the oppressed & depressed communities have to come together align with the women form as a strong force and wage a constructive battle. The conference was concluded with the closing address by Bhagya Lakshmi. The other participants were Kalpana-SWC, coordinators Renuka, Narahari&Seshadri and women collective members from Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.