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Rise of Woman power

                All India Women's Sammelan, in New Delhi
Held at - Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium
Participation from All India - approx. 60,000
Organized By: Hindu Chetna Manch
        "Modernization does not mean westernization. Our women should
become doctors, engineers and scientists, but this modernization need not
take away Indian culture and values from our women".
        -- Sadhvi Umashri Bharati, MP and President, BJP Youth Wing
           While addressing the Participants at the Sammelan
        Ms. Bharati said that women in India are given more regard
compared to anywhere else in the World. She asked the women to resolve to
respect fellow women and to stop evils like female infanticide,
stigmitization of widows and rape victims, and victimization of women for
dowry. Moving on politics, the young 'sanyasini' said that the caste
system was an aberration for which the present generation has to make
amends. It is an irony the very hindus who watered 'peepul' and 'tulsi',
and worshipped even inanimate objects did not give the status of a human
being to Harijans. She called for an equal status for the lower strata of
the society and asked the women to treat harijans as equals by
inter-dining with them and rendering service to them.
        It was an impressive sight at the venue which was packed with
women from all over the country. The cries of "Jai Shri Ram" and "Bharat
Mata Ki Jai" shook the stadium. Among the luminaries who attended the
Sammelan were VHP leader Shri Ashok Sinhal, Rajmata Vijya Raje Scindhia,
Shrimati Usha Tai Chati of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Shrimati Chandrakanta
Devi, former Queen of Anegundi, Vijaynagara Empire, and Sadhvi Ritambhara.
        Delivering the welcome address, Smt. Aruna Dalmia said that Indian
women have lost direction due to the influence of westernization.
Rejecting the oft heard talk of male-dominated society, she said women do
not have to compete with men, but have to play the role of an equal
        The chief guest Smt. Chandrakanta Devi, former queen of
Vijaynagar, asked women to show the character of a shakti to raise Hindu
society from its present degradation.
        The banned VHP's Secretary-General Shri Ashok Sinhal announced
Sadhvi Ritambhara's appointment as All-India Convener of Durga Vahini.
Speaking on the occasion, he charged that the UP Govt. was trying to
Islamize Ayodhya by building a veritable Mecca there. He said that there
can be no brotherhood between Hindus and Muslims of this country, till
Muslims accept Bharat as their 'mata' (mother).  Disparaging the
Congress(I) as Congress (Islam), he said the present Government is
incapable of safegaurding the country's interests. He warned of a
christian ploy to economically cripple India and their attempt to
Christianize certain areas in the country.
        Smt. Usha Tai Chati, head of Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, said that
family was the bedrock of a society and any evil in society first takes
root in the family and then spreads. Therefore, women have to safegaurd
the values and culture in the family.
        Sadhvi Ritambhara who also addressed the audience said that the
Indian woman, a 'Grihlakshmi' (presiding diety of the household) can
become a 'Rashtralakshmi'. Indian do not need protection; on the contrary
they are capable of defending the country. She recited a rousing poem
which enthralled the audience.
        Mahamandaleshwari Santoshi Mata later presented Sadhvi Ritambhara
a sword on her appointment as in-charge of Durga Vahini.
        Another speaker, Sadhvi Shiva Saraswati said that a country
becomes great not by its weapons but by its cultured people. She said it
was an irony that in our country the memorials of national leaders are
secure but Lord Rama's birthplace is not.
        Speaking during the second session, former MP Smt. Jayawanti
Mehta, vice-president, BJP, alleged that there was a plot to reduce the
population of Hindus. Referring to the religious conversion of weaker
sections of society by luring them away, she asked Hindu women to come
out and do social service to help the weaker sections of our society.
        At the Sammelan, six resolutions were passed. One was regarding
the current trend towards vulgarity in songs, films and other mass media,
and called upon the govt. and social and educational institutions to come
out against it.
        Another proposal dealt with social equality. It said that all
forms of caste and class barriers have to be removed, for which the
society has to be motivated and financial help has to be sought from the
public rather than expecting the govt. to provide help.
        The other proposals dealt with the evil of dowry and the growing
trend of ostentatious and wasteful marriage celebrations, misuse of
sex-determination tests, cow-protection and the undemocratic restrictions
on Hindu organizations.
        One special characteristic of the function was that all
arrangements were looked after by women. The women who had come from
far-off places patiently sat through the day-long Sammelan. These
included many women whose enthusiasm had brought them here even though
they could not follow the proceedings in Hindi.
        Lata Ekka (18) a Christian tribal girl, when asked for her reason
for coming to attend the Sammelan, replied: "So what if I am a Christian,
Lord Rama belongs to us too. By changing the method of worship, your
ancestors do not change. Not only Hindu woman, but all womankind is
suffering atrocities. We have come here to arouse this country's women."
        All the women, be it Smt. Rama Handa from Batala (Punjab), P.
Jayamma from Nellore (AP), Sipali Bhattacharya from West Bengal, or the
unlettered Amritabai from MP, wanted the ban on VHP to be lifted and the
Rama Temple in Ayodhya to be reconstructed.
        Reprinted From Organiser (May 22, 1994), Without Permission
Posted By:      Rajiv Varma

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