After Dalits, CPM focus on Muslims

Written by Political Bureau | New Delhi, Aug 26 | Updated: Aug 28 2008, 05:20am hrs
After organising a Dalit convention two weeks ago in Kochi, the CPI(M) is now focusing on the mobilisation of Muslims ahead of the next general elections. The partys womens wing, the All India Democratic Womens Association (AIDWA), has convened a meeting exclusively for Muslim women here on Wednesday. The first-of-its-kind meet will discuss issues ranging from sub-plan to Muslims to 33% reservation for women, but interestingly not the Indo-US nuclear deal.

The basic purpose of the convention is to bring a number of issues of the Muslim women before the public sphere. Muslim women are deprived of many basic rights. They suffer more in the event of a communal riot. Muslim women workers are less paid. We will like to bring such issues into the attention of the authorities, AIDWA general secretary and CPI(M) central committee member Sudha Sundararaman told FE.

The convention will be attended by about 800 Muslim women from all over the country. A session in the convention on denial of citizenship rights will be addressed by a riot victim from Gujarat, an anganwadi worker from Madhya Pradesh and a street-dweller from Rajasthan who was allegedly harassed in the wake of the bomb blasts in Jaipur city.

We do not accept an approach that puts the responsibility of uplifting the Muslim women solely on the Muslim community. Our struggle is to ensure that the Indian government bears its due responsibility and takes some concrete steps for the advancement of Muslim women, Sundararaman added.

The CPI(M) had hoped that the opposition to Indo-US nuclear deal will fetch more Muslim votes to its kitty.