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Appeal for Solidarity with Gujarat Victims
29th April, 2002

Friends

Indian democracy is under grave threat. Our people have witnessed a major assault on the democratic and secular foundation of the country. Even today the violence is continuing in Gujarat, with thousands languishing in relief camps with no hope of rehabilitation.In facts the camps are being closed down at the peril of their lives.

Today women of Gujarat need to know that women all over the country irrespective of caste and religion are with them in the darkest hour of their lives.

Every activity of WIPSA has been given great momentum by the support that you have extended including the Mahila Millennium Mobilization held on 19th December, 1999.We request you to mobilize as many men, women and children for a candle light peace gathering at any significant point in your town on 13th of May at 5: 00 p.m. This is a protest against erosion of secular Indian values.

Womenís Initiatives for Peace in South Asia is holding a Sarva Dharma Prathana (all religionís prayer) ďMaunĒ (Silent) peace gathering on the 13th of May at 5: 00 p.m at 30 January Marg in New Delhi.

We shall be sending you a memorandum, which can be handed over to respective government authority in your place. We hope through this program the message from every corner of country will reach the government that women and like minded men want to be known as Indians and we donít want to be compartmentalized into religion, caste and creed.

We appeal to you, to contact womenís groups, organizations, individuals concerned to join us in this gathering. Let us raise a united voice and stand firmly in support of the victims of Gujarat carnage.

V. Mohini Giri

Declaration

Today on May 13 2002, we women of India, from all villages, talukas, districts, towns and cities declare that we stand together and speak with one voice. Our collective stance is for secularism, democracy and communal harmony.

The carnage of Godhra followed by massacre of innocents in Gujarat has left the polity of this country in tatters. We declare that we will not allow our country to be destroyed by peddlers of hate, no matter to which community, religion, caste or class they belong. Today we pledge to restore the age-old tradition of sarv dharm sambhav (equal dignity to all religions) which is the bedrock of our civilization and of the Constitution of India.

We want our sisters in Gujarat to know that all the women of India mourn for their family members who have been brutally killed and condemn the authors of the crime who have re-written the definition of bestiality. We want all the victims to know that our hearts bleed for all our sisters, brothers and children who have lost their homes and livelihoods to this heinous carnage. We condemn the widespread destruction of religious places, and holy texts, a reprehensible act, which strikes at the very roots of our secular polity.

We demand:

  • Proper and decent relief and rehabilitation for victims of Gujarat

  • Urgent registration of FIRís.

  • Setting up Special Courts for quick dispensation of justice

  • Immediate stop to disbanding camps pending mental and physical readiness of victims.

This is our country. We want to make it a land of peace and prosperity for our children. We want a rich mosaic of diverse religions, cultures, languages and customs. Women will not permit this multi-colored civilization to be washed in one hue. As citizens we demand the right of every woman, child and man. Let the government listen and act now.

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