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Dalitalism and Proletarian Revolution!

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AAP was a product of NGO, which boasted to carry on the JLPB movement to its logical conclusion and gave a slogan “Political Revolution has begun”! Like any other bourgeois party, it still claims to continue revolution. It is different matter that they also stated in their all rallies, statements, processions that the revolutionary era, flame comes once in decades, like in 1977 and the people must not miss the opportunity, failing which they have to wait another many decades! Now they are busy in bourgeois politics!
Why this failure? Because AAP never had an aim or a vision of any revolution, never wanted any Swaraj at national level, they never worked for the people’s democracy! Though they were not revisionists or probably not even corrupt like their other counterparts; Congress, BJP & their various allies in past or present!
They wanted to serve capitalism or maximum to “control” the big & small capitalists and that too evaporated after they expelled Yogendra Yadav, Prashant bhushan! The contrast & contradiction between Reformism and Revolution was very clearly visible!
Present Dalit movement is different than that of AAP, yet there is some similarities between the two. Both uphold capitalism and the pillars of bourgeois democracy, including present constitution, which Ambedkar wanted to burn it after 5 years of its creation, of which he was the head!!! Present constitution is, though a constitution of independent India, changed qualitatively by way of alternations, both by Congress & BJP governments. This constitution is amended to free the big capitalists, like Ambani, who are in fact the de facto rulers!
By upholding this constitution, what are we trying to achieve? Our own bourgeois rights to share money, power? This has only deepened the miseries of workers; Dalit workers, women workers, minority workers, tribal workers, child labours and all the workers, whether in fields & factories.
Dalitalism is part of bourgeois politics, like feminism. Without proletarian revolution, the emancipation of Dalits or any other exploited and oppressed sections of the society is not possible and same time it is also true that without participation of Dalits, revolution is not possible in India.

Class first of caste first?
This debate is eternal, especially among the ‘revolutionaries’, Dalit leaders, the Left ideologues. During Telangana movement, it was seen that the boundaries of caste, religion and region had crumbled. Ignorance and superstition was at the lowest level among the participants. A revolution has all-round effect on the people, on their thinking, idea, eating & living norms, hygiene, education, their comradeship, spiritualism. The question of which first, caste or class, is absurd during revolutionary time and is only valid for the reformists and bourgeois politicians or say, for the social democrats!
If aim is clear (a classless society, freedom of a man from all forms of exploitation by another man), the path must be clear! The slogan, “Workers of the World Unite”, is very meaningful and equally simple to understand and follow and must be implemented for a united struggle to dispossess the exploiters, ruling class!
A Communist or a Communist Party is very sensitive to the cause of all the oppressed and exploited sections of the society. Dalit question is a big issue for them as well as the progressive forces, as the attacks on them by RSS & its various other groups has increased many folds, including Tribes, Women and Minorities, in recent times!
Such attacks are being “used” by the middle and upper Class Dalits, including Congress, BJP & independents to make their own social bases and political mileage, which eventually turns in sharing power and money in bourgeois plunder! They have an opportunity to do so, as the massive loss of BSP in UP & UK election has bewildered the Dalits and LJP of Bihar is part of the exploiters & they are fishing in the troubled water!

What is to be done?
Is there any alternate than raising the class consciousness of the exploited mass, training them, uniting them and leading them for a final attack on the exploiters, the capitalist class, dispossessing them and establish the proletarian hegemony?
The old & ‘bourgeois’ Left are obsolete and are almost in dustbin of history! The new revolutionary organisations are rising and as the revolution is lurking on horizon for the millions of millions of workers are rising!
Do you see how relevant is Bhagat Singh and his party HSRA today?

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

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A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

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A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

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A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

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