National Alliance of People's Movement (NAPM), the umbrella platform of civil society organizations and individuals, revealed in a statement that sexual violence against Dalit, Adivasi, and women from minority communities have increased during the pandemic.
"Even more than seven decades post-independence, Dalit, Bahujan, Vimukta, Adivasi and minority women continue to face caste-based sexual violence, atrocities, and backlash for every demand for justice," reads the statement stated at the 124th death anniversary of Savitribai Phule.
Taking particular exception to provide legal sanction against conversion, NAPM said, "Consensual relationships, both inter-caste and inter-religious, continue to face severe threats from the right-wing and regressive forces, and in each such instance, women and gender non-conforming persons face particular vulnerabilities." The activists and women of these communities are targeted by the state, police, and dominant castes alike, though many of them go unreported and unnoticed, the statement added.
NAPM denounced the Modi government and its Hindutva ideology over the past decade resulting in the denial of gender freedom and rights, and said, "The Modi government has made matters worse by striking a blow to the right of gender self-identification." The statement also lauded the breakthroughs made by women and transpersons for gender equality by negotiating with the state daring all odds.
The statement retold the struggle meted out to the sex workers to be recognized as informal workers, the negligence towards the working atmosphere of sanitation workers, the discrimination against the Dalit-coverts, and 'criminalization' of Nomadic and De-notified Tribe (NT-DNT) communities.
"The institutionalization of hate, discrimination, and Islamophobia is now happening in the most brazen manner, as we witness in the multiple 'anti-conversion ordinances as well in the selective criminalization of Muslim men in the Triple Talaq law," said the statement. "Between 2014 and 2021, numerous Muslims and at places Christians and Adivasis were attacked, many brutally lynched for cow-related incidents or in the garb of 'hurting Hindu sentiments," NAPM further added.