RECENTLY, there was the National Executive Committee meeting of BJP’s women wing in Rishikesh. While discussing two resolutions, it was felt that the political situation in the country is not comfortable for the people, especially for women. The corrupt practices are high at higher level. The Committee condemned the UPA government for not searching the ways to lessen corruption at top level. The Committee also passed a condemnation resolution, in which it was said that the number of rape cases as well as incidents of gang-rape have increased in Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, and other Congress-ruled states. The Committee expressed deep concern over it and decided not to sit silent whenever there is any incident anywhere.
While addressing the meeting every leader reminded of the role of the Ganga in our life. The meeting was organised at Parmarth Niketan Ashram on the banks of the Ganga, which is not only a river but a mother for Indians. The Mahila Morcha has resolved to extend full help and cooperation to the Samagra Ganga Campaign assigned to Umashri Bharati by party president Shri Nitin Gadkari. It was appreciated by all the 200 odd women office bearers, Ministers, MPs, MLAs and other delegates who came from every nook and corner of the country.
Beginning from July 8, the two-day meeting was presided over by national president of Mahila Morcha Smt Smriti Irani and was addressed by senior leaders including Shri Rajnath Singh, Smt Karuna Shukla, Smt Kiran Ghai, Umashri Bharati, Dr Ramesh Pokhariyal ‘Nishank’, Shri Mahendra Pandey and myself. Smt Anandiben Patel, a cabinet minister in Gujarat government and Shri Dharmedra Pradhan also attended the meeting.
Question may arise whether the issue of Ganga is a political one? Why a senior leader of the party like Umashri Bharati has been deputed to work on it? Of course, the Ganga is a political issue. It can be in the agenda of a party like the BJP, which aims to resolve the social problems by political will. The Ganga symbolises water. Water is life. Thus, it is duty of every man and woman to save his and her life. Saving the Ganga is like saving the lifeline of India.
BJP is the only political party which has adopted cultural nationalism as its philosophy. The Ganga is a vital part of our culture. The whole agriculture of north India depends upon the Ganga. This is the reason the people of whole Bharat have been worshiping the Ganga since ancient times. The story of arrival of the Ganga on the earth in our history tells her importance for the mankind. That’s why she is considered symbol of all the rivers and women of India also. In ancient society, not only the Ganga but women also had been getting respect from the society. Our epics extend equal respect to the Ganga and the women. The shloka—ytra Naryestu pujyante, ramante tatra devata—defines the duties as well as rights of women.
Today the Ganga as well as women are not getting due respect in the society. Ganga is our faith. By taking a holy dip in her water, everybody is delighted. In every Hindu’s house gangajal is kept. It is the scientific study that gangajal is not polluted. The cause being that minerals in the water coming with her from the Himalayas are the treasure of medicinal herbs and plants. The British government did not understand the value of the Ganga and her water as per the Indian faith, so they planned to construct dams on her. Pt Madan Mohan Malaviya, the great leader, advocate and Congress Hindu leader challenged the British government. He highlighted the importance of the Ganga according to the Hindu faith and belief. He succeeded in saving the Ganga.
Now the Ganga is not in her original shape, size and depth of water. She is highly polluted. Experts have now gone to the extent to say that the Ganga would not survive. We can save the Ganga. The determination now taken by BJP Mahila Morcha shows its commitment and concern. The Committee also expressed concern over the deterioration of respect of women in society.
Both the women and rivers are vital part of our civilisation. In fact, both are the carrier of traditions. Women carry language, food habits, rituals and family history. Rivers carry valuable silt and life giving water and they are medium of trade and commerce and on their holy banks we have great religious centres and big commercial cities. But now the Ganga has become the gutter of all carriers of industries, dead bodies and affluent.
The time has come when the people of India should awake and realise the importance of the Ganga as well as the women. Both cannot be saved only by making laws, shouting slogans and delivering lectures. It is high time that people should realise their importance and come open heartedly across the party, caste and way for worship. If we are eager to save our ancient culture and great civilisation, the Ganga and women should get respect and security from all sides and all people. Women should get secured atmosphere at every step. It is the responsibility of the government to assure secured situations everywhere for her. It is the duty of every individual to give them security.
BJP Mahila Morcha in presence of Umashri Bharati decided to take some concrete steps to save the Ganga. Umaji is already studying the issue of the Ganga at different levels. Under her leadership, the Committee will take some concrete steps to highlight and remind the importance of the Ganga for mankind. Umaji will soon see the help of one hundred twenty crore people in her mission of saving the Ganga. The Uttarakhand government has already taken this task seriously by launching the ‘Sparsh Ganga Abhiyan’. Many social and religious organisations are also working for it.
Mahila Morcha will also call upon all the religious and social organisations to join hands in the programmes to be announced by Umaji. I feel the Mahila Morcha should also give a call to women folk. Women can easily understand and realise the problems of the Ganga as both are maa, having same position in society. So, let the maas (mothers) come forward to save the Maa Ganga. Others will follow them.
(The writer is former Chairperson of Central Social Welfare Board)