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Home is where the union is

IANS | December 25, 2020 04:35 PM

NEW DELHI: She was 14 when she joined the union after her father, who opposed the Khalistan movement was killed in 1991. When 43-year-old Harinder Bindu, President of the BKU (Ugrahan) Woman's Wing looks back at all these years, there is no regret.

Stationed at the Tikri border right now, where the protests are more somber than the Singhu border, Bindu unlike smiles, "I have not had a home for years now. My son, who I get to see once a month stays with my mother. That's the life of a full-time worker."
As we negotiate our way near the different stages in Bindu's car, with her behind the steering wheel, she says she does not really miss the 'ordinary' life of a 43-year-old woman with a kid.
There is a certain rush that comes from being able to educate and encourage women to demand their rights."

Boasting of a membership of more than 40, 000 women, Bindu says that the union is convinced that no change can take place unless women participate pro-actively in the process.
Precisely why we go from village to village and organise them. This includes women of farm labourers too."
Instrumental in pushing the government to award Rs 96 crore as compensation to the victims of farmers who committed suicide, Bindu says: "It is important that women trust us completely and are comfortable discussing every issues. We have been working with rape victims and demanding rights for Dalits."
Talk to her about criticism for some quarters on children being brought to protest sites in the biting cold, and she asserts that in order to make masses involved with any movement, it is important that every segment be involved.

"It also helps reflect the true narrative. After all, we are fighting for the rights of the coming generation. To achieve that, everyone has to be involved -- precisely why you see even the aged participating actively. The young must understand that one needs to struggle in order to achieve."

Smiling that the 'Maoist' label by the government and a certain section of the media would not really make them change their stance, Bindu's, whose organisation raised posters of jailed activists including Varavara Rao and Umar Khalid during the International Human Rights Day says: "Writers, activists, poets and artists have been instrumental in making us aware of ramifications of different policy decisions. Just because they criticise certain government decisions, doesn't necessarily make them terrorists."

Adding that the movement has already managed to 'win' -- on the level of thought, she says, "You know, people never lose, even if the battle is lost. This is a very long fight, and we have been able to successfully convince people that the fight is not just against the political establishment but also corporates. Also, this battle is too long and goes beyond the current agitation. The key is not to give up, not get disappointed."

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