Karnataka Women Organise “Jala-Satyagraha” Seeking Liquor Ban

Karnataka Women Jala-Satyagraha

A group of women stood in waist-to-neck deep water of Krishna river on the chilly Tuesday morning. These women have resorted to this harsh step to persuade the Karnataka government to impose a ban on liquor. The women gathered at Kudala Sangama of Hungund taluk in Bagalkot, with a pink cloth on their foreheads and holding posters in hands, reported the Times of India.

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  • A group of women in Karnataka have initiated a unique Jala-Satyagraha against liquor ban in the state.
  • Women stood neck-deep in the cold water of Kudala Sangama.
  • These women belong to the Madhya Nished Andolan Karnataka.
  • They have been agitating against alcoholism for the past four years and demanding urgent action from the government.

Kudala Sangama is a significant pilgrim site where the Krishna and Malaprabha rivers meet. The unique anti-liquor agitation in the cold water lasted for hours on Tuesday. The protest was initiated by the Madhya Nished Andolan Karnataka with about 200 women from all over the state taking part in the “Jala-Satyagraha” while another 2,000 staged a protest. Last year, they marched from various parts of Karnataka to Bengaluru to get the sale and use of liquor outlawed.

What the women want

The dissent is a part of the weeklong campaign that seeks a complete ban on liquor and was spearheaded by women. The campaign organizer, Swarna Bhat, told the TOI, “we have launched a week-long protest in Kudala Sangam, which will continue till January 30.” She further said that 51 organizations are a part of the campaign. Bhat complained that the Chief Minister, BS Yediyurappa had agreed to meet them and discuss their demands however, he failed to do so. She has requested him to meet the representatives as soon as possible. They are planning to intensify the campaign in case the Chief Minister does not respond. They want liquor to be banned in a single-phase, unlike what the Andhra Pradesh government did.

The women are making all possible efforts to get the government to meet their demands but so far they haven’t got a response from them.

The agitators admitted that they have been participating in the protest for the last four years since alcohol intake has disrupted their families but no action has been taken by the government. Their kids and husbands are being majorly affected by alcoholism. Also, they have become a regular victim of domestic violence by their drunk husbands. The soaring social costs of alcohol consumption have been consistently ignored by the governments. The protest was resumed on Wednesday as well and the women left the confluence in the late evening. They are firm in their resolution to achieve a total prohibition of liquor in the state.

Yellamma, one of the agitators, told The Hindu “I have been participating in all the agitations for the last four years and yet the government has not taken notice of our protests. It has no concern for the families who are suffering because of alcoholics”.

Picture Credit: The Hindu

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Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV