HYDERABAD: Speakers at a programme paid tributes to noted hari movement leader Mai Bakhtawar here on Wednesday.

Activists of various political, social, human rights and hari organisations were among the speakers who urged the government to intro­duce agriculture reforms.

The programme was organised by a non-governmental organisation (NGO) in the office of the Human Rights Commission of Pakis­tan (HRCP) to mark her 70th death anniversary. The speakers included comrade Taj Mari, Punhal Sario, Dr Ashothama, Mir Hassan Arisar, Maqbool Mallah and others.

They said a chapter on Mai Bakhtawar’s struggle and services should be incorporated in the syllabus of educational institutions so that future generations should be aware of her contribution in the hari movement.

They said there was a need to do research on her life and work for which literati, poets and intellectuals should play their due role. Sindh’s hari movement was marked by the struggle of Sufi Shah Inayat and Shaheed Mai Bakhtawar, they added.

They said Shah Inayat’s struggle also produced results while her contribution was also noteworthy. Such struggle should be continued and strengthened, they urged.

They said her struggle gave vigour to peasantry and led haris to recognise their rights. She was a symbol of bravery after the partition and the first martyr among women in Sindh, they said.

They said the Sindh’s hari movement had no parallel in Asia and she was the woman who laid down her life for securing rights of the peasantry.

The peakers said the agriculture sector of Pakistan was largely depen­dent on women, but womenfolk did not have proprietary.

On the other hand even industrialists were becoming shareholders in the farm sector besides other companies, they said.

Today agriculture reforms had become inevitable for which intellectuals and other stakeholders would have to play their role, they said.

The speakers said she was killed for demanding her share in wheat production on June 22, 1946, on the land of Choudhry Khaliq. It was her struggle that eventually led to launching of a land distribution programme by the Sindh government recently, they said.

Meanwhile, the Sindh Taraqqi-pasand Party (STP) also held a programme at its headquarters, STP House, here on Wednesday to pay homage to Mai Bakhtawar.

Speakers at the event highlighted her commendable services for the cause of peasants.

Mai Bakhtawar proved that women like men could fight for the rights of the oppressed on any front, they said.

They said a cruel system was imposed on peasants in Sindh, and called for the relaunch of the hari movement to get the feudal system buried once and for all.

They observed that the people of Sindh were clamped in the clutches of imperialism and the country’s class-based system. Only a revolution led by visionary mindset could bring about a significant change in society, they said.

Published in Dawn, June 23rd, 2016