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Warsaw Sees War Ahead

Ignoring the Corona Outbreak and ban on gatherings of more than five people, thousands have taken to the streets in Warsaw and other major cities in Poland in order to stage protests against the Court’s recent verdict on Abortion. Among the European countries, laws related to abortion have already been strict in Poland. On paper, abortion is legal only in case of pregnancy after rape, or if a pregnant woman faces a rose on her life due to it. However, there were allegations of non-cooperation with pregnant women, who wanted to undergo abortion. Now, a Constitutional Tribunal has ruled that terminations should be Illegal even in cases where a foetus is diagnosed with a serious and irreversible birth defect! Naturally, the verdict has triggered Anti-Government Protests across the Central European nation. In a rare first, such a large-scale protest has taken place in Poland after the Anti-Government Movements in the 1980’s. Dunja Mijatovic, the Commissioner for Human Rights in the Council of Europe, has said that the day marked a “sad day for Women’s Rights“. “Removing the basis for almost all legal abortions in Poland amounts to a ban and violates Human Rights,” she stressed.

Those, who are well aware of the current political situation in Poland, know that the ongoing protests are parts of a larger Mass Movement! The Polish people are fighting to ensure basic Human Rights. The Communist Rule had collapsed in Poland in 1989, and the Poles, then, guaranteed Human Rights at the cost of sacrifice and elected a new Government. The Law and Justice Party came to power in 2015. This Ultra-Right-Wing party has increased its support base on the basis of the Nationalist Ideology. Conservatism, too, has secured its place in Poland in the last five years.

Protests in Warsaw

Protesters are of the opinion that Rights, snatched through movements three decades ago, are being suppressed by the Law and Justice Party-led Government. The Police did not stop them when they had staged peaceful protests in the 1980’s. However, the Right-Wing Government has started using force against the protesters! Even, a Right-Wing Nationalist leader has warned the protesters, saying that his supporters know how to win a war!

As expected, the Church of Poland has backed the Government’s new Abortion Law. As Poland is one of the most strongly Catholic countries in Europe, Bishops and Catholic Groups had put pressure on the governing Law and Justice Party to impose a stricter law. However, opinion polls have revealed that a clear majority of Poles oppose the more restrictive law. There was opposition both in the Parliament and on the streets. In 2016, nearly 100,000 people, mostly women, had raised their voice against the Government’s attempt to tighten the law. The Polish people condemn the inhuman face of Religion! Religion is a powerful machinery of the Right-Wing Politics in various parts of the globe, and Poland is no exception to this. The local media have reported that self-proclaimed Nationalists – shaving their heads, dressed in black, and carrying chilli powder – are guarding the Churches and Cathedrals. Else, Mass Movements could shake their foundations!

Indians are familiar with the Politics of Division and also with the Strategy of Manipulating Religion to serve one’s own interests. The allegations of filling the Constitutional Tribunal with members of the ruling party and of defending the new law are not unique to Poland alone. The only hope is most of the Polish protesters are women and youths. Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki has listened to the representatives of the Opposition Party and the protesters, while President Andrzej Duda has suggested an alternative law. This is just the beginning…

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