Not in our names!

I’m not sure whether or not they can be considered part of media coverage of the elections, especially since The Hindu Centre for Politics and Public Policy specifies that it is “not a journalistic resource,” but thought I’d flag two articles on the Centre’s website that are relevant to the theme of this blog:

  •       In an article headlined “Political Discourse on Gender Hits an All-Time Low” (under the slug ‘Gender and Elections’), Kavita Krishnan calls attention to the “deeply disturbing” discourse on gender in the ongoing elections.  According to her, if “in previous years, perhaps women were ignored or taken for granted,” they now “need to worry about how they are being talked about – and what kind of politics is being done in their name.”

“Will political players like Mulayam Singh, Abu Azmi, Amit Shah, Narendra Modi and Baba Ramdev, and the parties they espouse, pay a political cost in this election for their creepy view of women and gender?” she asks. “Or will they be rewarded for it?”

  •      In “Through the Looking Glass: The Rhetoric about Women in the 2014 Election” (under the slug ‘Women as Nation Builders’), Hardeep Dhillon refers to the scramble among leading candidates “to appeal to voters on the basis of their religion, region, and caste (among other identity markers).”  According to her, “Amidst this political landscape, women are increasingly valuable constituents as statistics indicate their growing participation in the voting process; particularly in critical swing-states such as Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Consequently, a renewed vigour to monopolise the votes of women has been made by front-running prime ministerial candidates Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rahul Gandhi of the Indian National Congress (Congress).”

Ammu Joseph


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