A tale of two stories

The headline is intriguing:  “No country for women:  no matter who wins the election, India will still be ruled by wealthy men.”  The intro promises a fresh perspective on the mammoth, everlasting election that has, for the most part, been covered as if through a pinhole: “On the eve of the results of the latest national election, the story of a poor woman in Punjab and what it reveals about power in the country.” The article, by Supriya Sharma, begins by presenting data, including disturbing facts such as:  “of the 8,163 candidates in the fray, less than 8% are women.”  It would have been interesting to see where female candidates are placed on the wealth graph, but maybe gender-disaggregated data on candidates’ declared assets is not yet available.  The second section of the article, which tells the story of Sarabjit Kaur, “a Bengali woman in Punjab,” is quite compelling and telling. Unfortunately, the two parts somehow don’t seem to add up to a whole, despite a last paragraph attempting to tie them together. But the moral of the story remains:  “the real measure of a democracy lies in its ability to unsettle the power structures of society and not in faithfully replicating them.”
Ammu Joseph
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