Women’s empowerment in UP bleakby The Daily Eye Team December 31 2014, 1:47 pm Estimated Reading Time: 0 mins, 59 secs
Gender equity and the status of women remain the hand-maiden of callous politics in India’s largest state by population and 2014 has been deplorably stark. The ‘Bahu lao, Beti Bachao’ campaign in Uttar Pradesh is the latest feather in the BJP’s cap of regressive and communal politics. Whether it is the felling of the Babri Masjid and the Ramjanmabhoomi movement or the rise of the first woman Dalit chief minister of India, the trajectory of political discourse and related mobilization in Uttar Pradesh is marked by (re)politicising and stoking voter sentiment around the twin issues of caste and religion, most recently witnessed in the spectre of the religious conversions in Agra, the Muzaffarnagar riots and in the political gimmick of the alleged love jihad. The dominant political debates in the Hindi heartland state have circulated around the twin issues of caste and religion in electoral and administrative politics to the neglect of other pertinent ones. For a state with the highest number of seats in parliament and the largest state legislature in the country, such issues have more than often gained national leverage of their own traction.