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Dear subscribers,

Namaste.

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Regards,

Neha Srivastava

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एक अफसाना भर नहीं पद्मावती

आत्महत्या के लिए मजबूर करने के प्रसंग को अफसाना बनाकर पेश करना नारी के संघर्ष का तिरस्कार है

आज के इस युग में मुद्दों का जीवनकाल क्षणिक होता है और माहौल चुनावी हो तो तो वे और अधिक क्षणिक हो जाते हैं। प्रतिदिन कोई भड़काऊ बयान या फिर कोई नया उपद्रव सामने आता है और ओझल हो जाता है। इसी आपाधापी में संजय लीला भंसाली की निर्माणाधीन फिल्म पद्मावती को लेकर हुए बवाल का मसला भी आया और चला गया। करणी सेना ने तरह-तरह की चर्चाओं को पत्थर की लकीर मानकर फिल्म के सेट पर धावा बोल दिया। दो-तीन दिन तक माहौल गरम रहने के बाद संजय लीला भंसाली ने कहा कि फिल्म में रानी पद्मावती और अलाउद्दीन खिलजी के रोमांटिक सीन की कोई जगह नहीं होगी।

इस दौरान कई तमाम तरह की बातें कही गईं। किसी ने इतिहास की दुहाई दी तो किसी ने पद्मावती संबंधी इतिहास को ही काल्पनिक बताया, किसी अहिंसा का बखान किया तो किसी ने कहा कि देखिए, हिंदू आतंकी आ गए। मुङो चित्ताैड़ याद आया। मैं बरसों पहले परिवार के साथ वहां घूमने गई थी। तभी पहली बार 16वीं शताब्दी के कवि मलिक मोहम्मद जायसी की रचना पद्मावत पर आधारित रानी पद्मावती की कहानी सुनी-समझी थी। जायसी के इस काव्यग्रंथ में वर्णित कई तथ्य इतिहासकारों के बीच बहस का विषय हैं, लेकिन उस कहानी का जनमानस की चेतना पर एक अलग ही स्थान है।

पद्मावत इसलिए भी महत्वपूर्ण है, क्योंकि जायसी अपनी रचना में शायद अनजाने में ही सही उस युग की महिलाओं की विवश परिस्थितियों का प्रतिबिंब खींच गए। 1जायसी कहते हैं कि अलाउद्दीन खिलजी को चित्ताैड़ के राजा रतनसेन द्वारा निष्कासित किए गए एक कवि के जरिये रानी पद्मावती की अद्वितीय सुंदरता का पता चला। खिलजी रानी के बारे में सुनकर कौतूहल से भर उठा। उसने लाव-लश्कर समेत चित्ताैड़गढ़ की घेराबंदी कर ली और रानी को अपने हरम के लिए मांगने लगा। रानी ने साफ मना कर दिया, पर परिस्थितियों से विवश होकर उन्होंने खिलजी को आईने में अपना प्रतिबिंब देखने की अनुमति दे दी। रानी का प्रतिबिंब देखकर खिलजी हवस से और पागल हो उठा। उसने चित्ताैड़गढ़ पर हमला तेज कर दिया, परंतु राजा रतनसेन के वीर योद्धा टस से मस न हुए।

खिलजी ने चालाकी से राजा रतनसेन को अगवा किया, पर चित्ताैड़ के राजपूतों ने डोलियों में रानी पद्मावती को भेजने का स्वांग रचकर राजा को आजाद करा लिया। खिलजी के सारे दांव नाकाम रहे, फिर भी वह मद में चूर होकर चित्ताैड़गढ़ की घेरेबंदी किए रहा। अंतत: जब किले का राशन समाप्त होने लगा तो राजपूत योद्धा बाहर निकल वीरगति को प्राप्त हुए और रानी पद्मावती समेत हजारों महिलाओं ने जौहर कर लिया। जब खिलजी किले के अंदर पहुंचा तो उसे राख के अलावा कुछ हाथ न लगा। यदि इस विषय पर गहराई से मनन करें तो पाएंगे कि भले ही इस काव्य की विषयवस्तु रानी पद्मावती हों, पर कहानी पुरुषों के चारों ओर घूमती दिखाई पड़ती है। खिलजी को रानी के विचारों, उनकी आशाओं आशंकाओं और उनकी सम्मति की परवाह न थी। रानी द्वारा खिलजी के प्रस्ताव को ठुकराए जाने के बाद भी उसकी रानी को पाने की ललक में कोई कमी न आई और आती भी क्यों?

पद्मावती तो उस आततायी के लिए किसी वस्तु के समान स्वामित्व प्राप्त करने एवं भोग करने की चीज से अधिक कुछ नहीं थीं। मरते दम तक अपनी असहमति पर टिके रहने का पद्मावती का दृढ़ निश्चय हृदय को शोकाकुल करता है। उस जमाने में नारी होना आसान बात न थी। औरतों और बच्चों को विदेशी हमलावर सैनिक युद्ध की लूट समझ उठा ले जाते और गाय-बकरी के समान गुलामों की मंडियों में बेच दिया करते थे। इस यौन-उत्पीड़न को मजहबी कानून की मंजूरी प्राप्त थी। यदि आप तत्कालीन भारतीयों की इस बदहाली का समकालीन उदाहरण देखना चाहते हैं तो 2014 में इराक के माउंट सिंजर में आइएस द्वारा बंदी बनाई गई यजीदी महिलाओं पर ढाए गए जुल्म-सितम याद करें।

चूंकि रानी पद्मावती दुर्गम परिस्थितियों से परिचित थीं इसलिए उसके पास अपनी असहमति को लागू करने का एकमात्र साधन था-जौहर। जौहर में कोई कीर्ति नहीं, कोई प्रताप नहीं। जौहर आशाहीन परिस्थितियों में घिरी हताश औरतों का अपनी नियति को स्वीकार करने का अंतिम साधन था। उन महिलाओं के सामने दो असाध्य विकल्प थे-मृत्यु अथवा यौन दासता। ऐसी हताशापूर्ण परिस्थिति किसी मनुष्य के सामने कभी नहीं आनी चाहिए। जिन वीरांगनाओं को ऐसा निर्णय लेने के लिए विवश होना पड़ा, हम उनके स्वाभिमान और उनके चरित्र की प्रशंसा ही कर सकते हैं। 1आज जब वामपंथी नारीवादी और अन्य उदारवादी बुद्धिजीवी जायसी की कविता को महज एक काल्पनिक प्रेम कहानी बताते हैं तो नारी होने के नाते मेरा मन कचोटने लगता है।

जी करता है ऊंची आवाज में चीख कर पूछ लूं कि क्या 21वीं शताब्दी में भी प्रेम में नारी की सहमति की महत्ता किसी को समझ नहीं आती? नारी को भोग की वस्तु समझना और उस पर अधिकार पाने की चाह रखना किसी प्रकार का प्रेम नहीं होता। हम एक ऐसे विश्व में जी रहे हैं, जहां नारी मानवता का आधा हिस्सा है। सदियों से अपने अधिकार की लड़ाई लड़ने के बावजूद वह आज तक समाज को अपनी सहमति का महत्व नहीं समझा पाई है। आखिर इसकी अनदेखी कैसे हो सकती है कि एक निर्भया को अपनी जान गंवाने के बाद भी न्याय नहीं मिलता? हमारे एक पड़ोसी देश पाकिस्तान में हिंदू युवतियों का मवेशियों की भांति लेन-देन किया जाता है और एक अन्य पड़ोसी देश बांग्लादेश में सरकार बलात्कार पीड़ित युवतियों को अपने ही आक्रमणकारियों संग विवाह करने का विकल्प मुहैया कराने वाला कानून बनाने जा रही है।

अमेरिका जैसे विकसित देश में भी एक अचेत महिला के बलात्कारी को मात्र छह महीने की कैद देकर मुक्त कर दिया जाता है। इस सबके बीच खिलजी जैसे क्रूर एवं चरित्रहीन तानाशाह, जो अपनी हवस के कारण एक महिला को आत्महत्या करने को मजबूर कर देता है, की कहानी को अफसाना बनाकर परोसने का प्रयत्न जुगुप्सा ही पैदा करता है। यह न केवल पद्मावती का अनादर है, बल्कि हर पीड़िता की वेदना और हर नारी के संघर्ष का तिरस्कार भी है। भले ही पद्मावती ने नारीवाद का नाम न सुना हो, लेकिन मरते दम तक अपने निर्णय पर अडिग रहने की उनकी कहानी दुनिया की हर महिला के लिए एक प्रेरणा है।

 

Original was published in http://www.jagran.com/editorial/apnibaat-padmavati-not-a-afsana-only-15496130.html?src=HP-EDI-ART#sthash.fRo1Cuvf.dpuf

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Hum bhi dekhenge…

बुतों की ताक़त से हुये ख़ाक करोड़ों ग़ाजी,
तुम मौत़ के फ़रिश्ते क्या डराअाेगे …
जिस हिन्द की मुकद्दस मिट्टी से उठते हैं ये बुत,
उसी मिट्टी में, सनम़, तुम भी दफनाये जाओगे …

Translation:  

Crores of Ghazis were destroyed by the power of these same idols,
You angels of death don’t scare them,
The pure, holy, pious soil of Hind, from which these idols rise,
Is the same soil where you’ll end up resting for eternity.


Original composition created by yours truly in response to Ms Rana Ayyub sharing a few chosen lines from famous Pakistani poet Faiz’s composition “Hum dekhenge“. While Faiz’s poetry was written against the tyranny of Zia Ul Haq’s autocracy, the choice of lines by Ms Ayyub, in an obviously Indian context, told a different story. Hence, my response.

 

Culture of abuse and misogyny in Indian politics: A Reality Check

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Sanjay Nirupam referred to Smriti Irani as “thumkewali” while participating in a debate on live TV. Image Credit: abplive.in

 

Its no secret that a culture of verbal abuse and misogyny prevails in Indian politics, rather shamelessly. We, the voters, have learnt to live with it. In fact, it won’t be a stretch to say that if the politician is a woman, we almost expect her to be subjected to sexist remarks. Women from across the political spectrum are subjected to the crass misogyny that passes for discourse in Indian politics, from Mamata Banerjee to Smriti Irani, there is hardly a woman politician who hasn’t been targeted. For some, its overt, in the form of public abuse by other leaders, mostly opposition but sometimes even from their own party, while for others, its covert, in the form of sexual harassment, unwanted sexual advances and sometimes even requests for sexual favours. If you are a woman who wants a career in politics, you have to deal with this, is the underlying message. And well, everyone deals with it in different ways. Of course women aren’t the only targets and men are subjected to verbal abuse as well. If one was to receive a paisa for every abuse hurled their way, I suspect PM Narendra Modi would be the richest man in the world, but lets not digress.
In the recent past, two prominent cases of sexist verbal abuse in Indian politics have come to light. First was, Union Textile Minister Smriti Irani being subjected to everything from crass, vulgar innuendos by Assam Congress leader to plain-old-sexist statements by journalists and media houses (Telegraph editorial headlines (1 and 2), controversial journalist known for her sexism in the Twitterverse, Rajyasree). Second incident was the shameful comment by UP BJP Vice-President Dayashankar Singh on Dalit leader Mayawati, calling her worse than a prostitute, for which he was expelled from the party and is now facing arrest.
What is notably perplexing is the impunity with which politicians do it, and the confusing morality of those who defend it when the offender is one of their own or the target is on the opposition side. Take the case of Smriti Irani here, when Telegraph came out with the obviously sexist headlines against her, most journalists who fancy themselves as feminists, remained silent. Priyanka Chaturvedi, controversial Congress spokesperson and recently self-anointed crusader for online misogyny, went one step further and defended the Telegraph headlines as “not-sexist” (even though such an article would never have been written for a male politician). It is notable that Priyanka Chaturvedi, once endorsed the term “Hate Hags” for women supporters of Modi. You’d think that’s the limit, but you’d be wrong. Self-styled feminist, Barkha Dutt went even further. She wrote an opinion piece acquiescing that even though Smriti was a victim of misogyny, she herself is to be blamed and shamed for the fate that had befallen her. Smriti, she argued, has never stood by other victims of sexism and therefore, had it coming. Even though Barkha is known for her subtle  use of conjunctions & innuendos to do the blaming and shaming (eg: Curious use of “but” to subtly say Charlie Hebdo had it coming https://twitter.com/BDUTT/status/553434821821595649), this author didn’t expect this from her.
This isn’t the first foray of journalists, who fancy themselves as feminists, into defending misogyny. Not only have they defended molestors and paedophiles, just because they happened to be part of the coterie, they’ve even launched full-frontal attacks on the rape-victims.
Now fast forward to the second case, Mayawati. Not only did all prominent news channels devote their primetime to debating the sexist comments of the ex-BJP VP, newspapers made their front page headlines, there were nation wide protests organized by BSP, a very heated Parliament debate which led to an apology from the Home Minister, but also the offender, Dayashankar Singh was expelled from the party and an FIR registered against him. All of this was perfectly justified, until BSP leaders took to the streets of Lucknow and started abusing the wife and 12-year old daughter of Dayashankar Singh in extremely crass and vulgar language. And guess, what Mayawati defending the attacks on Dayashankar’s female relatives! Misogynist statements from BSP aren’t anything new. Founder of BSP, Kanshi Ram, had once used the same language against the owner of Dainik Jagran when the paper published an unfavorable news against BSP. What is unacceptable is that despite being a woman, BSP Supremo chose to defend the same misogyny when it was directed at someone other than herself.
When it comes to treating women as easy targets, no party has their hands clean. There have been several cases where BJP leaders have used some extremely crass language to attack their opponents and have been pulled up for the same. Often rightly so. Some in the BJP, like Madhya Pradesh Minister, Babulal Gaur despite being repeat offenders, haven’t been punished. But are the “non-Right Wing” politicians “better” in this regard as they claim to be? Hardly.
After listening to the grandstanding by quite a few non-RW leaders on primetime debates about the culture of abuse in Right-Wing on the Dayashankar Singh abuse case, this author decided to search instances of “non-Right Wing” politicians resorting to abuse.
Please note, due to the sheer volume of the results of this seemingly innocuous query, I’ve limited my search to
a) only major parties, national or regional
b) only MLAs, MPs or prominent leaders
c) only verbal abuse (have not covered accusations of rape, murder, sexual harassment etc).
d) have included results where targets are either male or female
This by no means is a complete list since this author was only able to search what was electronically available in the two languages known to her, English and Hindi. This author is sure there are instances that were covered in regional media but never made their way to English ones. If you think we’ve missed something, please feel free to tweet the references to us (@neha_aks) or use the comments section below. So here is what we found.
Ironically, many of the leaders who feature in this list, claim to be defenders of women’s rights and give long sermons about decency in public life but forget to lead by example.
  1. Smriti Irani illegitimate wife of Narendra Modi: Assam Cong leader, Nilamoni Sen Deka, hits a new low in Indian politics http://www.india.com/news/india/smriti-irani-illegitimate-wife-of-narendra-modi-assam-congress-leader-hits-a-new-low-in-indian-politics-818541/
  2. UP Congress leader and ex-President Rita Bahuguna Joshi abusing Mayawati, asking what price do people need to pay to rape her https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o95x50Wi7nw
  3. Madhya Pradesh Congress leader abusing villagers who came to protest: https://t.co/txpSHRJplu
  4. Racist TN Congress chief EVKS Elangovan mocks PM Modi’s dark looks and is bowled over by the fair beauty of the Gandhis: https://t.co/7XqQ2HhNbH
  5. When AAP activist was molested by AAP leader, Party Chief and Delhi CM told her to “compromise”. She killed herself: https://t.co/ujq7vZHVkx
  6. Congress veteran Digvijay Singh called his colleague “Tunch maal”, which is a colloquial sir for loose woman: https://t.co/kvi7DNQo7w
  7. CPM leader from Kerala declared on Facebook that some women in Congress, strip for male colleagues to get election tickets: https://t.co/l193M0fmx7
  8. Dalit man alleges senior Congress leader & Delhi unit chief Ajay Maken abused and threatened to kill his son if he came anywhere near AICC: https://t.co/qPBZIaUm0H
  9. Congress Kerala unit’s official Twitter handle shames a victim because she filed a case against Kerala ex-CM Oommen Chandy for sexual harassment. Calls her, “Woman with loose morality”. The tweet has been deleted, screenshot available here: https://twitter.com/neha_aks/status/755807943573069824
  10. TN Congress Chief EVKS Elangovan uses a vulgar remark linking TN CM Jayalalitha and PM Modi: https://t.co/H6ghFDFHBe
  11. Journalist-cum-Congress leader Amaresh Mishra, who used to attend national TV debates as Congress representative from UP, was so abusive towards supporters of other political parties on Twitter, that his twitter account got suspended. He was later arrested for threatening to kill Narendra Modi. Some specimen of his tweets are storified here: https://t.co/PzROrJbEJn
  12. Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia makes Modi the target of his directed abuse, comments on his personal life, calls him a failed husband: https://t.co/K5nCMoEMPx
  13. Suave Cong leader and ex-Cabinet minister in the UP Mani Shankar Aiyar declares Modi is a snake, scorpion & a dirty man https://t.co/weGZRRc4XA
  14. Congress MP Soma Ganda Patel uses a casteist slur against OBC Narendra Modi who is of Ghanchi caste https://t.co/NuHdSkaT3N
  15. Another suave Congress leader & ex-Union Minister, IITian Jairam Ramesh likened PM Modi to the mythological demon, Bhasmasur https://t.co/E1TJfqZaTk
  16. Seasoned Congress leader & ex-union minister Ghulam Nabi Azad uses casteist slur against Modi,calls him “Gangu Teli”https://t.co/KgJKrW3VDH
  17. Then Union Minister and Senior Cong leader Beni Prasad Verma declares Modi is a man-eater (aadamkhor) https://t.co/HpRBuM86cS
  18. Congress senior leader Beni Prasad Verma calls Modi a “RSS goon” and Rajnath Singh his “slave” https://t.co/rfIR1bkDWs
  19. Repeat offended Beni Prasad Verma, calls Modi an “animal who needs to be controlled w a whip” https://t.co/QfDpX1lzjY
  20. Veteran Kerala CPI(M) leader VS Achuthanandan calls Narendra Modi a “slaughterer” https://t.co/36JRyhqaUw
  21. Gujarat Congress leader Arjun Modhwadia compares PM Modi to medieval tyrant Aurangzeb: https://t.co/tE2Jp2XrqM (His party has since started considering Aurangzeb a secular icon, but we’re going to assume he didn’t mean it as a compliment)
  22. NC leader and alliance partner of Indira Gandhi, Farooq Abdullah, calls Narendra Modi, a “dictator”: https://t.co/ZF2xN3x0ZT
  23. Congress President Sonia Gandhi, calls Modi, “Maut ka saudagar” (merchant of death): https://t.co/fG9uMMtHmq
  24.  Congress spokesperson who became a crusader against online misogyny, Priyanka Chaturvedi, found the term “hate hags” coined by Outlook magazine for women supporters of Modi, a perfect term to describe vocal women who disagreed with her politics. This tweet too has been deleted, however, a screenshot can be found here: https://twitter.com/neha_aks/status/755825619632398341
  25. Trinamool Congress MP Tapas Pal said he would ask his “boys” to go and rape CPM women members: https://t.co/MdeRVoMpKd
  26. UP Congress leader Sriprakash Jaiwal declared “cricket victories are like old wives, not as fun as they used to be” https://t.co/S1ViNSziOK
  27. Rajasthan Congress leader & ex-NCW chief Mamta Sharma had some advise for women: “Do not be offended when called “sexy”” https://t.co/nqMxfezPtL
  28. Rajasthan Congress leader and ex-NCW chief Mamta Sharma advises women to dress ‘carefully’ to avoid molestation https://t.co/1IVS5fCZAY
  29. Senior Congress leader Abhijit Mukherjee declared the Nirbhaya protests were done by “dented painted” women https://t.co/HrqlHxegTo
  30. Congress leader, ex-CM of Delhi and UP CM hopeful Sheila Dixit reacted to a journalist’s rape and murder by saying, “women should not be too adventurous” http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Soumya-murder-CM-remark-has-city-fuming/articleshow/3553662.cms
  31. Samajwadi leader Mulayam Singh Yadav declared that since “rural women are ugly, wont benefit from Women’s Reservation Bill” https://t.co/6Aqm70PPMF
  32. Samajwadi Messiah Mulayam Singh says rapists should not be hanged because “boys make mistakes” https://t.co/Q55kD1PonE
  33. National President of JDU and veteran MP Sharad Yadav: “South women are dark but they are as beautiful as their bodies…We don’t see it here. They know dance” https://t.co/vzYdyk5WHj – He repeatedly refused to apologize for his remarks, claiming they weren’t racist or sexist.
  34. When discussing Bill on stalking, National President of JDU and veteran MP Sharad Yadav said, “Who among us here have not followed women?” https://t.co/VfHeTSkvqu
  35. Lalu Prasad Yadav, another prominent Samajwadi, declared he will make Bihar’s roads as smooth as Hema’s cheeks https://t.co/FQhNbAC0Pv
  36. When Mayawati accused Mulayam’s men for a failed rape attempt, Mulayam defended himself with “Is she so pretty tht anyone wud want to rape her”? https://t.co/X0xANb0ZGS
  37. Samajwadi Party supremo Mulayam Singh Yadav made a personal jibe at Mayawati saying he doesn’t know if he should call her Mrs or Miss https://t.co/3YNJiTssaA
  38. Lohiyaite JDU leader Ali Anwar said “Good Smriti Irani has been made textile minister, it will help her cover body” https://t.co/DCrnAHQpGs
  39. Lalu Prasad Yadav: “Hema has turned 70, why is BJP calling her now?” Followed by a vulgar sexual colloquial slur https://t.co/cknIm1Bwpu
  40. Another Lohiyaite, Samajwadi Party leader Shivpal Yadav questions Mayawati’s character, her relations with Kanshi Ram & calls her mad https://t.co/jN6v1Be3x2
  41. Racist AAP leader Kumar Vishwas: “In olden days, nurses used to come from Kerala, they were black-yellowish, so one wud instantly call them sister. One would pray to God that they turn out to be sister only” https://t.co/DjeGucoCit
  42. Sexist AAP leader, Kumar Vishwas, on Sania Mirza: “She wasn’t able to play any field properly, so decided to try out in another. We’re sad that she collected fame from India but husband from Pakistan” https://t.co/yeMp6Fcj1b
  43. Congress leader Vyalar Ravi, when questioned about molestation charges against PJ Kurien, asked the reporter if she had a similar experience (molestation) with Kurien. https://t.co/v0IIIwqQHf
  44. TMC leader Abdul Rezzak Mollah calls Rupa Ganguly, a real-life Draupadi. Says he knows the length of the cigarette she smokes and who she lives with https://t.co/TQfLQteH4h
  45. TMC leader & WB Minority Dev & Finance Corp chairman Abu Mondal allegedly abused & hit a toll plaza worker with shoe https://t.co/QAxkTKyOJc
  46. Veteran Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam calls Smriti Irani “thumkewali” on live tv: http://youtu.be/Ndk-HN1UpEw 
  47. CPM MP Anil Basu: She (Mamata Banerjee) shud’ve been pulled by hair, dragged home to Kalighat & given a lesson for blocking a national highway https://t.co/DLfPuOLZ9Q
  48. CPM’s Subhas Chakraborty on Mamata’s Maa-Mati-Manush slogan: “She is an infertile woman;wht does she know about Maa? https://t.co/DLfPuOLZ9Q
  49. CPM’s Anil Biswas used the phrase “Jomero Aruchi” for Mamata which means even the devil won’t touch her https://t.co/DLfPuOLZ9Q
  50. CPM’s Anil Basu on Mamata Banerjee: “Which bhatar (male patron) is funding her?” while making a reference to Sonagachi sex workers https://t.co/xsMQgo7dVy
  51. TMC MLA Wilson Chapramari threatens to set DM & senior officials ablaze if they didnt obey his orders https://t.co/yIMwf3sfqz
  52. TMC leader Anwar Khan says “hit the EC (Election Commission) on its face with shoes” https://t.co/8rIcIE2QXP
  53. Suave Cong MP Tharoor calls Modi  “bleeder” (incorrect usage of the term) & therefore clarified meaning as “someone who bleeds the nation” https://t.co/NqVYPKtQrp
  54. TRS Chief KCR said he would drag Sonia Gandhi and then CM Reddy “the the bazaar” if they didnt create Telangana https://t.co/KVrLLKZEP6
  55. TMC chief Mamata Banerjee threatens Amit Shah & makes obscene references about bamboos and backsides. https://t.co/R35LeUjtPs
  56. CPM leader Anisur Rehman asks Mamata B what her fee would be considering she gave Rs 20,000 to rape victim http://toi.in/9DivEa/a18cg 
  57. NCP Veteran leader & ex-Dy CM Ajit Pawar asked if he should urinate in dams to fill them up, when asked abt drought situation in Maharashtra https://t.co/fLi6DTvYB9
  58. TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee asked if Jadavpur students were protesting due to ban of liquor and drugs in campus https://t.co/Gkt9nOgVUM
  59. AAP Leader and Cabinet Minister of Delhi, Kapil Misra made a vulgar innuendo about Modi & Smriti Irani. Now deleted. Screenshot can be found here: https://twitter.com/neha_aks/status/756139816220237824
  60. AAP chief & Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal declared the PM of India is a coward and a psychopath (with incorrect spelling) http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/Modi-a-coward-and-a-psychopath-Arvind-Kejriwal-following-CBI-raid/articleshow/50181493.cms
  61. BSP’s Naseemuddin Siddiqui wanted expelled BJP VP Dayashankar Singh’s wife&daughter be “presented” (vulgar innuendo) https://t.co/eEURG9NNc1
  62. Dayashankar Singh is an ‘illegitimate child’, says BSP MLA Usha Choudhary https://t.co/H5jMv2pEAk
  63. BSP Chandigarh Unit chief Jannat Jahan announces reward of Rs 50 lakh for Daya Shankar Singh’s tongue https://t.co/SSTVX3pFFP
  64. Congress leader and ex-Union minister of women and child development, Renuka Chowdhary, calls female Cabinet minister in Modi Govt, Harsimrat Kaur Badal , “kachra” (garbage) http://zeenews.india.com/news/india/ugly-spat-in-parliament-renuka-chaudhary-calls-harsimrat-kaur-kachra-know-what-happened_1910553.html
 This article first appeared in OpIndia

Bihar polls: Nitish Kumar’s copycat strategy fools no one; Lalu may be only gainer

Phir ek baar, Nitish Sarkar? Really?

As much as Nitish Kumar seems to hate Narendra Modi, he seems very much in awe of him. His entire Bihar campaign sounds like a carbon copy of  Modi’s 2014 campaign. What Nitish Kumar doesn’t realise is that the memory of the 2014 election is way too fresh for this. From “Parche pe Charcha” that reminds you of “Chai Pe Charcha” to “Ghar Ghar Dastak” which reminds you of “Har Har Modi, Ghar Ghar Modi”, he appears to be copying every detail from the Modi campaign. “Phir ek baar, Nitish Sarkar” is not too different from “Ab ki Baar, Modi Sarkar.”

There is even a “Munna se Nitish” comic book coming out, which sounds like a copy of “Bal Narendra”, an illustrated book that covered Narendra Modi’s childhood. Even the “Bihari DNA” campaign is reminiscent of the “Gujarati Asmita” campaign of Modi in 2007. Finally, Nitish Kumar’s rallies seem to have acquired names just like Modi’s. Imitation may be the best form of flattery, for sure, but I hope Nitish realises that imitation only creates replica artists, not Van Goghs.

But, on a more serious note, one wonders what happened to Nitish Kumar? An able administrator, Nitish forged the grand JDU-BJP alliance and together they were able to deliver “Sushasan” (good governance) in Bihar. Every Bihari can recount how those days defined “Achche Din,” especially after Lalu Prasad Yadav’s preceding tenures. Everything was working well until Nitish Kumar started a very public campaign against Narendra Modi. From avoiding him at dinner to espousing Ishrat Jahan’s cause as “Bihar ki Beti”, Nitish’s dislike for Modi was no secret. In a way, Nitish should be given credit for recognising Modi’s potential much before anyone else and it makes sense that he saw a space for himself as the non-Congress option against Modi, especially given the latter’s very “Hindutva” credentials.

PTI image.

But then, what went wrong? Pretty much everything, one can say. Modi’s popularity kept growing and the list of opponents along with it. Nitish Kumar was no longer the only face against Modi; he was one of many. One has to wonder if Nitish Kumar played his cards too soon by breaking up with BJP in 2012.

So now we have a Nitish Kumar, whose claim to fame as the “Sushasan Babu” of Bihar is in tatters after joining hands with his biggest opponent under the banner of “secular forces” against “communal BJP”. Obviously, this begs the question, why were his secular principles dormant during the years of partnership with the BJP? But let’s leave principles aside, for they rarely have any meaning in politics. On the ground, JDU-BJP was a behemoth force to reckon with; from caste mathematics to governance, everything was going in its favour.

That can hardly be said for the “Mahagathbandhan”, as nothing seems to be working for them. When Nitish Kumar, the able administrator, joins forces with the two parties most notorious for corruption in India, RJD and Congress, he can kiss the “good-governance” campaign slogan goodbye. To be sure, the caste math looks good on paper, but one also has to counter that with the reality that the Yadav-Kurmi rivalry in UP and Bihar is legendary. Both SP and Pappu Yadav have recognised this opportunity and have declared a candidacy against the Mahagathbandhan, which could split Yadav votes two if not three ways. Admittedly, SP has little or no influence in Bihar, but its reputation as “Yadav leader” in next door UP cannot be written off. Pappu Yadav, a.k.a. Rajiv Ranjan, a local strongman and a five-time parliamentarian, is a force to reckon with at least in some cnostituencies.

Given that the RJD’s Yadav-Muslim combination has yielded good results and both JDU and Congress claim to represent Muslims, one would think the Muslim vote is a sure thing. But here too Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM has emerged as the X factor on how the minority vote will swing. The NCP’s breakup with the Mahagathbandhan, which means loss of heavy-weight Tariq Anwar’s presence, is another minus factor. This is not to mention the huge loss of the Mahadalit vote that the very disgraceful ouster of Jitan Ram Manjhi will cost the JDU.

So far Nitish Kumar’s campaign promises also fail to awe. The claim of “Crime and Corruption-free Bihar” comes under serious doubt the moment you note that JDU is contesting less seats (100) than they won (117) last time. Even the dying Congress has managed to wrest 10 times more seats (40) than they won in 2010 (four). This indicates the low level of control Nitish Kumar exerts over the coalition. Not too long ago, Nitish Kumar was in the headlines asking for a “Special Status” for Bihar; with Modi delivering a “Special Package” of Rs 1.25 lakh crore, way more than Nitish Kumar even asked for, his election promise of raising a Rs 2.7 lakh crore without the centre’s help seems too reactionary, if not downright impossible.

His PR Team doesn’t seem to be working any wonders either. Following in Modi’s footsteps, Nitish Kumar tried to increase his social media presence by holding an “Ask-Me-Anything (AMA)” session on Twitter, but not only did he receive a weak response, most of his answers circumvented the questions asked. Recently, Nitish Kumar authored an article in The Times of India titled “Bihar’s great leap forward”, which is an unfortunate re-use of a phrase invented by the Communist Party of China to refer to an economic and social campaign that flopped. Overall, Nitish Kumar’s stars just don’t seem to align the right way.

In the grand scheme of things, the only winner appears to be Lalu Prasad Yadav. From a staggering 103 seats in 2000, Lalu’s party had fallen to a meagre 22 in 2010. After his conviction by a CBI Court in 2013, and the humiliating defeat of his wife Rabri Devi in the Lok Sabha elections of 2014 and Pappu Yadav’s separation from the RJD, it almost seemed like the “Lalu era” of Bihar politics was over. Who knew his arch rival would become his knight in shining armor and revive his career? Not only has Lalu managed to gain relevance again, courtesy Nitish Kumar, but he also seems to be positioned best for a revival.

Irrespective of whether the Mahagathbandhan wins or loses, Lalu Yadav seems to be in a win-win situation. Given that his competitor JDU is now his ally, he stands to win more seats than he would’ve alone, despite Pappu Yadav and the SP threat. Moreover, Nitish’s reputation as an able administrator might actually help Lalu in some of the urban and semi-urban seats, especially if the BJP’s candidate is weak. Speculation is rife that Lalu plans to ditch Nitish post election, based on how well he scores, and bag the Opposition chair by re-aligning himself to other Yadavs, especially if the JDU-Cong combination fails to pull its weight. Lalu’s “poison” comment on Nitish’s CM candidacy suggests that these rumours may be more than just that.

It sure promises to be an interesting fight. One wonders if Nitish Kumar has allowed ambition and envy to overcome his political acumen.

[This article appeared in Firstpost: Nitish Kumar’s copycat strategy fools no one; Lalu maybe only gainer

and The News Minute: Nitish stands to lose the most in a campaign ripped off of Modi]

Section 377 has nothing to do with Bhartiya Sanskriti

The modern Indian state’s legal approach towards homosexuality is not derived from Indian culture but from the Victorian and Judeo-Christian ethos of its former rulers

With India abstaining from the gay rights vote in the UN, the debate for Section 377 has rekindled. However, as Ms Sarasvati describes in this Swarajya piece, the debate in India on 377 has been extremely convoluted. Most of the media coverage on this topic is either about someone from the LGBT community being harassed or some politician making some absurd statements on gay rights. Some misguided statements on “Bhartiya Sanskriti” by right-wing leaders have converted this debate into a convenient stick for the Left to beat the Right with. Sadly, most of the discourse on 377 races past the real issue, which is: India’s burden of its colonial past.

Bharatiya Sanskriti & Section 377

Bharatiya society and its ideas of morality have historically been much more fluid than Victorian ones. In fact, that was one of the main reasons our white invaders called us barbarians and savages and were determined to “fix” us. From the elevated status of women in Bharat [1] to its innate acceptance of human sexuality (khajuraho), everything about Bharatiya society offended the colonizers’ sensibilities. Society and its rules are fluid, they change with time and our erudite ancestors recognized that. It is for this reason that laws were never used to enforce morality in ancient Bharat for, requiring laws to enforce ideas of morality is the mark of a weak civilization. Bhartiya civilization was never that weak. It celebrated dissent, plurality and all the aspects of human life including death. One factor that distinguished Bharatiya society from colonizers was its openness towards accepting human sexuality as a fact of life, unlike the colonizers who were troubled by it. Victorian attitudes on sexuality are no secret
In the Victorian era, the gender roles were still persistent.  Having sexual desire was identified almost solely with men and women of lower classes, like prostitutes (Degler, 1974). During this time even male doctors were persuaded that women had no sex drive.  When a woman did express sexual desire, it was seen as a disease that needed to be taken care of immediately and with drastic measures – like removing the sex organs (Degler, 1974).  Sexual desire was thought to be a quality that only men should have in this time period (Degler, 1974). [2]
In fact the very act of trying to adjudicate upon what people do inside their bedrooms is alien to Bhartiya Sanskriti and is a judeo-Christian idea enforced upon us as part of “colonization”.  While Islam considers homosexuality a transgression against Allah [3][4], the Bible [5] supports capital punishment for homosexuality.
So the origin of Section 377 under British Law for India was rooted in Judeo-Christian theology, Victorian ideas of morality, colonial mindset of “curing the colonies” and not in Bhartiya Sanskriti as often argued.
The Human Rights Watch report shows, that British colonial rulers brought in these laws because they saw the conquered cultures as morally lax on sexuality. The British also wanted to defend their own colonists against the “corrupting” effect of the colonies. One British viceroy of India warned that British soldiers could succumb to “replicas of Sodom and Gomorrah” as they acquired the “special Oriental vices.”

In the early 19th century, the British drafted a new model Indian Penal Code, finally put into force in 1860. Section 377 punished “carnal intercourse against the order of nature” with up to life imprisonment.

Versions of Section 377 spread across the British Empire, from Africa to Southeast Asia. Through it, British colonists imposed one view on sexuality, by force, on all their colonized peoples. Over time, these laws came to seek punishment against not particular acts but whole classes of people. The British, for instance, listed “eunuchs” – their term for India’s hijras, or transgender people – as a “criminal tribe” because they were prone to “sodomy.” Simply for appearing in public, hijras could be arrested and jailed for up to two years.” [6]
Entire class of Indian citizens (Hijras) who held prominent positions in Indian society, prior to colonizations were outlawed under the Victorian system. Compare that to our ancestors who understood the importance of sexuality in human life and gave it its proper place in the society. “Kama”, ie desire, including sexual desire were considered one of the Purushartha. Its definitely a cliche by now, but Kamasutra was written in Bharat, Temple of Khajuraho was built in Bharat and not the modern West. One wouldn’t be surprised if a lot of sexual positions chronicled by Maharishi Vatsyayan in Kamasutra and in Khajuraho temples were considered “against the order of nature” under such oppressive Victorian standards. The erudite S Gurumurthy in this very pertinent piece states:
In the Indian (Bhartiya)— read Hindu — civilisational ethos, humans had never been seen as belonging to one uniform behavioural class. The Indian civilisation had recognised diversity in behaviour and morals. It therefore never imposed one moral value or rule for all. But it believed in a hierarchy of moral principles. It held out right conduct as ideal for the rest to imbibe and follow, but on their own volition. Even as it had evolved normative moral principles for the mainline society, it had subtly ignored, rather than focus on or punish, the deviants. Those who could not follow an ideal were never held as illustration for others to follow.” [7]
So the very existence of a law that outlaws acts by consensual adults is against Bharatiya Sanskriti.

Section 377: Concerns and the road ahead

Lets analyze what 377 is all about.
377. Unnatural offences.—Whoever voluntarily has carnal inter­course against the order of nature with any man, woman or animal, shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life], or with impris­onment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine. Explanation.—Penetration is sufficient to constitute the carnal intercourse necessary to the offence described in this section.” 
Evidently, the crucial aspects of this law is the clause of “against the order of nature”. Lets have to take a look at how this section has been historically interpreted in the court. According to this TOI report,
The Supreme Court, while re-criminalizing gay sex by upholding the constitutional validity of Section 377 of IPC, unsuccessfully searched for a “uniform test” to classify acts as ‘carnal intercourse against the order of nature’ which attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

A bench of Justices G S Singhvi and S J Mukhopadhaya scanned through judgments from 1925 till date and failed to find any uniform norm to classify what constituted the core of Section 377.” [8]
Its quite clear that no clear norm has been defined as to what is “the order of nature” when it comes to sex. Another crucial aspect of this law is not in the clause thats IN the act, but a clause thats NOT in this act, ie “clause of consent”. According to the same TOI report,
It (SC Bench) noticed that in all these cases, there was absence of ‘consent’ and the sexual act was forced on the victim. “In our opinion, the acts which fall within the ambit of the section can only be determined with reference to the act itself and the circumstances in which it is executed,” the bench said.” [8]
As we can see Indian courts in all their wisdom, have seldom used Section 377 to punish consensual acts of LGBT sex. It has been historically used to punish acts of “non-consensual and markedly coercive situations”. Does this mean the LGBT community is making all this hullabaloo for nothing? Not quite, Even though there have been less than 200 cases filed under Section 377 in the 150 years of the law’s existence, this section is repeatedly used to harass the LGBT community and forcing them into hiding, according to LGBT Rights Organizations. What’s worse is that being underground ensures that the community cannot access quality healthcare thereby diminishing the efforts of HIV/AIDS awareness workers.
The Bench goes on to state:
 
All the aforementioned cases refer to non-consensual and markedly coercive situations and the keenness of the court in bringing justice to the victims who were either women or children cannot be discounted while analyzing the manner in which the section has been interpreted. We are apprehensive of whether the court would rule similarly in a case of proved consensual intercourse between adults. Hence, it is difficult to prepare a list of acts which would be covered by the section,” it (SC Bench) said.” [8]
This is a very valid and poignant concern because a quick look in IPC indicates that there is no other law to protect non-female victims of rape. So the court has historically used Section 377 to punish perpetrators of paedophilia, bestiality, male rape etc. The new Protection of Child against Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 protects children ( defined as any person under the age of 18) against paedophilia but Section 354 and Section 375 both deal with rape of a woman by a man only. It is extremely concerning that laws against crimes of acid attacks, voyeurism, stalking etc are not gender-neutral. Moreover, the fact that the same law that protects against some heinous crimes, also outlaws consensual sex between two consenting adults because they don’t fit the Victorian ideas of morality, spells trouble.
One of the proposed solutions is a simple addition of the clause “without consent” in Section 377 would solve most if not all of the issues. Section 377 with a consent clause would continue to include bestiality, male rape etc for which it is used in-practice but would de-criminalize consensual sex. In the long-run, rape law, also known as the Nirbhaya Act, should be amended to make them gender-neutral. This would save the LGBT community against police abuse in the form of detention, questioning, extortion, harassment, forced sex, payment of hush money; against negative and discriminatory beliefs towards same sex relations and sexual minorities in general; and would bolster HIV/AIDS prevention drives [10]. There are more proposals out there but one thing is for sure, solving the problem is an achievable goal. Many countries, like Australia, Fiji, Hong Kong and New Zealand, who had inherited same 377-like laws have since abolished them.
So if the solution here is achievable, why are our lawmakers hesitating? Because a crucial aspect of amending existing laws, especially for such controversial issues is consensus building. Consensus is effectively built when
a) the fourth pillar of our democracy, media, presents a genuine debate, explains the issue to citizen and why their fellow citizens are suffering
b) our politicians are open to consider unpopular opinion on such controversial topics
Sadly, India media is busy collecting TRPs and our politicians are busy pandering to religious votebanks. Still, all is not lost. Recently Union Ministers of the NDA-2 govt, Piyush Goyal and Arun Jaitley have come out in support for LGBT rights, so have other BJP leaders like Shaina NC and Vanathi Srinivasan. Even RSS has recently come out in favor of decriminalizing homosexuality which should be considered a huge win.
Lets continue our struggle to ask our representatives for an amendment in Article 377 so as to decriminalize homosexuality because according Article 21 of the Indian Constitution states that
“It is the fundamental right of every one in this country to live with human dignity, free from exploitation”.
Jai Bharat.

References

 
[1] Woman, Church and State by Matilda Joselyn Gage http://www.sacred-texts.com/wmn/wcs/wcs03.htm
[2] History of Sexuality in Western Culture: The Victorian Era  http://historyofsexuality.umwblogs.org/pre-20th-century/victorian-era-2/
[6] “Sodomy Laws show survival of colonial injustice”, Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/news/2008/12/17/sodomy-laws-show-survival-colonial-injustice
[7] “Homosexuality is not a virtue” by S Gurumurthy http://www.newindianexpress.com/columns/article91244.ece
[8] “What does Section 377 of IPC criminalize, Dhananjay Pahapatra, Times of India http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/What-does-Section-377-of-IPC-criminalize/articleshow/27231090.cms
[9] Protection of Child against Sexual Offenses Act, 2012 http://wcd.nic.in/childact/childprotection31072012.pdf
[10] “Suresh Kumar Koushal & Anr vs Naz Foundation & Ors” on 11 December, 2013 http://indiankanoon.org/doc/58730926/

Make in India: Can Modi make it happen?

[This post was co-authored by Ashwini Anand]

Virtually everyone agrees that India’s manufacturing sector has tremendous potential for the growth. India has a large, young population (1.25 billion people[1], over 800 million[2] of whom are aged 35 years or less) whose income levels are low (Per-capita income stands at a modest $1,500[3] p.a.) – thus providing the industry with a large pool of inexpensive labour. However, manufacturing only accounts for a mere 15.1% of GDP[4] currently.

PM Modi has vowed to change that through the ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative. As part of this initiative, he has promised to cut out red-rape holding back the industry, make legal compliance easier, introduce online-applications for notoriously opaque government clearances and amend restrictive laws.

However, there are serious legal and practical hurdles that threaten to derail his dream program. In this article, we attempt to analyze four key issues that Mr. Modi has inherited from his predecessors, which have the potential to wreck the initiative.

Legal Hurdles:

  • Prohibitive land acquisition laws:

Acquiring land for industrial projects has always been an ordeal in India. The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (a pet project of the former UPA government) made land acquisition even more complex, time-consuming and expensive than it already was. For example, it requires the consent of 80% of the affected land owners for private industry to acquire any land even for industrial projects that generate local employment. Further, the law mandates that a study known as a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) be conducted before the acquisition of single inch of land. Last but not least, the law sets the price paid by the acquirer at 2-4 times the market rate (depending on the location). Industry experts now say that the time it takes to acquire land for industrial projects has gone up from 5 years to 8 years due to the provisions of the new law.

In spite of all this, the risk of litigation remains, with higher courts often overruling the decisions of the lower courts and sometimes striking down the decisions of the governments.

  • Restrictive labour laws

India’s labour laws are excessively restrictive, employer-unfriendly and sometimes outright bizarre. There are at least 16 different central labour laws, some of which were framed as long ago as 1923. Since labour law is on the concurrent list, the parliament as well as state legislatures can make laws, thus complicating matters further. Compliance is notoriously difficult and involves filing numerous reports at regular intervals and being at the mercy of government “inspections”. About 175,000 “inspections” [5] are carried out annually, with companies complaining of harassment and extortion during these inspections.

The laws also impose severe restrictions on the industry. For example, it is virtually impossible to “lay-off” workers in India thanks to The Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 that specifies that any company employing more than 100 people needs government permission before laying workers. A provision of the Apprentices Act of 1961 gives the government the power to arrest and imprison employers who don’t comply with certain technical provisions of the Act. Such laws have had the effect of killing industry, discouraging hiring and allowing government officials to harass and extort money from the industry.

Practical Hurdles

  • Poor infrastructure:

If you were wondering about infrastructure has to do with manufacturing, imagine a factory trying to produce goods without electricity, trying to transport raw materials or finished goods in the absence of good roads or exporting its products without adequate port linkages.

The hard truth is that India has simply not invested in its infrastructure over the years. While countries like China have spent liberally on building power plants, highways, ports and high-speed rail networks, India has remained far behind. Apart from physical infrastructure, India sorely lacks electricity, with states like Telangana and Tamil Nadu reeling from chronic blackouts, colloquially known as “power-cuts”. India has had chronic power deficits, with 2014’s figure likely to stand at 5.1% [6]of demand. In addition to insufficient power generation capacity and lack of adequate fuel linkages to power plants, India’s state-run power distribution companies are in poor financial health, thus severely limiting their ability to buy power from power plants. To make matters even worse, India’s power transmission and distribution losses (T&D losses), standing at 23% of the average generated power[7], are among the highest in the world.

Therefore, until India creates the necessary public infrastructure, starting with simple things like electricity and coal, it is difficult to imagine manufacturing taking off in a big way.

  • Slow environmental clearances:

The Indian bureaucratic and political class is notoriously slow in granting clearances to projects. Every major industrial project requires a host of government clearances starting with an environmental clearance. While environmental clearances are supposed to take about 9 months, in reality, they take far, far longer. For example, POSCO’s flagship 52,000 crore steel and port project got its final environmental clearance after an 8 year long, agonizing wait.[8] Even government projects are not spared, with power projects and mining projects bearing the brunt of the delays. Slow decision making and delay in clearances drastically raise the overall cost of projects (interest on debt) and discourage investments.

Encouraging progress

PM Modi’s follow-up action on his promises to the industry has been encouraging thus far – he has introduced online-applications for environmental clearances, raised FDI caps, increased the validity of industrial and shipping licenses, curtailed the powers of “inspectors” and taken up the reform of a few key labour laws. Yet, it is still early days for the government.

The hard road ahead

While practical issues pertaining to clearances and bureaucratic hurdles can be cleared if there is political will, the legal hurdles are far harder to ameliorate. While PM Modi’s NDA enjoys a large majority in the Lok Sabha, it lacks the numbers in India’s upper house- the Rajya Sabha, thus making the passage of critical amendments challenging. To make matters worse, under India’s federal structure, several of the key issues at play in this context, such as labour laws, are on India’s concurrent list, thus allowing both the states and the Centre to legislate on them.

Further, the amendment of the laws in question involves a tight-rope walk to balance out several competing interests. For example, the amendment of the new Land Acquisition Act is politically operose as would put at risk, Mr. Modi’s goodwill among the small and marginal farmers as well as tribals, but without which, the industry will simply not invest in factories or power plants required to make this initiative successful. The issue of the amendment of labour laws is another political minefield where a single misstep could alienate trade unions and industrial workers. Even if PM Modi spends political capital on having the requisite laws amended, the effective implementation of these laws requires the co-operation of the states, many of which aren’t ruled by NDA governments.

The bottom line

The “Make in India” initiative is an ambitious project, which if executed out well, can transform the face of the Indian economy, create lakhs of jobs and put India on the path to prosperity. However, clearly it is a hard road ahead. In the next article in this series, we will examine the different ways in which PM Modi can ensure the successful implementation of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.

  1. Statista
  2. Wall Street Journal
  3. World Bank data
  4. CII and BCG report
  5. Livemint report
  6. Goldman Sachs Report
  7. Business Standard Report
  8. Indian Express report
  9. TERI report
  10. Times of India report