28 November, 2020

'Numbers Lie In Indian Politics: Contribution Of Women Grossly Underplayed'

At a time when politicians like Jacinda Arden of New Zealand are transforming world opinion, Indian politicians remain in the grip of men who refuse to share the limelight with women. But there are minor exceptions in Odisha and Bengal, says Krishna Menon

Photograph by AP
'Numbers Lie In Indian Politics: Contribution Of Women Grossly Underplayed'

Where do women stand in politics?

This is a question that very often results in misogynist rants denouncing women and their leadership abilities. Women are typically seen as not very rational, indecisive and impetuous. And yet, women everywhere are making their presence felt in politics. Much of the credit for the Sudanese dictator al-Bashir’s removal earlier this month goes to women, who played a prominent role in the uprising against him. The iconic image of a young woman addressing crowds from atop a vehicle bears testimony to this.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand has offered an effective model of leadership that combines compassion with strong political determination—yes, it is possible to do so! In less than a week, she was able to ensure that gun laws were changed in the wake of a mass shooting at Christchurch, while also offering support and compassion to wounded communities in the most meaningful way.

Politics draws its roots from the Greek word polis, the city-state, which has often been presented as an...



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