27 October, 2020

The Better Half

No wonder half a dozen eunuchs are fighting the elections this time. If you have to be male and odd-looking to win, you might as well go half the way.

The Better Half
The more democratic we seem, the more feudal we in fact are. The cacophony of elections gives us the false hope that the entire cross-section of Indian society is caught up in that noble exercise known as universal franchise. Universal? Never. In these assembly elections, less than ten per cent tickets have been given to women. There are virtually no important women contesting anywhere. Ex-SGPC chief Bibi Jagir Kaur, trapped in a bizarre controversy over her own daughter’s death, is a supplicant seeking to salvage her reputation. Rajinder Kaur Bhattal is waging a lonely battle against the male Congress establishment.

And Mayawati, in the long tradition of South Asian women politicians, has been able to enter politics only because of an alliance or proximity or family relationship with a powerful man. From Indira Gandhi to Begum Ershad to Sheikh Hasina to Chandrika Kumaratunga, to Benazir Bhutto, to Jayalalitha, to the Scindia princesses, a woman can aspire to a political future only by clinging to the coat-tails of her father, husband, brother or friend. The only exceptions...



To read this piece, and more such stories in India's most exciting and exacting magazine, plus get access to our 25-year archives goldmine, please subscribe.

In this article:

More from Sagarika Ghose

Latest Magazine

November 02, 2020

other articles from the issue

articles from the previous issue

Other magazine section