And solutions that exist in the form of co-operatives often operate as monopolies in the hands of political families who do everything they can to prevent the competing co-operatives. If growth is the mandate, the agricultural economy has to be liberalised and producers set free. Because when farmers and rural industries have access to a steady income, they will invest in improving productivity.
That, in turn, will push everybody into building a country where the ruling class and citizens are equals. To start the process, though, one question needs to be answered. Do you expend energies into getting into the Top 10 in terms of GDP? What a low HDI means is that for all the GDP growth and the consequent prosperity, development is superficial at best. The reason India doesn't have its own Apple or Samsung isn't because the country's leading minds are focused on stripping products down to their essentials to hit the market at the bottom of the pyramid, Waslekar argues.
It's because industry isn't paying enough attention to research that doesn't have immediate impact on their company's bottom line. But meanwhile:.
In the next two to three decades, the fourth industrial revolution will be underway. The first industrial revolution took place in late 18th Century, the second in the late 19th Century, and computerisation is the third.
Boundary Delimitation —
The fourth includes genomics, nanotechnology and robotics GNR. These apart, expect breakthroughs in space technology, renewable energy and water technologies. All of these will transform the world. India has to decide whether it wants to be a great power by servicing multinationals and providing software engineers who work at the low end of the cost curve, or be a lead player in the new revolution.
India's government-run schools are terrible, and education faces a drastic shortage of teachers across the board. But the government isn't doing enough to utilize community radio stations and its satellite network to enable distance education for anybody who's interested, Waslekar argues. If this technology were deployed into education, a few crore of rupees and the , villages with no access to schools suddenly become accessible. India has a satellite in orbit as well, which is meant to be used exclusively for education.
Any institution can use it to impart remote education to children in Naxalite-affected areas in central and northern India; or to the schools located in difficult-to-access regions such as the North East. Turkey made itself a key feature in its neighborhood by inking a free trade pact with Syria, which meant that when Syria chalked out a peace plan with Israel, Damascus insisted that Turkey would be the interlocutor. On the other hand, terrorists never think of attacking Norway or Sweden because "their objective was not to build a security infrastructure because there is only so long and so often it can counter attacks; but to build nations nobody thinks of attacking.
About Us Contact Donate Now. Listen navigate down. Some initiatives have emphasised sensitising state institutions and making them more receptive to women and their needs, with special attention on law-enforcing agencies and the judiciary. Throughout South Asia, between the s and s, all major development plans started to address women.
Some improvements have also been achieved in legal reforms. Translating policy into practice and legal provisions into de facto rights is, however, another matter altogether. Organisations have been aided by allies in the state structures often women and by the growing acceptance of NGOs as legitimate players in policymaking. This is part of a global trend in which the legitimacy of NGOs as players has been facilitated by the growing visibility and acceptance of their role in the UN system.
In the process, local organisations have been able to establish links, and they work with organisations in other countries and with international networks. External compulsions and internal lobbying have, therefore, worked together to place women on the national agendas of all South Asian states. But an entirely different type of access to political influence is exemplified by the measure of success that South Asian women have enjoyed in exercising their negotiating abilities throughout the Beijing process.
In Pakistan, for example, the Beijing process catalysed the first effective working relationship between women activists and the government. Women activists considered the hastily compiled draft to be extremely problematic, and urged the government to withhold its circulation. Departing from previous practice, the government took the advice, and then invited the non-government organisations NGOs to help draft a consensus report. Women activists—who had assiduously kept out of the mainstream electoral process, jealously guarded their autonomy and learned oppositional tactics under military rule— entered this process with caution.
Co-operation in preparing the national report was a positive experience for both sides and, as a result, half the official Pakistan delegation to Beijing consisted of non-government women. This encouraged women to engage more frequently with the government and bureaucracy on policy matters relating to women. Therefore, it provides women, inside and outside government, an official reference point for lobbying. In fact, the Beijing conference and its follow-up have ensured that national action plans be elaborated throughout South Asia and elsewhere , and that national machineries for following up on commitments made in Beijing be strengthened.
The challenge now is to ensure that policy statements are converted into action that does, indeed, empower women. Questions and Challenges In each state, the specific configuration and dynamics of power set the parameters within which change can be instituted. To access power at any level, women need to first understand how power and influence operate in that environment—be it the family or the state—and then identify the most effective channels and vehicles available to them.
Moreover, the nature of essentialist politics is that it feeds on itself, so that the rise of identity politics and the increasing acceptance of violence in the pursuit of such agendas have immediate implications for neighbouring states and people. Events in one country, themselves frequently linked internationally, have ramifications across South Asian borders.
For instance, the destruction of the Babri Masjid mosque in India provoked senseless violence against buildings identified as Hindu in Pakistan, even when the people affected were, in fact, Muslims. This pushes minority communities into organising for self-protection, often resulting in a ghetto mentality, and majority communities into aggressive exclusivist actions and policies.
Sri Lanka has been embroiled in a civil war for decades, a war in which both ethnic and religious identities have divided the populace into ever more isolated and watertight segments. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, increasingly militant politico-religious parties that present undemocratic and misogynistic political agendas in a religious idiom have grown spectacularly. Even where politico-religious parties do not enjoy direct power and have consistently been routed at the polls, the level of indirect influence exercised by such groups has grown to a point that is alarming.
This is not the case for India, which has maintained a secular framework. It is all the more disconcerting, therefore, that a secular framework and a fairly regular electoral process have failed to prevent the rise of communal violence, where the victims have been the minority communities—Muslims, Sikhs and Christians. Of concern, likewise, has been the electoral success of the rightwing, essentially the Hinduvta-oriented Bharatiya Janata Party. These tendencies penetrate various State institutions as well, most importantly the courts and law-enforcing agencies, which impact on the lives of a wide cross-section of society.
Several factors may contribute to the resurgent appeal of the primordial religious or ethnic identity sweeping the region. As said earlier, while the localised forms of self-adjudication and governance were neither replaced nor fully integrated into the modern state apparatus, economic policies have distributed state opportunities and benefits unequally.
In the process, even well-meaning policies, such as reservations of jobs for disadvantaged castes or provincial regions, may have helped bolster the idea of smaller collective identities being not only a legitimate basis for deriving more benefits from the state, but possibly the most effective one.
That women themselves buy into this philosophy is evident in the disturbing number of women joining and actively participating in such initiatives. The presence and nature of institutions of civil society in South Asia are pivotal to re-negotiations of the state-citizen relationship.
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The strength of such institutions seems to rise and fall, depending on the presence and strength of alternative forums to take their place. Long periods of martial law in Pakistan have systematically undermined existing institutions and stunted the growth of strong, democratically inclined institutions of civil society. Elsewhere, too, such civil society institutions are only relatively stronger. Hence, it is just as important to modify existing cultural norms, including those shaped by religion, since these often exercise a more important control mechanism than formal law.
This is particularly true in societies such as in South Asia, where people seldom govern personal matters by reference to, let alone in accordance with, formal state laws, of which they are overwhelmingly ignorant. Not coincidentally, this includes the formal state law, and its various forums and channels for participation and decision-making.
It is against this rather complex background that women seek to increase their power and influence. To alter the existing dynamics of power, therefore, requires effective interventions and linkages at many levels. Though activism takes many forms and produces multiple initiatives, each seeking to empower women, poor linkages among political actors, women in government and independent advocacy groups reduce the effectiveness of each type of activism. This lack of co-ordination is apparent in other states as well.
In Nepal, for instance, despite specific legal provision for collaboration between local government and organisations of civil society, there is hardly any evidence of joint efforts by government and NGOs Shtrii Shakti, They do, however, need to be alert to, and identify and create, the opportunities for dialogue and long-term interaction, both among themselves, and among women activists and other actors, especially political and social forces.
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Creating linkages is not always an easy task. Today, the divisiveness of identity politics makes it even more important to maintain — where needed to create - strong linkages across various non-gender-based distinctions among women. For some women, participation in identity-based initiatives may appear to be the safest, sometimes the only, route to personal empowerment. In the short term, some empowerment may even be possible, but until women have the power to define the content and contours of collective identity, long-term gains are unlikely.
More on Questions and Challenges: Identity-based Politics There is increasing concern among South Asian women in the apparent ease and visible success with which identity-based politics have mobilised a sizeable number of women. One strategy to address these concerns may be to forge better and more operative links between policy-level interventions and grassroots initiatives. Legal provisions and policy documents can only provide an opportunity.
As such, they are necessary, but insufficient, conditions for bringing about widespread meaningful participation and access to power. A cautionary note needs to be mentioned here about the role of NGOs. Though NGOs have gained acceptance sometimes, grudgingly as legitimate actors in the policymaking process of states and in the UN system, they are not a replacement for political processes. Structural and systemic changes only come about through social movements. However good-willed and committed they are, NGOs rarely represent the mass will of the people, although they can be advocates and lobbies of change.
Presuming like-mindedness, the link would serve to strengthen both. Trying to avoid falling into the dominant patterns of politics, where corruption is rampant and self-aggrandisement the ultimate aim, is a difficult challenge for all politicians, whether in local or other levels of government. Finally, the challenges facing women today make it imperative to locate effective allies.
In the past as well as the present, women have an increased access to power and have gained rights in conjunction with allies in the political and social arenas. Allies provide the first opportunity for women to put into practice a change in political culture and a sharing of power.