Friday, May 13, 2011

On Indian Election Results

According to the Guardian, women did well in the latest Indian elections:
Indian politicians Mamata Banerjee and Jayalalithaa have won control of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu respectively.


Ramachandra Guha, a political historian and analyst, said the results were unprecedented. "You don't want to go too far as huge problems of gender inequality, foeticide, oppression and discrimination against women remain in India but it is still exceptional to have so many very powerful women at one time," Guha said.
That is good news, within the proper framework. At the same time, I noticed an anti-corruption theme in the elections. Women tend to do better under those conditions, perhaps because they are viewed as untainted outsiders.

And this comment is pretty interesting because of that last sentence:
Banerjee, whose austere lifestyle is in stark contrast with that of some of India's senior politicians, said on Friday that gender was not an issue. "It is not me, it is the people of Bengal. That I am a woman is not the issue. Without my sisters I cannot do my job but not without my brothers too," she told the NDTV television channel.
Some people suspect female politicians of favoring women. But few suspect the average male politician of favoring men. Hence the need to insert that bit about "brothers" in the comments.