Women On Top


May 29, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-23 May 27 -2011 (Jestha 13,2068)

As the mercury level continues to rise in the Indian cities, the political circuit too has been generating heat.

To begin with, the results of assembly elections in two of the five particular states grabbed headlines. These were the states where two women changed rules of the political game indicating a new surge of women’s influence in Indian politics.

In Tamil Nadu, in an unexpected result, the AIADMK crushed the mighty DMK by a huge margin. The Jayalalithaa-led AIADMK and its allies grabbed 204 seats out of the 234 seats wiping Karunanidhi’s tainted DMK out of power. ‘Amma’ as she is famously called, is now set to become the Chief Minister of the state for the third time. What probably led to the humiliating defeat of the formidable DMK was the 2G scam in which one if its ministers A.Raja was, among others, found guilty. Despite the scam , many had expected that the strong base of DMK in the state would help the party in the elections. Those hopes were clearly belied. The future of Karunanidhi’s party looks even more bleak as it is now expected to be locked in a bitter succession battle.

Moving up north, West Bengal woke up to a new era  of Mamata Banerjee after 34  years of left rule. The railway minister made history by dislodging the longest serving elected communist regime. Her Trinamool Congress-led alliance took 227 of the total 294 seats while the left could bag only 61. In a state where development took a backseat due to the complete negligence and absurd strategies and policies of the CPI (M), the rise of Mamata Banerjee has  definitely ushered in a glimmerof hope. Calling the victory ‘the second independence struggle’, the ‘Didi’ vowed to work for good governance, focus on reconstruction and end atrocities in the state. Repeating her famous slogan the jubilant yet composed leader attributed the success to the three Ms. “It is a victory for Maa, Mati and Manush (Mother, Soil and People)”.

Women are clearly on top. With Mamata Banerjee and Jaya Lalithaa joining Shiela Dixit of Delhi and Mayavati of Uttar Pradesh the number of women chief ministers has doubled.

But there was a downside too – down south. Rajya Sabha member and DMK patriarch Karunanidhi’s daughter Kanimozhi was arrested and sent to Tihar jail over alleged involvement in the 2G spectrum case. She has been accused of masterminding the Rs. 200 crore kickback for her Kalaignar TV. If found guilty of crime, she could get a seven year jail term. She now joins some of her party colleagues like A.Raja and many other telecom officials in Tihar Jail.

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