Mainstream Weekly

Home > 2023 > On the Mode of Governance in India I Arup Kumar Sen

Mainstream, VOL 61 No 40 September 30, 2023

On the Mode of Governance in India I Arup Kumar Sen

Saturday 30 September 2023, by Arup Kumar Sen


Very recently, the BJP government in India celebrated the passing of the Women’s Bill 2023, seeking to reserve 33% of seats in Lok Sabha and State Assemblies for women, in both houses of the Parliament. The Prime Minister characterized it as a “defining moment in our nation’s democratic journey.” However, the mode of governance in India in recent times has a democratic deficit.

The present government has made Aadhaar mandatory in the delivery of welfare benefits to the people. Global rating agency, Moody’s Investors Service, has recently raised ‘concerns about security and privacy vulnerabilities… in India’s Aadhaar programme.’ (See The Hindu, September 25, 2023) It was argued: “The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) administers Aadhaar, aiming to integrate marginalized groups and expand welfare benefit access…The system often results in service denials, and the reliability of biometric technologies, especially for manual laborers in hot, humid climates, is questionable.” (Quoted in ibid). The rating agency further noted that the digital ID system like Aadhaar has “drawn scrutiny, especially concerning privacy and security.” (ibid)

There are recent instances where Aadhaar cards were used as a tool for identification of members of a particular community and inflicting violence on them. Shohini Sengupta recorded one such blatant instance of violence against women in Manipur: “In Manipur, which has been in the throes of extreme violence since May this year due to clashes between the Kuki and Meitei tribes, two women were sexually assaulted and paraded naked. The mob responsible for the atrocity was seen to ask the women for their Aadhaar cards, to verify who they were. When they failed to produce their cards, they were dragged off and molested, because the men did not believe who they were claiming to be, without the production of the card.” (The Wire, September 15, 2023)

The above narratives make us skeptical about the claims of the government regarding the empowerment of vulnerable communities including women.

ISSN (Mainstream Online) : 2582-7316 | Privacy Policy|
Notice: Mainstream Weekly appears online only.