Recently Kiran Bedi, the country’s first woman police officer, sought voluntary retirement after being in the eye of a storm following her allegations of gender discrimination in the police force. Bedi, who had transformed Tihar jail from filthy dungeons to a clean and livable place and has had an outstanding career, was superseded for the post of Delhi’s police commissioner. Because she was a woman.
Women in civil service have come up against sexism time and again. Madhu Bhaduri, who joined the Indian Foreign Service (IFS) in 1968, recalls how women IFS officers launched their first protest against blatant gender discrimination in this elite branch of service, which was at that time wrapped up in layers of discriminatory codes.
Here is an account of how it all started…
Continue reading Monobina Gupta on Inconvenient Women
Manmohan Singh from the Indian Express two days ago:
I sincerely pray and hope that we remain a functional democracy. But democracy has certain disadvantages. I have a friend in the International Monetary Fund, who went to Korea in the days it was run by an authoritarian system. They were discussing the issue of devaluing the currency. When my friend talked with the finance minister, he said, “That’s a very difficult question. You don’t expect me to give an answer right away.” When my friend asked him how much time he would need, the finance minister said, “I will take half an hour, I have to book a call to the president.”
We have to work, therefore, to create a new mindset. Some ten days ago, I was in Singapore and had the privilege of meeting Premier Wen Jiabao of China, for whom I have great admiration, both for him and President Hu Jintao. The type of leadership that China has produced since the days of Deng, I think, is the greatest asset that China has. [Link]
Narratives, says French philosopher DeCerteau, go ahead of social practices to make way for them. Continue reading Imagining Governance and Governing our Imagination