A Critique Of The BJP Government Through A Feminist Lens
A Critique Of The BJP Government Through A Feminist Lens

Posted by Suchitra

The BJP government had based most of its women-targeted campaigns in 2014 based on gender equality, safety and education. Flash forward five years later – there’s not a single one that has been implemented. It has had blunders ranging from communal violence to unemployment, failure to ever stand up for the minorities, but it’s worst failure has to be this systemic ignoring, demeaning and reducing women to a mere topic for grandeur filled speeches of the government’s ministers.

Why is it that the BJP government, who has many women, albeit misogynistic, failed to fulfil as much as one promise made to womxn? Of course, we have concerns about why a blatant misogynist like Yogi Adityanath is their prime candidate, the Unnao case and Kathua case having perpetrators from the BJP itself, MJ Akbar and his sexual harassment allegations. But is that all?

Also read: Watch This ABP News Anchor Shut Down Sexist BJP Spokesperson Gaurav Bhatia!

So why am I making this wild claim that womxn should especially oppose and boycott the BJP government? Feminists like me are always raging about the BJP.

If the BJP government cannot fight with its womxn then what is the point of it, really?

Here are my top concerns, with questions whose answers like the press conference, we’ll never achieve:

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1. The BJP’s magnum opus for attracting women voters

Over 56% of the funds for Beti Bachao Beti Padhao Scheme have been used up in media-related activities, because PR and Advertising are responsible for Narendra Modi in office today. Contrary to this, just 25% were actually used up in disbursement to the states. 19% of these funds weren’t even released by the government. Why is the ratio of the funds actually been used for the programme substantially lower than the funds been spent on promotional activities?

2. Total Apathy Regarding Women’s Safety

2.8 crore rural women are missing from the national job market since 2013. Quoting Indian Express’s article, “Over five crore rural women have left the national job market since 2004-05. Female participation has fallen by 7 percentage points since 2011-12, amounting to approximately 2.8 crore fewer women looking for jobs.”

To top that off, according to a report by Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, women lost about 88 lakh jobs in 2018 as compared to the 22 lakh jobs lost by men; all of this was concentrated in the aftermath of the demonetisation blunder by the BJP. Why is the BJP so nonchalant about such issues?

3. The Sabrimala Fiasco

When the BJP proposed Triple Talaq bill, I thought they actually care about abandoned women through the wary ways of religion. When the Sabarimala issue cropped up, BJP not only systemically opposed it but made sure that their votes in Kerala depend upon in when Amit Shah in a public rally promised to not let “Constitution interfere with religion”. If the government cannot fight with its womxn then what is the point of it, really?

4. Increasing Crimes Against Women

Between 2014-19, crimes against women have increased by 34%, and assault on women alone has increased by 82%. How does the BJP explain this to women? What happened to guaranteeing a safer space for women inside and outside of their homes as promised by none other than our Supreme Leader himself?

5. Women’s Reservation Bill In Parliament

BJP had promised to bring in the Women’s Reservation Bill guaranteeing thirty three per cent reservation for women in parliament. Why was the Bill not passed? Did the BJP government stage any attempts and steer the bill through Parliament? The answer is: No, they didn’t. Because they baited us. What else do we expect from a government that fields Yogi Adityanath who talks of women as animals that need petting from him.

6. Social Benefits

Systemic failures in the health sector have made women have a huge spike in their health being neglected. Healthcare budget has been slashed by the government by 20% in 14-15, 5.7% in 15-16 and furthermore. The government has also been pushing insurance schemes which do nothing but benefit private companies. Is the crony capitalism becoming so obvious that you will blatantly promote it?

In the last five years, around 2.15 lakh acres (86,89.09 hectare) of forest lands have been given for industries.

Also, maternity provision has to be at least at Rs. 6,000 according to the National Food Security Act, so why does the Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PM-MVY) set its provision for only Rs. 5,000.

7. Minorities In The Direst Of The Dire Situations

This section really deserves zero explanation, but humour me.

Adivasi displacement

The Land Acquisition & Rehabilitation Act & Mines and Minerals (Development & Regulation) Act (MMRDA) amended to allow private companies to acquire Adivasi and forest land without the free and informed consent of gram sabhas. On February 13, the apex court had directed state governments to ensure eviction of around two million tribals from forest areas spread across 17 states. In the last five years, around 2.15 lakh acres (86,89.09 hectare) of forest lands have been given for industries.

Casteist demeanour of ministers and zero steps to curb caste-based violence

The regressive amendment to SC/ST Atrocities Act was also brought on to us by this regime. The Hindutva that this party sells is openly telling Brahmins to be prouder, vainer at what they are. To quote the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), India has witnessed a sharp escalation in violence against Dalits in the past five years. In every year during this period, the NCRB registered a six to eight-fold upsurge in the rate of crimes committed against Dalits compared to the crime rate in the preceding five years – with violent incidents such as murder, assault and rape constituting the lion’s share of some 193,000 crimes against Dalits during this period.

Manual Scavenging

The government has failed to address the issue of deaths of manual scavengers while cleaning sewers. Manual scavenging has been banned yet the practice continues with people being coerced to clean sewers with no safety equipment. Does the BJP plan on redressal of any of the deaths, addressing their grievances any time soon? Does the BJP even know how many manual scavenging deaths have taken place in its tenure?

LGBTQIA+ community

Trans rights groups and organisations were not once consulted by the BJP government on the amendments that the government brought to the Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016. NO steps have been taken by the government to address concerns of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Also read: BJP And Feminism: How Has BJP Been Treating Indian Women?

Suchitra is a journalism and mass communication student who loves to write and read. Poetry, music, politically correct humour and smashing patriarchy are her major interests. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram and her blog.

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