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AAP is a party made for masses and not for classes, says MLA Akhilesh Pati Tripathi

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By Prateek Kumar

From high-class businessmen to rickshaw-wallahsAkhilesh Pati Tripathi, M.L.A from Model Town constituency in Delhi never makes a distinction among people and regularly conducts Mohallah Sabhas and field visits to understand the miseries and tribulations that people of his constituency are facing.

In a candid chat with NewsGram, Tripathi describes his journey as a politician so far and the immediate changes he wants to make in his tenure as an MLA.

Prateek Kumar: Nowadays, one of the hottest topics of discussion is a conflict between Kejriwal and Jung. What are your views on this?

Akhilesh Pati Tripathi: This is a matter of contention. Lt. Governor acts as the titular head of Delhi whereas the real power is exercised by the Chief Minister and his council of ministers.

In the Articles 239 and 239AA of the Constitution of India, the functions, powers and duties of the Lt. Governor are defined clearly. He is a representative of the President and acts on the aid and recommendation of the council of ministers. The provisions of Article 239B apply in relation to the National Capital Territory of Delhi, as they apply in relation to the Union Territories of Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Pondicherry.

The Sec. 41 of the GNCT (Government of National Capital Territory) of Delhi Act, 1991 clarifies that the Lieutenant Governor shall act in his discretion during a matter that falls outside the range of the powers conferred on the Legislative Assembly like security and law & order.

I think we might file a petition in Supreme Court against this attempt to undermine democracy by the BJP thugs.

PK: Tell us more about your experiences as an MLA yet?

AT: My parents always wanted me to become an IAS or IPS officer but I chose more fruitful methods to bring a change in our society. We have been a victim of past governments’ inaction and the their corruption. Therefore, now we thought to bring a change by ourselves.

Being an MLA is like serving people with holding powers in your hand. Now, I have an authority to ask any department, be it MCD, PWD etc. to take relevant steps if something is wrong. I am indeed feeling proud to serve people in such a manner.

PK: Model Town is a home for rich people. So who are your priorities, High class or lower class?

AT: AAP is a party made for masses and not for classes. Our priority is to serve everybody and we don’t concentrate on a particular section.

PK:  What are your major plans for this area?

AT: I have been living here since my childhood and want to see this place as one of the best places in Delhi. Recently, we have started ‘Smart Classes’ in a nearby government school and have provided relaxations in fees and other aids. Education is our main agenda to focus upon. And we have been doing that since I took the charge as an MLA.

PK: AAP decided to make Delhi a Wi-fi enabled city. How much time will it take to turn it into a reality and are there any problems you are facing in the process?

AT: The projected time is February 2016. Yes, we are also facing some problems as approvals from many departments are still pending. Maybe they don’t want us to take these steps as it will definitely reduce the internet net users using their mobile data, which will eventually affect the businesses of mobile operators.

PK:  Your views on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent foreign tours?

AT: Modi really needs to stop criticizing India abroad. It’s just like you are going for a job interview and criticizing your last company. He needs to understand that it will not engender trust in the people you are talking to. It’s time for a 64-year-old to develop an understanding of a 24-year-old at least.

 

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India Can Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?

A total of 548 global experts on women’s issues , 43 of them from India

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BJP Leader Asks Parents Of A Rape Victim To Express Gratitude To Them
Can India Really Take An Ostrich Approach To The Condition Of Women?. Flickr

-By Deepa Gahlot

You read with a mixture of alarm and scepticism, the poll report by the London-based Thomson Reuters Foundation that India is the most dangerous country in the world for women, beating Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

According to reports, a total of 548 global experts on women’s issues — 43 of them from India — were asked about risks faced by women in six areas: healthcare, access to economic resources and discrimination, customary practices, sexual violence, nonsexual violence, and human trafficking. And shockingly, India comes out as the worst!

We see women progressing in every field in India, but, there is also the increasing violence against women and young girls reported every day; not long ago, female tourists felt safe in India; but now, women travelling solo are constantly targeted. Everyday there are reports of the rapes and murders of minor girls, often accompanied by unimaginable torture and mutilation.

There has been outrage in India, and also holes punctured in the survey that has such a small number of respondents, but can we really take an ostrich approach to the condition of women? Even as education and healthcare improve for women — at least in metro cities — the contempt for women is socially and culturally ingrained in the Indian psyche. In a city like Mumbai considered progressive and relatively safe for women, the girl child is unwanted even by many educated and wealthy families. In spite of laws being in place, female foeticide and infanticide is rampant, to the extent that there are large territories where there are no girl children and brides for the men have to be ‘imported’ from other states.  As dowry murders and rapes rise, the more unwanted the girl child becomes.  The fact is that India’s gender ratio is deplorable.

And if the male child is valued over the girl child, he grows up believing that he is special and if he is thwarted in any way, he can resort to violence. In spite of education and exposure to progressive ideas, in the case of rape or sexual violence, the tendency to blame and shame the victim persists.

To give just one small example, in the West, accusations of sexual harassment resulted in united shunning of a man as powerful as Harvey Weinstein and many others in the wake of the #MeToo movement, that helped many women speak out about their experiences.

In India, Malayalam actor Dileep, who has been accused in the abduction and rape of an actress, and was boycotted by the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA), was recently reinstated. This caused shock and dismay among women in the film industry.

A statement by a group of over 150 women film practitioners says it like it is, “A body that is meant to represent artistes of the Malayalam movie industry showed complete disregard for its own member who is the victim of this gross crime. Even before the case has reached its conclusion, AMMA has chosen to validate a person accused of a very serious crime against a colleague. We condemn this cavalier attitude by artistes against women artistes who are working alongside them. There is misogyny and gender discrimination embedded in this action.

“We admired and supported the Women in Cinema Collective that was formed by women film artistes in Kerala in the aftermath of the abduction and molestation of a colleague, a top star in the industry. We applaud the WCC members who have walked out of AMMA to protest the chairman’s invitation to reinstate the accused. We pledge our continued support to the Women in Cinema Collective who are blazing a trail to battle sexism in the film industry.

“Cinema is an art form that can challenge deeply entrenched violence and discrimination in society. It is distressing to see an industry that stands amongst the best in the country and has even made a mark in world cinema choose to shy away from using their position and their medium responsibly at this important moment. Today, women form a significant part of the film and media industries, we reject any attempt at silencing us and making us invisible.”

The Gujarat elections have brought the BJP and the Congress in close contest with each other.
Indian women. VOA

The preference for male children has had some unexpected ramifications. In a working paper published by the American non-profit, National Bureau of Economic Research, by Northwestern University’s Seema Jayachandran and Harvard University’s Rohini Pande (quoted in Quartz Media), finds that stunting in Indian children could also be blamed on the cultural preference for sons.

“In India, on average, the first child — if he is a son — doesn’t suffer from stunting. But, if the first — and so the eldest — child of the family is a girl, she suffers from a height deficit. And, then, if the second child is a boy, and hence the eldest son of the family, he will not be stunted. This happens because of an unequal allocation of resources to the first child”.

According to the report, “When Jayachandran and Pande compared India and Africa results through this lens, they found that the Indian first and eldest son tends to be taller than an African firstborn. If the eldest child of the family is a girl, and a son is born next, the son will still be taller in India than Africa. For girls, however, the India-Africa height deficit is large. It is the largest for daughters with no older brothers, probably because repeated attempts to have a son takes a beating on the growth of the girls.”

Also read: Has Legal Framework Turned a Blind Eye towards Under-representation of Women in Indian Politics?

In spite of all the Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao rhetoric, the required shift in the male-centric attitude towards a more egalitarian one is simply not happening; or, it is a case of one step forward, two steps backward. The Thomson Reuters Foundation report may be unfair and skewed, but being known as the rape capital of the world does nothing to improve the image of India in the world or even in its own eyes. (IANS)