Forward Press, February 2016

  • Bengal's Namasudras sought European and missionary support to fight Bhadralok oppression
  • Tripura's Marxist government has been in sync with the Dalit movement
  • Tuning back into the forgotten genius of lyricist Shailendra
  • Bihar government's decision to observe Ashoka Jayanti could send out ripples across the country
  • Well-known linguist Rajendra Prasad Singh says "the Gita is an astute reproduction of the Manusmriti"

It will soon be 20 years since the Women’s Reservation Bill was first introduced in the Parliament. It is still merely a Bill. After the Rajya Sabha passed the Bill six years ago, there has been little movement on this front. The demand of the likes of Mulayam Singh and Lalu Yadav for caste-based quotas within the women’s quota was often blamed for the lack of progress on the enactment of the Bill. Now, with their parties being swept away by the Modi wave in last Lok Sabha elections, and chief proponents like Sushma Swaraj and Najma Heptulla in the government, the Bill should have sailed through. In his cover story, Sanjeev Chandan explores why this hasn’t happened: whether the obstacle lies among the women leaders themselves, “their ambivalence on commitment to the basic principle of equality in a democratic set-up”.