Meghalaya Politicking; Leveraging Scholz; Menstrual Policy

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Opinion Watch

Meghalaya Politicking

India’s ‘aaya Ram, gaya Ram’ politics is still popular in the Northeastern states. Meghalaya politics is all about post-poll machinations, for the state has not given majority to one party since 1972 when the state was first carved out. The small state has too many parties vying for power.

The Indian Express has said that the electoral democracy has gained deep roots in Meghalaya despite complaints of ‘cash transfers’. In fact, the Northeastern states have a daunting task on hand to erase the taint of ‘cash transfer or corruption’. Journalist-turned-politician MJ Akbar’s words that ‘Payment in Northeast is made for works done in heaven’ have not yet lost relevance. The Noida-based daily has sized up the Assembly elections in the hilly states, stating that the people will give verdict on the incumbent Chief Minister Conrad Sangma’s ambition to become a regional leader, Trinamool Congress’ bid to become a national party, BJP’s foray in Christian land. The state had hit the national headlines for violent border clash with Assam, protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, attacks on Dalit Sikhs among others.

Leveraging Scholz

The Economic Times and the Asian Age have come out with positive Editorials on German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s New Delhi visit. At a time when the world is a global village, it was a first standalone visit by a German leader since 2011. This is in contrast to Scholz flying to Beijing for a less than 24-trip to fete Xi Jinping when he took the third term as head of the Chinese Communist party. Yet, Germany is the largest economy in Europe, and Scholz has said that he would work to accelerate the India-EU Free Trade Agreement talks. The Asian Age has given an account of the significance of Germany in India’s green energy ambitions, noting that Berlin has committed to $3 billion for global green energy. The ET has said that India should leverage Germany.

India is a necessity for Germany, which is facing sharp economic stress after its energy bet on Russia went into a tailspin with the Ukraine War. Germany also bet big on China, which is now facing acute economic crisis. Germany thus is courting India for its own gain. India should charter its own path and not waste time in carrying out the European burden of finding breakthrough in the Ukraine War as desired by Scholz.

Menstrual Policy

The Hindu in an Editorial has reflected on the Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud asking a petitioner to approach the Union Minister for Women and Child development Smriti Zubin Irani for a ‘national policy on menstrual pain’. Justice Chandrachud has reasoned that biology shouldn’t be a roadblock for gender equality. The daily noted that Kerala and Bihar have a menstrual pain plan. South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Spain and Zambia have such a plan as part of their labour laws.

Indeed, it will be desirable that there is such a policy. But such policies have been seen to be decorative in nature. Most of the labour policies and provisions of labour laws in India are in effect only on paper.

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