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Women in Politics is always a dangerous cocktail for any society, given the jolt it sends to the pertinent status quo of gender dynamics. And India, despite having seen a woman Prime Minister as well as a President, still looks at women in politics, strangely as this huge elephant in the room that no one knows what to do with.

India women and the vote

Some Takeaways

  • The news of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being appointed as in-charge UP east for the Indian National Congress is as much political as feminist.
  • INC has been slowly but steadily building a robust Mahila Congress as an organisation within its umbrella to project itself a pro-women party on all aspects.
  • Priyanka’s grandmother, Indira Gandhi still holds a Goddess like stature for Indian politics and it was her gender that was the biggest USP.
  • The future election trends of this country will be defined by the women in politics narrative and the party that seems to have been refining their strategy on it is Indian National Congress by a long mile.

Priyanka Gandhi Enters Politics

Priyanka Gandhi is the first in our series of #WomenAndTheVote – this is her journey, growing up and the questions she faces as a new ‘official’ entrant into politics #womenandthevote #priyankagandhi #SheThePeople

Posted by SheThePeople on Wednesday, January 30, 2019

The news of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (oh they insist we speaketh the whole thing) being appointed as in-charge UP east for the Indian National Congress cannot be seen only as an aspect of women’s rights in this country. For those of us observing the Indian politics keenly (from the safe havens of our armchair), this is as much political as feminist.

For the last few years, with the advent of #MeToo and women safety movements, feminism and women’s rights are low hanging fruits of pop culture for brands who wish to sell products, for journalists who want to drive click bait and of course for political organisations to create vote bank strategies.

The news of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra being appointed as in-charge UP east for the Indian National Congress cannot be seen only as an aspect of women’s rights in this country.

When we see the last bit with respect to India specifically, then one can note how progressively the sitting government has been attacked for their silent approach with respect to online trolling of women by their supporters. A narrative that initially deemed to be harmless has become a national (as well as an International) issue. And somewhere the Indian National Congress found this to be the foot in the door for their own presence.

Like the 1970s Indian Youth Congress movement, today INC has been slowly but steadily building a robust Mahila Congress as an organisation within its umbrella to project itself a pro-women party on all aspects. And the appointment of Priyanka Gandhi Vadra is the grand finale of this strategy.

A narrative that initially deemed to be harmless has become a national (as well as an International) issue. And somewhere the Indian National Congress found this to be the foot in the door for their own presence.

Women in politics is a narrative that has always been an interesting trend to note across countries. With Hillary Clinton losing an election to a guy like Donald Trump despite her credentials, many felt that her gender was the baggage she could not shake off. In India though surprisingly, we have seen this to be the other way round. Priyanka’s own grandmother, Indira Gandhi still holds a Goddess like stature for Indian politics and unlike Hillary, it was her gender that was the biggest USP.

Women in politics is a narrative that has always been an interesting trend to note across countries.

Whether Priyanka replicates that kind of success, only time and voters can tell. But one thing is very sure that the future election trends of this country will be defined by the women in politics narrative and the party that seems to have been refining their strategy on it is Indian National Congress by a long mile.

Richa Singh is a TEDx Speaker and the founder of BlogChatter. The views expressed are the author’s own.

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