States With Worst Sex Ratios Have Most Female MLAs

  States with poor development indicators for women (mainly sex ratio and female literacy) have higher representation of women in their vidhan sabhas (legislative assemblies) according to an analysis of Census and Election Commission data.   Source: Election Commission, Census of India 2011   The top five states of India with the highest percentage of … Continued

From Proxies To Politicians: Bihar’s Female MLAs

A former sweeper from a Mahadalit–or lowest of the low–castes, Bhagirathi Devi (centre), 65, is among 28 female MLAs from Bihar contesting the forthcoming assembly election of their own standing, refuting a commonly held notion that most women in politics are proxies for male spouses or relatives. Image credit: Bhagirathi Devi/Nityanand Kumar   Thirty five … Continued

Bihar’s Youth Problem: Still Working The Farms

  Jobs.   This is likely to be the issue that preoccupies Bihari minds as their state prepares for assembly elections in October and November.   Close to half of Bihar’s young people depend on farming for a living, the impoverished state has 8% of India’s population but supplies no more than 1% of its … Continued

Bihar’s Surge Of Female MLAs: Progress Or Delusion?

Image used for illustrative purposes only.   Bihar may still be one of India’s most backward states, but when it comes to female political representation, it is among the country’s best.   The state of 104 million people has 34 female MLAs (next only to Uttar Pradesh’s 35), one of the highest in the history … Continued

The Curious Case Of Onion Prices And Bihar Elections

  Onion prices and the stock markets have recently been in the news but for contrary reasons—one is rising precipitously while the other is falling rapidly.   Recently, after the Indian stock markets plummeted by over a thousand points, there was a joke doing the rounds on social media that showed a picture of a … Continued

Progress With Nitish But Bihar Still On Lowest Rungs—III

  Bihar has the second-highest number of crimes reported (17%) against scheduled castes in India.   The rate of scheduled-caste girls enrolled in primary schools is less than half the rate of all girls.   Bihar has the second-lowest percentage of “active” scheduled-caste workers under the national rural jobs programme.   The first part of … Continued

Progress With Nitish, But Bihar Still On Lowest Rungs—II

  Bihar has the lowest enrolment in secondary schools among poor states   Bihar’s crime rate is second highest among poor states   Bihar has cut its infant mortality rate and now does better than some richer states   Bihar’s maternal mortality is the lowest among poor states   Bihar–India’s third-most populous state with as … Continued

Progress With Nitish But Bihar Still On Lowest Rungs—I

  Bihar has the second-highest economic growth among poor states   It has India’s third-highest level of poverty   Unemployment in Bihar is the highest among the poorest states   98% families in rural Bihar do not have access to toilets in their homes, the highest rate among poor states   The eastern state of … Continued

The 5% Poison Pill For Lalu Yadav

  “I am ready to consume poison to crush the snake of communalism,” said Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, almost conjuring up an image of Lord Shiva with the serpent Vasuki coiled around his neck.   Lalu Yadav’s insinuation was that, to save the state of Bihar from the venom of BJP’s … Continued