Government ‘saffronising’ education, women issues ignored: Activists

New Delhi — A group of women activists today accused the government of “saffronising” education and showing a lack of commitment towards addressing women’s issues.

“Within a year of being in power, saffronisation of education is already underway. There were also steep budgetary cuts in central allocation to education,” women’s rights activist Nandini Rao alleged while speaking to reporters here.

A Delhi-based watchdog ‘NoMOre Campaign’ today released an ‘annual report card’ assessing the performance of the government on democracy, gender, education and economy.

The report card is based on annual reports, print and electronic media coverage of the government, New Indian Express reported.

Citing some media reports, another activist Rituparna Barua alleged that PMO’s “decision to scrap” the one-stop crisis centres for women, which were to be instituted following the Justice Verma Committe Report, confirms the government’s lack of commitment to address women’s issues.

She also criticised the government’s decision to abstain from voting on a UN resolution on gender-based discrimination.

Mamatha Karollil, an activist, further alleged that the three pillars of democracy — legislature, executive and democracy — were not functioning independently and that the power was concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Office.

“A healthy democracy needs proper functioning of legislature, executive and democracy in an independent manner. But analysis of the first year of the government, they are not functioning independently and power is concentrated in the Prime Minister’s Office,” Karollil said.

The report also alleged that the voice of media and civil society had been “clamped down” during the one-year rule of the NDA government.

“The government in deliberately targeting the NGOs which are working on issues related to communalism, nuclear energy and environment. Though NGOs have replied to the government about their accounts and fund inflows, it is still trying to handcuff them,” Shipra Nigam, an economist, alleged.

Two victims of last year’s Trilokpuri violence were also present at the press conference.å

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