Current General Studies Magazine: "Political Control" October 2014

Current General Studies Magazine (October 2014)

General Studies - I: Social Issue Based Article (Political Control)

The cases mentioned in previous articles are merely the tip of the iceberg of large-scale violations in these regions, gruesome details of which are availa­ble in numerous findings by women and human rights groups on which practically no action has been taken. The commission’s silence on this gendered violence by the state agencies is a negation of the history of women’s movements in these regions where women have come together to organise themselves against these draconian laws. It is a blatant tolerance of sexual crimes against women and the condoning of such crimes by the state. But, more importantly, it signals that the institution is unwilling to take a stand against the government’s (of whichever shade) official position on the issue (e g, the National Democratic Alliance under the leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (bjp) that has strongly supported the draconian laws to tackle terrorism, while the upa has been vacillating between withdrawing and promising to look at certain provisions of afspa). The commission’s composition being highly political, the chairpersons and members have refrained from taking stands against governments in power, or asking for their accountability, or supporting movements that raise issues of the democratic rights of citizens.

Political control over the institution has come in two ways: first, originally in the manner of its composition that remained mainly political - with political nominees of ruling parties be­coming chairpersons and members of the commission, and, second, in its relationship with the dwcd. The political appointments had its ramifications on the self-perception and inter­pretation of the mandate of the commission as also in its func­tioning in various ways as can be seen from the above discussion.

The political nature of the appointments has been one of the most important factors affecting the autonomous functioning of the commission in the manner it approaches an issue or intervenes in certain situations or deals with the government and departments, because the commission is constrained to act against those in power or those who have appointed them. In addition to being nominees of the government in power many of them have no history of working on women’s issues. As a re­sult, they lack experience and the necessary understanding and perspectives needed to handle issues. The non-institutionalization of procedures for the appointment of the chairperson and members of the commission has increased the possibility that women who have remained active in the movement or are actively working on women’s issues through campaigns or ac­tivist research are less likely to get appointed as members or as the chairperson of the commission.


  1. Do you think that current structure of NCW is proper enough to tackle crime against womens?

  2. Political control on NCW is unavoidable. Debate

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