Based on a recent group discussion, the STTI Chapter at Purdue explored the issue of fuel subsidies in India, and its long-term systemic consequences.
Energy subsidies have wide-ranging economic consequences. While aimed at protecting consumers, subsidies aggravate fiscal imbalances, crowd-out priority public spending, and depress private investment, including in the energy sector. Subsidies also distort resource allocation by encouraging excessive energy consumption, artificially promoting capital-intensive industries, reducing incentives for investment in renewable energy, and accelerating the depletion of natural resources. Most subsidy benefits are captured by higher-income households, reinforcing inequality. Even future generations are affected through the damaging effects of increased energy consumption on global warming.
According to a UNICEF study, nearly 3 out of every 5 male teens in India think wife beating is justified.
The typical dodge that we tend to use on hearing such appalling numbers is to say that the “cultural elite” are disconnected from the evil ways of some distant segment of our population who cause these disturbing figures. But based on observations from our own lives we realized that if we really open our eyes, India’s “cultural elite” (aka you and me) are definitely guilty of propagating troubling misogynistic attitudes.
In this context we discussed, a survey by the United Nations Population Fund, that revealed that two-thirds of married Indian women claimed to have been beaten, or forced into sex by their husbands. We unanimously emphasized that every women should have the liberty to just say NO! and have her rights protected. We discussed the realities of the sex trade industry in India that is completely based on the exploitation and oppression of women.
Through the course of the discussion we also analyzed the concern that the patriarchy in our society is so phenomenally powerful and pervasive that a lot of the times women do not even realize that they are being pushed into adopting stances that compromise their dignity and liberty. The fact that in the same UNICEF study, 53 percent of GIRL teens think wife beating is justified illustrates this point.
As a further exploration, we have created this infographic on Marital Rape: