Perhaps for the first time in the political history of Manipur, since it became a part of the Indian Union on October 15, 1949, the ruling BJP has appointed a lady leader as its President.
Much has been talked about empowerment of women and reservation for them for empowering them, but this is perhaps the first time since Manipur attained statehood on January 21, 1972, that a lady politician has been appointed as the leader of the political party that is leading the government both at Center and the State.
Women’s role in the socio-political movement in the state known and accepted by almost all the students of history across the world. The infamous Khwairamband Ima Keithel is the only market in the entire country to have been run by women only and this is also the place where women played not only for the development of the economy but also has been a platform to upraise any socio-political movement. Women in Manipur have always been at the forefront when it comes to any issues confronting the culture, traditions and Human Rights issue of the state. The Nupi Lal and the Meira Paibi movement, Nisha bandh, all are led by women.
But the tragic part is that women were never encouraged (in practice) to led society. Adhikarimayum Sharda Devi perhaps is the first lady to hold the highest post of a political party that too is ruling the state. Maybe it was the political skill of Mrs. Sharda Devi to come up to the top post but, there were many like her in the yesteryears who were qualified to lead political parties like the Congress party. For Example, RK Mukhrasana was among the best contender who deserves to lead the party when she was alive and active in politics. However, the male-dominated attitude of society had never given her the chance to become the leader of the political party.
It was surprising to all the Manipuris who have been keenly watching the political theatre in Manipur, when all of a sudden Mrs. A Sharda Devi has been appointed as the State unit President of the BJP. And the more appreciation that the state BJP workers and leaders deserved is that none of them criticizes for choosing a woman to be the leader of the largest political party in the state as well as across the country.
Imphal Times has no interest in the ideology of the BJP, but the way that this political party often term as Hindutva party appointed a lady as their leader showed that the BJP has no differences among men and women or have no gender biases when it comes to the functioning of their party.
As the President of the political party that is leading the government in this state is a lady, people today expect many more things that may be taken up for the welfare and empowerment of the women community of the state.