Across the stands of the world’s biggest cricket stadium, a sea made up of the faces of Donald Trump and Narendra Modi stared out. The 125,000-strong crowd who had gathered to welcome to US president on his first visit to India alongside the Indian prime minister, at a rally dubbed “Namaste Trump”, not only danced and chanted to show their appreciation, but many also donned masks of the two leaders.
“America loves India, respects India,” said Trump as he stepped out to address the rally, to roars of approval. “India gives hope to all of humanity.”
The event, organised in Ahmedabad in Modi’s home state of Gujarat on Monday afternoon, was the pinnacle of Trump’s visit to India and a platform for the two leaders to show off their enthusiastically friendly relationship. Before taking to the stage, Trump rally favourites Madman Across the Water by Elton John and Macho Man by the Village People boomed out across the giant stadium.
The effusive bond between the two leaders was on full display, and Trump delivered a gushing speech paying tribute to an “exceptional leader … and a man I am proud to call my true friend”, while Modi sat behind him looking pleased. “Everybody loves him but I will tell you this, he is very tough,” added Trump, who unusually did not appear to divert from his speech script at all.
India has published a list which effectively strips about four million people in the north-eastern state of Assam of their citizenship.
The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is a list of people who can prove they came to the state by 24 March 1971, a day before neighbouring Bangladesh declared independence.
India says the process is needed to identify illegal Bangladeshi migrants.
Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Assam’s law minister and a member of the BJP, is in no doubt about the fate of those who have been rejected.
“Everyone will be given a right to prove their citizenship,” he told the BBC. “But if they fail to do so, well, the legal system will take its own course.”
That, Mr Bhattacharya clarified, would mean expulsion from India.
At present, correspondents say, that seems little more than a threat aimed at whipping up Hindu support for the BJP ahead of elections.
No deportation procedures have been put in place, and Bangladesh, already burdened by the Rohingya crisis, has shown no sign of being open to accepting a raft of new refugees.
But they may not be the only reasons. Marriage, for example, does affect the rate of participation of women in the workforce. But in villages, the workforce participation rate of married women has been found to be higher than that of unmarried women – whereas in the cities, the situation is reversed.
Significantly, rising aspirations and relative prosperity may be actually responsible for putting a large cohort of women out of work in India.
Remember, the largest drop has been in the villages.
After calculating the labour force participation rates and educational participation rates (young women in schools) the researchers believe that one plausible explanation for the drop in the participation rate among rural girls and women aged 15-24 is the recent expansion of secondary education and rapidly changing social norms leading to “more working age young females opting to continue their education rather than join the labour force early”.
The study says there has been a “larger response to income changes among the poor, rather than the wealthy, by sending children to school”.
Also, casual workers – mainly women – drop out of the workforce when wages increased for regular earners – mainly men – leading to the stabilisation of family incomes.