The theme for the Economic Survey 2017-18 presented in Parliament on Monday by finance minister Arun Jaitley was pink, apparently to confront Indian society’s notorious preference for sons, and the gender injustice faced by women. Implicit in adopting pink is the assumption that it is the colour preferred by women.
Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian posed for pictures displaying the Economic Survey’s coral pink cover, and the graphs and charts had headers ranging from peach to fuschia. “We just wanted to make sure that we too in our own small way contribute to expressing our support to the movement in favour of women’s empowerment. In fact, there is a whole chapter in the Survey on gender,” he said.
Indeed Chapter 7, titled ‘Gender and Son Meta-Preference: Is Development Itself an Antidote?’ bears the hashtag #MeToo, a surprising nod to the worldwide movement against sexual harassment of women. Alas, it appears below a rather dreary quote by Maithilisharan Gupt: “Woman, this is your life story Mothering your role, sadness your destiny.”