Cow politics: Is it hurting the Indian economy?

Has the movement for cow protection gone too far?
The cow is a polarising animal in India. The majority Hindu community considers the cow sacred, and cow protection is an extremely emotive issue.

Some political parties have tried to use the issue to consolidate their vote, but this brand of politics has led to sharp divisions in society, and even mob killings.

Cattle which would have been slaughtered for meat and leather are now being abandoned, and are roaming the streets without enough shelters to house them. They're destroying crops and affecting farmers' livelihoods. And all this is affecting the multi-billion dollar leather, beef and dairy industries.

In this edition of WorklifeIndia, we discuss the rise of cow politics and whether it is hurting India's image and economy. Has the movement for cow protection gone too far?

Presenter: Devina Gupta

Contributors: Subramanian Swamy, senior parliamentarian and member of the Bharatiya Janata Party; Manisha Sethi, activist and professor of sociology at Jamia Milia Islamia; Martin Howell, South Asia bureau chief, Reuters
Mother Teresa

There is outrage in India over a Hindu leader's comment that Mother Teresa's charity work had one objective - to convert the poor to Christianity.

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Mourning – traditions in Hinduism

Dr Girdari Bhan, past President of the World Hindu Council UK, discusses mourning.
Euella Jackson meets Dr Girdari Bhan who is actively involved in the Interfaith Network for the UK and past President of the World Hindu Council UK, to hear about the structured approach to death and mourning practised in Hinduism. Having a Jamaican heritage, and a traditional way of mourning called Nine Nights, Euella is keen to find out what we can learn from other cultures and faiths to help us through the grieving process.   Producer Sarah Bunt

India elections: Does identity politics hinder development?

Caste, class, gender, religion and nationality - how important are they to development?
Caste, class, gender, religion and nationality are all powerful labels, but how important are they to a country's development and economy?

In less than a month, India, the world’s largest democracy, will go into general elections. The massive electoral exercise, with 900 million people eligible to vote, will take more than a month to complete.

Over 15 million of these are young first-time voters.

WorklifeIndia will travel across the country to capture local voices and find out what voters want ahead of elections. This time, we went to Varanasi, a holy city for Hindus and the constituency of India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to discuss identity politics.

Electoral promises and policies in India often tend to revolve around identity. So, is the spread of identity politics a positive phenomenon? Or does it hinder growth and development?

Presenter: Devina Gupta

Contributors: Seema Chishti, deputy editor, The Indian Express; Anjoo Sharan Upadhyaya, professor, Banaras Hindu University; Mineshi Mishra, student activist, Banaras Hindu University