What should be done at this stage is well-known. But effective execution not only requires a decentralised approach and better coordination, but, most importantly, shedding hubris. Can the state rise to the challenge?
A complacent approach that assumes that all necessary measures, including the Poshan Abhiyan, are in place and the reversal in progress is only momentary will be a sure way to inflict a debilitating, irreversible impact on children’s nutrition and their well-being.
The welfare policies were fortified with and paved a way for a carefully crafted micropolitics of identity creation and assertion. Identity-based reservation in education and employment was an important component of this form of populism.