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Reservations about women

Today is Women's Day and there is a hullabaloo about the Women's Reservation Bill being passed in the Indian Parliament. But it makes no sense to me. Reservation has never made sense after liberalisation took place in the early 90s. About women's reservation in particular - I wonder how it will bring about any development? Politicians are politicians - whether men or women and there is no guarantee (well, I am sure) that women politicians will do nothing to uplift their kind. Take two of our greatest examples. Mayawati keeps harping on the Dalit issue (which is no issue) and Mamta Banerjee spent half the railway budget on Bengalis.

Whatever makes us think that more women in the government will lead to a better country? Can't women be cunning or hypocritical or corrupt like the rest of the political community? And I am surprised that everyone is falling for this eyewash and hailing the Women's Bill as some kind of revolution. Puhleez! Even the media is lapping it up like crazy. Sorry, but I dont share the enthusiasm. If anything, I have my own reservations about that things will get worse, with uneducated, uninformed and uninterested women using up the quota just to fill up their bank balances.

Instead, we could have announced better education and social policies for women. Educating girls should be our top priority to really make a difference. They should be given social security if there are dumped by their alcoholic husbands or indifferent children.

But instead, we are making a mockery of the whole system and filling it up with whoever gets the reservation.

Reservations should only be restricted to meritorious candidates, whether in the government or in schools and colleges. How does being from a certain caste or religion make one person more worthy of entering an institution than another who is more sincere and dedicated?

As the Bill is tabled in Parliament today, I have a feeling it may be passed by a party that wants to 'look good'. We will soon end up with a bunch of mother/daughter/sister puppets who will be sitting in the government controlled by the same bunch of morons who are messing up our country today.
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4 comments

Reality Bites said...

I completely disagree. The example you should see women performing is in the Panchayats. Those uneducated women handling panchayats so so well. And two bad eggs will not spoil the entire basket. There ARE women politicians who are better. And whether or not women's reservation is passed, the saas, bahu and beti of the dynastic politics will always be there. That should not be a determinant. If the Indian society was progressive enough to accept women competitors then there would have been no question of such a bill. But sadly it isn't...so...

Consumer said...

Tarana, have to disagree. I think reservations would help, though like the Yadav's, I would cunningly add the following caveats:

-It shd be a lower proportion. 33% is way too high, especially when one considers the fact that other seats are also open to strong women candidates to win.
-The logic of having seats reserved by rotation is convoluted, as people have correctly pointed out that it will lead to netas not really nursing their seats, and perhaps, even more short termism. Though people could start identifying themselves with parties rather than individuals more strongly in an ideal scenario.
-The experience with panchayats, as the other fellow points out, has certainly indicated nothing to the contrary. Governance has definiely not slipped, and whatever be the proportion, a significant number of the women who have benefitted are not necessarily 'puppets'.
-Most importantly, since India is hardly unique in terms of women's exploitation or now, emancipation, it is critical that we set a limit to this lot of reservations. The bill seems to indicate a 15 year period somewhere, which we all know will be extended. But a generation shd be more than enough by any stretch, so I would make it 25 years, with a specific proviso that reservations have to go after that.

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