Hey there. Happy Women’s Day Ladies. Hope you enjoyed the day. All of you are Rock Stars. Period. Did you read my tiny, little tribute to you guys on your day. I know it was the 8th of March yesterday, but honestly, I was more excited about the Oscars than about Women’s Day. 😉 But then even the Oscars turned out celebrating Women’s Day with Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman in the history of the Academy to win the coveted Best Director trophy. Though, I have my reservations about the winners of the Oscars this year, I think that could be reserved for a separate post. We are here to discuss ‘Reservation’ of a different kind.
If you’ve seen the news channels, you would have guessed where I am coming to. Yes the 33% Women’s Reservation Bill, that led to some unruly scenes at the floor of the house where it was tabled yesterday, and which has been passed successfully in Rajya Sabha today. A landmark move, no doubt, for a bill that has been a topic of debate in the country for some time now.
Lets face it, we’ve grown up with this bill as part of our lives someway or the other. I remember debate competitions held in school and college on this very bill. It has had a staunch number of supporters and an equal number of opposers from the time our former Prime Minister Deve Gowda proposed it to Parliament way back in 1996. It has been brought to the floor several times earlier as well, but has never been passed. It passed its first test today in RS.
All right, so what does the Bill seek to provide? Well quite simply what it says. The Bill, if passed, would reserve one third, of the total seats in national, state, local Governments exclusively for Women. This would aim to involve Women where it truly natters. In the matters of running the country.
But then comes the most important question. Is this Bill really necessary? Before I present my argument, let me state, that I have immense respect for women and think they are no less than men . And perhaps, that is the main reason that I find this bill utterly unnecessary. Women have excelled in various spheres of life. They run huge corporate houses, run political parties, excel in every field imaginable, fight battles on the field, do everything that a man can do. But they have not done that with reservation backing them. They’ve done it on their own, on their own merrit, their own hard-work, which is why I respect them and celebrate their success. But when they have a quota backing them, my respect diminishes almost immediately.
The 33% quota is already in effect in Panchayats. And how many times have we seen a famous ex minister or local bigwig, run the show, making his wife/daughter as a puppet Panchayat Chief. There may be exceptions, but the general scenario is the same. And like some parties argue against the bill, it has potential to be misused. They argue that reservation would only help women of the elitist groups to gain seats, therefore causing further discrimination and under-representation to the poor and backward classes. Valid point if you ask me.
We are a far more open society now, which does not see women as weak or those who require a man’s support to excel. Why then insult them with a ‘reservation’ Bill when they are much more capable to function without one. My honest opinion would be to provide more platform for women to compete with men on equal grounds. Because ‘Reservation’ in my opinion, does nothing to liberate women. It just gives another excuse, to portray women as the weaker sex, which needs a quota system to keep them in the race. Believe me, women are much more powerful than this bill makes them out to. Reservation in any form is anti-democratic in my opinion. Why have a reservation at all? Why not ask the parties to field women candidates in equal measures and ask them to contest elections like an equal? That would make more sense to me.
But before you dismiss me as an anti-feminist, this, of course, is only my humble opinion. I would love to hear your views on it as well. Perhaps someone can convince me otherwise.
But inspite of all that, today is a landmark day indeed. Historic, no doubt. But necessary? I really don’t know. 🙂