Saturday, July 25, 2009



The uproar over the passage of Women Reservation Bill in India presents a gloomy scenario of the condition of women in India.While the vehement opposition from the politicians to pass the bill for years depicts the true picture of male chauvinism prevailing in the country, the bigger question remains, why is such a bill important?Does not that itself tell how miserably we have failed to secure equal rights for the women?

Ever since the Bill was introduced in the Parliament in 1996, it has aroused wide protests from a group of politicians and every time after much hype and public attention it goes where it was thirteen years back.Reservation although a very favorite topic of our revered politicians, has boomeranged in this issue to themselves as this time their personal interest is at stake.Who would want to lose their own seats if 33% of the seats in Lok Sabha or State Assemblies are reserved for the women?That's why they can even accept "death" to stop the bill from being passed by the Parliament.It is high time that these politicians present themselves in a responsible manner and not create any mockery of such a serious issue.The indomitable, indefatigable,invincible( You know why I am stressing so much) spirit that was visible when reservation of castes was concerned, must be brought back.

Reservation itself is an indication of the failure of the state in any particular issue.We reserve seats only for those for whom we have so far done nothing good or who have the potentials of becoming our trump card in the vote bank.True, by reservation we acknowledge our failure but has this acknowledgment so far done any justice for those for whom we are reserving.Our record answers the negative.

So, before we think about reservation for women in the constitutional forums, we must empower women at the very grass root level.We have to provide them proper education, at least what their male counterparts are "entitled to" by virtue of their being men in the male chauvinist society.We must protest dowry which is still widely prevalent in many parts of this country.We must ensure social protection and safety of women.Unless these are done, the Women Reservation Bill if passed will be another mere hollow act, lacking any substance or relevance.

In the fight against injustice and discrimination, there need not be any discrimination between caste and creed. Women power needs to be viewed as a single entity and bifurcating women on the basis of caste and class is not going to serve the purpose.It is high time that we throw away such"Kinder, Kuche,Kirche" mentality and make women an integral part of our nation building process.



  1. i have no problem with women reservation. We all agree that right now it is very difficult for a women to come into politics and contest election. Hopefully it will bring MP's who truly care for people welfare and help in eradicating corruption, goondaism which is deeply rooted in our present political system. One major problem is the time frame.i think there has to be a time frame set for reservations. we cannot allow 33% reservation to go on forever. Otherwise it will hinder gender equality.

  2. i totaly agree wid ur views....govt shld go ahead to pass the bill like wht they did in nuclear deal n mind it they r in much better position now[atleast no threats from laloo prasad yadav]....but at the same time sum qualifications say minimum education shld be made so tht same thing dont happens as whts goin on in panchayati raj system....husbands r "ruling" on the behalf of their wives n wives r jus being their for face value....i belive reservation for so called unprivilaged section has been misused upto its extreme n india is goin no whr wid such policies of spineless politicians...latest i heard 50% reseravtion in private sector in u.p....i would say either they bring women res. or scrap all the res. wht so ever.

  3. @ Anviti...Rightly said.I was expecting a comparison with the Panchayati Raj System.Thanks 4 raising the issue.Keep it up.@Vinit...True, 33% is itself a proof that how much we make noise, gender equality in India is still a distant dream.Thanks 2 both of u.

  4. While arguing on anything we should not go by perception but by logic. We should understand that any type of reservation creates inefficiency. In some matters efficiency is more important than equity and equality. Leadership is one of them (other being national security,medicine and higher end research and the like). Because a good leadership has cascading effect which engenders equity and equality in the long run. So any compromise on leadership is 'non-negotiable'. Here we are missing one very important point:Leadership is assumed,not begged for or gifted. So talking about reservation in leadership is absurd in my opinion. However, I do agree that we should have proper representation of women in policy making but just representation is not sufficient. We should create conducive environment for 'creating/developing women leaders'. Reserving leadership for women is like patching up and old blanker when we need renew it. We should take holistic approach towards the problem and not resort to quick fixes.


  5. Second last line should read "Reserving leadership for women is like patching up an old blanket when we need to renew it". Sorry for the typo.

  6. Excellent point raised by Mr Anonymous.Any more views?

  7. Reseravtion empowered women in panchayti raj if not fully they are now much more aware of there rights and resposibilities women are taking initiative to give blessed life to there childern and family.......though India is a male dominated society but now women are taking active part in many field(science,arts,defence,policing,avaition,etc) and all this happen because efforts and legislation are there to help them. today women know what are there rights even in remote area of the country they agitate for there rights.....and this happen because small step and legislation are there to help them and Women reservation bill one more addition in that....It will help women taking part more acive politics and empower them to take out from more vulnrable state which they are in scine time immemorial...Indira gandhi,sorojini nadiu,sonia gandhi,etc are there and i think they were and are good leaders of country who steer nation in right direction so dont doubt in there leadership capabilities.

  8. What requires are proper condusive environement and change in mindset of indian people not only in male but also in women if they change there attitude toward there bhau,beti,bhen it will help them to rise in society

  9. Looks like the debate will never end on this topic; nothing is fair enough to the ever increasing and insatiable Indian citizen. Considering all the points that have been talked about and disagreed upon till now,i would like to make a point here.

    Let us first come to the basics and try to understand the forum on which this debate holds ground.Ok,reservation for what and why?For the Lok sabha?First let us agree upon the duties of a Lok Sabha member and then gauge whoever should get in.The question is not about the number but just how capable is each member, as an individual.Is it not so? Do we not need able and sincere leaders than mere numbers,each representing one of those infinite categories?So my dear brothers and sisters, let us not forget the basics and let us honestly stop murmuring on these already dirt soaked debates, which as we can all clearly see, is leading nowhere but only causes divides and hence more debates.

    On a different note however, if the question is about unfair selection, where the capable girl candidate is kept out because of gender, then again the issue here cannot be solved by reservation alone.Clearly it is a case of unfair judgment against the deserving candidate.Do we still need a 33% reservation to solve this unfair ruling against the individual? If you think more women are much capable, why fight for just 33% and Not the whole 100%? And THIS my friends, I think is totally pointless! Because , what would a system be, if the selection of players is already capped to a certain degree? All we need here is fair play and if any wounded woman thinks she had been unfairly judged, kindly don’t ask for sympathy or drown in self pity over the issue.My fellow women, gather all your strengths ; Love, trust, sincerity, truthfulness, Authenticity,strong emotions, and most important of all as a Nurturer, nurture your strengths and fight for your cause.Stop imitating men in your ventures.It will only become your Achilles heel.
    After all,strength lies not in rulling a country but in making of a nation – a nation with strong morals and that is what a woman can undoubtedly deliver – in the Assembly or in the hearts of millions.

    In conclusion, I would like to stress on my opinion on WOMEN RESERVATION BILL that all these special concessions are unnecessary. The need of the hour is to start from the basic needs and to stress more on quality and less on equality for the sake of equality.Each individual should be gauged based on their capability and that is what is meant by Fighting on equal grounds.Builders should compete against builders,writers against writers, orators aginst orators,so on and so forth. That will be the making of a strong nation based on equality,which indeed is the whole meaning of this debate.I rest my case.

  10. All,I am stepping in again because so many people have entered in this debate as "Anonymous". First two posts (as anonymous) are from me and if anyone disagrees with them I am ready to present counterarguments. A debate should try to bring consensus on the issue and not schism. We should always be willing to 'unlearn' and 're-learn' in these debates and there is no point in holding the ideological positions with rigidity. Also, writing too much does not give more weight to your arguments, it only creates confusion.

    @Saptarshi, while starting a debate we must state the objective clearly and lay some guidelines for its progression. Any deviation from it must not be appreciated and responded to. And better if we can follow Oxford style of debate by having one PROPOSITION, followed by Arguments and counter-arguments and then ending with Rebuttal round.


  11. To avoid further confusion, I suggest all of you to mention your name in your posts.Thanks.

  12. At the end of the day our objective is to possess sufficient knowledge on the topic( write a good answer).Sounds a bit materialistic, yet as the exam is not far away, we don't have much options left.So whatever we do,we should not deviate from the basic objective.
    I always welcome conflicting views but that should never end in personal conflicts.Relax guys.Enjoy...

  13. Saptarshi, I am not taking IAS not to 'qualify' it.I am happy with my career in investment banking. I am taking it because I think I am meant for it. I am not for writing 'good answer' but for logically correct and sound thinking and make that acceptable.

    Anyway, I stumbled upon a seminal work on ICS/IAS yesterday. Should you get this, it is a must read for all aspirants:

    'India's Political Administrators'
    From ICS to IAS

    by David C.Potter
    Oxford India Paperbacks,1996.


  14. In first line 'not to' should be replaced by 'just to'. It is just a typo.

  15. Hello Sarvesh,
    Thanks for suggesting the book.Your comments have really been helping all of us a lot.One more thing,we do have conflicting views on preparation.But as far as this blog is concerned,I would not like this place to be used for contradicting each other's point of view.That may confuse a beginner.So just for everyone's sake let me be a bit selective while accepting the comments from the readers.Thanks...

  16. Hi Saptarshi,
    My views on the women reservation bill are as follows:
    Short term solution:
    Election Commision has suggested that the representation of women in adequate numbers should be seen from a wider perspective than just reservation. Implementation of an outright 33% reservation in some seats will curtail the vibrancy of the electoral process as the choice of the electorate will become limited.
    Secondly, if we go in for a rotation of reserved seats policy then it might lead to motivation loss in the incumbent male representative whose seat is going to be reserved in the next elections.
    Thirdly, the present bill would require an amendment in the Constitution which will be difficult to implement considering how the need for a reservation-in-reservation for SC/ST/OBC women will be implemented.

    Instead, all the political parties need to make it a part of their constitution that at least a third of their candidates shall be women. This way, each party can decide on its own reservation-in-reservation formula. Eg. BSP can have 90% of their women candidates from the backward classes. Moreover, this solution will require only a modification to the Representatives of People Act, which is a much simpler task than constitutional amendment. What is required is political will and consensus among all the parties regarding this solution.

    Leadership starts at the planning stage itself. And it has come to light that the women panchayat representatives have been unable to play a part in district level planning because of their lack of education. Thier views are not taken seriously by planning officials.
    So, before implementation of a reservation policy, women empowerment through education and a change in social attitude is required. The Conditional Cash Transfer Schemes like the Ladli Scheme of Government of Delhi are excellent measures in this regard. When women will be empowered socially and educationally, the need for reservation in the political sphere will be eliminated automatically. Women will demand it as a matter of right than as a matter of concession.

  17. Well as far as women reservation bill is concerned lots of people have so many problem and finding different solution..just answer me one qu is women get educated while they participate in Indian freedom struggle..NO they get motivated and empowered from fellows indian to do that only if they reservation is there it becomes mandatory that women have to do represent their constituency in LS......i think in PRI womens play good job... only after one election 800000 women get chance to represent at local level from PRI then why not she represent at national level with reseravtion.... it will definitely benefited them and empowered them and uplift them in society