All Talk and No Action Friday, March 12, 2010

Enough virtues about the Womens' Reservation Bill have been extolled.

A lot of Op-Ed ink has made its way to our homes.

A step ahead for womanhood, or so they claim.

Before more hogwash spreads and forms public opinion, I decided to add to the noise too. Not that I have anything that hasn't already been pointed out.

Mainly, so that ladies do not get the satisfaction of calling me an MCP.

As a lady, and a feminist [if that makes you happy], I do not support this Reservation Bill.

Reservation, of any kind, should be fought with, at all costs. Years of reservation for OBCs/SCs/STs have not amounted to much progress for these marginalised sections of society. The little numbers that did benefit, always belonged to the upper crust of these classes. I am sure the same fate awaits this Bill.

Also, once the bill becomes actionable, it will be impossible to scrap/modify it, even after women have found their rightful and just places in society and politics. Do think about this - The talks regarding this Bill have been making rounds since 1996. It has taken 14 years just to get it to the Rajya Sabha. Thinking about changes to the bill, once passed, is unimaginable.

We need to understand that reservations of any kind, can never make any wrongs right.

Next, this bill goes against democratic principles of elections. I would want to vote for a candidate with proven records and not for any gender per se. Also, the bill requires reservation on a rotational basis. For e.g., in Mumbai, during the current elections, seats in Bandra and Borivali might be up for reservation while the next elections would require Dadar and Colaba to have women MPs. I think this will only dis-incentivize our MPs and lead to non accountability. There is little motivation for an MP in this lottery like setup.

Furthermore, parties like SP have already asked for a quota within this quota - reservation for Muslim women within this bill. Really, do we need more of such vote-bank politics?

Another fallout of the bill can be various dummy women politicians filling in for the men in their houses - many more Rabri Devis and other maa-betis will unleash their stupidity on the electorate.

As a suggestion, parties may want to have reserved seats for women from within rather than having compulsory reservations in legislature.

Finally, I want you to dwell on prenatal sex determination, dowry laws and other such acts. They may have given protection to a small percentage of women. However, they haven't been successful at freeing our society from such ills. Meaning, laws are insufficient. Society and its outlook towards women need to change if we wish to see any inclusive growth. Every household and every parent needs to provide the girl child with as much love and appreciation as it would provide a son with. This will also put a stop to idiotic laws getting passed.

IndiaUnbound raised an important point here. Bangladeshi politics has seen power sharing between Khaleda Zia and Sheikh Hasina for the past two decades now. So, is it any reflection of the true state of Bangladeshi women?

Similarly, A Vasundhara Raje could not contain female infanticide in Rajasthan, A Sheila Dixit cannot help Delhi from becoming the Rape Capital of India and a Mayawati hasn't been helpful in preventing honour killings in UP. More women in legislature will not lead to better socio-economic status of women, more girls in school, more women at workplace, etc.

I strongly recommend reading Jerry Rao, SwapanDasgupta, The Acorn, and Madhu Kishwar to know why this bill needs not to become a reality.


Siddhesh 'Ravan' Kabe said...

hmmmm....i will not comment on this clearly because I am tired of these reservation debate...:)

Good to hear your opinion also,...just for the record. I am with the bill for the reason, atleast corrupts MP's will have someone to slap on.

Parth J Dave said...

I agree with you on this. In fact, I am more than happy that you, as a feminist can understand the situation and draw the right conclusions about it.

I liked this sentence of yours, "We need to understand that reservations of any kind, can never make any wrongs right." True!

Also, your blog template reminds me of my own. A long time back, my blog had the same template you have now..Your blog helped me recollect those memories about my bloggging experience about a year ago.

Anyway, it is definitely good that women like you are understanding this issue and deeming it useless. You can also check out more of my views about this topic at A Woman's Day and her Bill...

All Talk and No Action said...

Siddhesh - Yes, reservations do tire people out.
Ha, you are assuming women MPs will be very conscientious and slap male MPs...

Parth - Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. It is important that word spreads about this bill and a general awareness comes about.

Anonymous said...

Its only in a democracy and All Talk No Action's Blog that Ravan gets to speak.

Anyways, I respect Ravan's perspective. I too fully agree with Mukta, however I feel that it is too late, the bill has already been enacted, it will be live in action from next elections. Unfortunately, with all the women empowerment, Sonia Gandhi still does not read this blog.

Now, Why I dont agree with this Bill. We see several problems in the world, the moment, women step out of the house, for whatever reasons, work, business or education. They previously used to cause chaos within the confines of a home, now they do that worldwide. Look @ Mrs. Gandhi. Generations of chaos.

I know for a fact that women drivers are often far from the rest. Are you surprised Michael Schumaker is not a woman.

Now when women go to work, they increase the cost and decrease the productivity. Sponsors of all gossip, rumour spreading capaibility, that would put facebook / twitter to shame.

We have maximum women that work in the west and they undoubtedly cause divorces and extra marital affairs. Need we say more. The right place for a woman is at home, cooking meals, serving, watching television and so on.

Mohan Mohammed Bhargava

Anonymous said...

i agree w mohan mohammed. women should not b allowed to drive, saudi arabia is a right example.

our country respects woman and knows that there is no end to their stupidity. we have tried to contain it by passing world famous laws. who wants an adulterous wife. y not stop the source itself.

Woman wear skimpy clothes and lure man. i dont know any men in saudi that dont wear our traditional dish dash. like in india you have castes and classes. we have in saudi too, but between the sexes.

the feminist is unfortunately not a feminist

Sheikh Khalid Bin Wahib Rahim

Dhirendra said...

Awesome article. Displays strong analytical skills of a true writer. Hats off to analytical journalism which is so rare in India.

Dhirendra said...

Awesome article. Displays strong analytical skills of a true writer. Hats off to analytical journalism which is so rare in India.

All Talk and No Action said...

@Mohan Bhargav & Sheikh Rahim - The only thing this article lacked was humour. Thanks for making up for it.

@Dhirendra - Thank you for the flattering words. I believe I have a long way to go as a writer, but comments like these keep me motivated.

Anonymous said...

I still support the bill. May be i don't have much points to defend it.(coz m too bored of this women's bill debates..n don wanna read facts or any article) But reservation do have its share of advantages.

keep writing!

All Talk and No Action said...

@allthecrap - You aren't helping the cause. You need to mention why you support it. Reservations haven't done much for anybody, ever.

Nirav..!! said...

Why not give womn a chance to come up and improve their situation in the country :-)..

All Talk and No Action said...

@Nirav - Thanks for stopping by. But I have already mentioned how the bill will not help women much :)

Nirav..!! said...

It wont harm them either :-)..Who knows, India might well gain from it..we have seen our men laying eggs of corruption on d highest throne,Women might well change the scene altogether..If it isnt good,it isnt bad either :-)..

All Talk and No Action said...

@Nirav - And what makes you think that women might be less corrupt and more conscientious?

India is plagued by myriad problems, reservations being one. If Upliftment is our motive, then empirical data shows reservations haven't been helpful.

Nirav..!! said...

You have well maintained your blog,congrats for that :-)..How did you publicise your blog?Need few suggestions from you so that I can increase the traffic on my blog..My blog isnt as good as you..Comes no where near you,Still wud like to hear some suggestions :-)

Nirav..!! said...

Oops..Read your comment now..Wait lemme type

Nirav..!! said...

Well..If Reservation is for good then why not?I agree reservations in certain sectors arent justified,rather an injustice to sections unincluded..I wont term the word 'reservation' wrong but the sector in which it is implemented as wrong..Education system for eg....Its not bout reservation but something beyond..64 years few things changed,let this be the one to pace up!!

All Talk and No Action said...

@Nirav - Thanks for the praise. Only way to consistent traffic would be consistent and quality posts.

About reservations, really, now we can only wait and watch. But definitely not a worthy bill to pass :)

Nirav..!! said...

Hmmm hmmm lets hope for d superlative :-)...

Wud feel good if you read this :-)

SK said...

I am nuetral on the reasons...
1.Anyways poiliticians are not accountable for anything so there is no impact of the bill
2.You said you would vote on tha basis of capability and not because a lady is standing for the electio---3 observations here..
A)Whom did you vote this time? You got any candidate worth having good capability? i wonder.
B)You lied Mukta because i know you always vote only for BJP without seeing who is standing..
C)I assume that women have still not yet advanced to a level where they will have several murder charges against them..In this direction atleast it will be better that I m not voting for a criminal...PLS NOTE MY ASSUMPTION CUD B WRONG!!

Yes but one firm opinion is women are better managers but more cunning then men (again my general offence) so we are netral again about impact of the bill. :-)
and yes i believe we shud have passed similar bill first as a experiment basis only for panchayat level election and see the impact...before taking a big step..

All Talk and No Action said...

@SK - In matters of governance, we shouldn't be neutral :-)

Yes, politicians lack accountability and this bill will only help them more.
Yes, I mostly support the BJP, because they field better candidates :-)

About women, let us not assume that they would be wiser/more handworking/conscientious than men. Power corrupts all.

We do not need reservations as I have mentioned already. Indians haven't benefitted much.

I see this bill as an attempt to suffocate democracy.

Bradly Jones said...

I don’t know how Bangladeshi women do it, but they deserve more respect than they receive. Regardless of whether raising a child or having a job and feeding a whole family, the life is hard but these women are strong.

call Bangladesh

Debate on Indian Politics said...

I am Agree With The Blog.