H C Singh

Bill for 33 Percent Reservation for Women- Its Implications

Though the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha after heated debate it will not suffice because in India women are not regarded equal to men or even are considered inferior to men, socially and intellectually. Besides most of women are confined to homes for being fit to do domestic work and raise children. Though 33 percent seats in Parliament are reserved for women in Russia, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, and in East, in Korea and Philippines, women in these countries and where there is no reservation like USA, Australia and England, women are in a position to take full advantage because they are socially equal and in nowhere and in no sphere considered inferior in Society in intellect and efficiency etc. Reservation for women in these countries has done well and is considered as women’s achievement.

In India even in the Parliament of 1999-04 the percentage of women members was only 7.8 percent i.e., there were only 42 women in the House of 543. As these women members of Parliament came mostly from upper middle class and upper class and most of them were highly educated, they were vociferous, significant and even dominating like Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Brinda Karat (CPM) to name a few.

More important for uplift of women are education particularly in rural areas, their social equality which means they should have equal right of inderitence of property and assets, end of discrimination on caste basis. It must be stated that though the Bill was passed by a majority of 186 against only 1 and 39 obtained, something unbecoming happened. Seven members of the parliament went up to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and snatched the copy of the Bill from hands of the Chairman and tore into pieces. This was a shameful act by these seven opposition members who were overpowered by Marshals and evicted later suspended from Parliament. Such an unbecoming behavior of MP’s had never happened before. Worst of all these seven have not apologized, or even are not ready to apologize. Such male members of Parliament do not deserve to be members of any elected House .

Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned a number of times and could take up the Bill next day for voting and the Bill was passed. Sonia Gandhi was very happy considering the passage of Bill in Rajya Sabha as her personal victory. However because of controversy and many members of BJP and even Congress, besides other small parties though are not openly apposed to the reservation of 33 percent for women, are at heart not willing to support the Bill. This is one of the reasons that discussion in Lok Sabha has been postponed to May 2010. It may be further postponed, as it has already been done. Thus at this stage there is no reason for Sonia Gandhi or Congress to be happy and Jubilant.

Another issue that has cropped is quota within quota for Muslim women. Infact Muslims have been demanding reservation for Muslims in all spheres and elected bodies from Panchayat onward to Parliament. But because of the present Bill of 33 percent reservation for women, this demand for reservation for Muslims has risen once again. To recollect, this demand by some Muslim leaders was raised even after independence. But Sardar Patel who was Home Minister retorted that those Muslims who want reservations should go to Pakistan. Can this demand be accepted, because of vote bank politics, or brushed aside? Hypothetically, if Muslims demand for quota is accepted, there may be demand for quota by Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The Bill for 33 percent Reservation for Women is not even half way through. It is the Lok Sabha which has to pass by two third majority, as it would be a constitutional amendment. As there are already many MP’s of all the Parties including BJP and Congress who are opposed to the Bill, it is becoming doubtful whether in May it will be taken up and passed after discussion in Lok Sabha or it will be postponed further.

Democracy presupposes equality of men and women and also equality of opportunity for all women and men. It is regretted that this equality is lacking even after 62 years of independence though Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of sex. Even the Directive Principles of State Policy which urge that the state shall direct its policy towards securing adequate livelihood for women as well as equal pay for equal work, seem to have been ignored or half heartedly attempted.

It is noteworthy that empowerment of women by giving them 33 percent seats in Panchayats all over India has resulted in induction of “at least one million” women to public life in rural India at the grassroot level. It is heartening. Though 33 percent reservation of seats in Parliament for women requires some vital amendments and considerations with all political parties as to how 33 percent seats will be distributed or effected keeping in view SC and ST quota. It is definitely not as simple as 33 percent quota for women in Panchayats. However when this amended Bill is passed in Lok Sabha by two third majority, which at this stage seems difficult, even in May 2010, this will bring a corresponding revolution, much more significant than that of Panchayats. It will herald a new era in advancement of women in India in all spheres. As and when this Bill is finally passed by Lok Sabha and becomes a Constitutional Amendment, India will, in the comity of nations all over the world, be recognized as an advanced and progressive country.

Though the Bill has been passed in Rajya Sabha after heated debate it will not suffice because in India women are not regarded equal to men or even are considered inferior to men, socially and intellectually. Besides most of women are confined to homes for being fit to do domestic work and raise children. Though 33 percent seats in Parliament are reserved for women in Russia, Norway, Sweden, France and Germany, and in East, in Korea and Philippines, women in these countries and where there is no reservation like USA, Australia and England, women are in a position to take full advantage because they are socially equal and in nowhere and in no sphere considered inferior in Society in intellect and efficiency etc. Reservation for women in these countries has done well and is considered as women’s achievement.

In India even in the Parliament of 1999-04 the percentage of women members was only 7.8 percent i.e., there were only 42 women in the House of 543. As these women members of Parliament came mostly from upper middle class and upper class and most of them were highly educated, they were vociferous, significant and even dominating like Sushma Swaraj (BJP), Brinda Karat (CPM) to name a few.

More important for uplift of women are education particularly in rural areas, their social equality which means they should have equal right of inderitence of property and assets, end of discrimination on caste basis. It must be stated that though the Bill was passed by a majority of 186 against only 1 and 39 obtained, something unbecoming happened. Seven members of the parliament went up to the Chairman of Rajya Sabha and snatched the copy of the Bill from hands of the Chairman and tore into pieces. This was a shameful act by these seven opposition members who were overpowered by Marshals and evicted later suspended from Parliament. Such an unbecoming behavior of MP’s had never happened before. Worst of all these seven have not apologized, or even are not ready to apologize. Such male members of Parliament do not deserve to be members of any elected House .

Rajya Sabha had to be adjourned a number of times and could take up the Bill next day for voting and the Bill was passed. Sonia Gandhi was very happy considering the passage of Bill in Rajya Sabha as her personal victory. However because of controversy and many members of BJP and even Congress, besides other small parties though are not openly apposed to the reservation of 33 percent for women, are at heart not willing to support the Bill. This is one of the reasons that discussion in Lok Sabha has been postponed to May 2010. It may be further postponed, as it has already been done. Thus at this stage there is no reason for Sonia Gandhi or Congress to be happy and Jubilant.

Another issue that has cropped is quota within quota for Muslim women. Infact Muslims have been demanding reservation for Muslims in all spheres and elected bodies from Panchayat onward to Parliament. But because of the present Bill of 33 percent reservation for women, this demand for reservation for Muslims has risen once again. To recollect, this demand by some Muslim leaders was raised even after independence. But Sardar Patel who was Home Minister retorted that those Muslims who want reservations should go to Pakistan. Can this demand be accepted, because of vote bank politics, or brushed aside? Hypothetically, if Muslims demand for quota is accepted, there may be demand for quota by Christians, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists.

The Bill for 33 percent Reservation for Women is not even half way through. It is the Lok Sabha which has to pass by two third majority, as it would be a constitutional amendment. As there are already many MP’s of all the Parties including BJP and Congress who are opposed to the Bill, it is becoming doubtful whether in May it will be taken up and passed after discussion in Lok Sabha or it will be postponed further.

Democracy presupposes equality of men and women and also equality of opportunity for all women and men. It is regretted that this equality is lacking even after 62 years of independence though Article 15 of the constitution prohibits discrimination on ground of sex. Even the Directive Principles of State Policy which urge that the state shall direct its policy towards securing adequate livelihood for women as well as equal pay for equal work, seem to have been ignored or half heartedly attempted.

It is noteworthy that empowerment of women by giving them 33 percent seats in Panchayats all over India has resulted in induction of “at least one million” women to public life in rural India at the grassroot level. It is heartening. Though 33 percent reservation of seats in Parliament for women requires some vital amendments and considerations with all political parties as to how 33 percent seats will be distributed or effected keeping in view SC and ST quota. It is definitely not as simple as 33 percent quota for women in Panchayats. However when this amended Bill is passed in Lok Sabha by two third majority, which at this stage seems difficult, even in May 2010, this will bring a corresponding revolution, much more significant than that of Panchayats. It will herald a new era in advancement of women in India in all spheres. As and when this Bill is finally passed by Lok Sabha and becomes a Constitutional Amendment, India will, in the comity of nations all over the world, be recognized as an advanced and progressive country.

March 17, 2010 - Posted by | Achievers, Corruption, India, Indian Economy, Indian History, Muslims, Political Commentary, Politics, Religion, Women reservation in India | , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I say the total reservation shall cross 50% , which is undemocratic and nation present system is of parliamentary system. Now reservation for SC AND ST is about 20% and adding 33% present women reservation definately cross 50 % total reservation.
    Better to make women political party then to reserve seat.

    Comment by parshuram masurkar | April 10, 2010 | Reply

  2. this a very good way to cope up with discrimination in our society . i as a student feel that this is the best way in making india a better country, it will also increase our economy.

    Comment by pallav jain | August 17, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: