Posts tagged ‘women’s empowerment’

on 33% reservation-reply to my former student Geetha

A copy of my response to one of my former students- to her reaction on my article on the 33 percent reservation for women.
You are right in some points and wrong in others! But this is not a small beginning-it is a nosedive into regression. Women need to fight it out and come on their own-that is empowerment-otherwise it will be remote control affairs only. If the present elite women-we have 62 women MPs do not made a difference you think the 33percent will. If one mistake is multiplied into 33 times will that mean correctness? You have got it wrong. Most of the women will not want to be in politics and those who enter will be proxies.
Take for example your Parliamentary constituency is reserved for women-you stand for election and win. This is for only five years-after that your constituency becomes unreserved-so anyone can contest there-what happens to you-shift or fight First you fought women now you have to fight men and women if you want to be again elected fro the same constituency. Do you know that to understand the rules and regulations of Parliament-its working-how and why a Private Member’s Bill can be introduced-what are the requirements, Question Hour, debates etc takes time to study and learn these. So in 5 years it is not possible. The first time MPs will all be backbenchers and they will vote according to their leaders’ wish. Now who decides and what factors are taken into consideration to make a constituency reserved? There lies a big hidden motive. Again and again democracy is becoming more centralized and decisions of such vital importance will be in the hands of one person and her subservient agencies-like the Election Commission, the CBI etc. If you do not toe the line then the CBI will either resurrect dead cases or foist false ones. If you tone the line then even the SC will exonerate you-the judiciary becomes a mockery. Look at Sajjan Kumar’s case-and now Sanjay Dutt dropped from all the charges.
If it is so now with reservation women will be branded as slaves and bond permanently. As long as she is not released from her familial duties-she will be restricted. As you say if in Panchayats till date the women have not been able to stand up on their own-you think at the Parliamentary level they will. In Chennai the councilor of our ward was a man-a congress-he was thoroughly corrupt. So for the last elections he put up his wife and she won. Just before we left, the nearby school invited this woman councilor to hoist the flag on Independence Day. She came along with her husband and former Councillor of the ward. It was her husband who hoisted the flag After the function she came home and I asked her why she did not hoist the flag-she was the chief guest-Her answer was that since ‘ he’ is there I thought he should do it. This is an urban place-right in the capital of TN-so what will be the position in rural areas. That much for empowerment of women. This does not mean that no change is taking place and that women are not going to be empowered. There is a phase and a gestation period for growth and maturity. Please do not tamper with that and allow the growth-give all inputs and encouragement but do not oppress and push and create an artificial growth picture. That is regression. Even the natural growth process will be stunted and we will have women all subservient puppets. Should I add that they may decorate the Parliament and make it colorful-they will enable one woman to be the most powerful woman of the world-at their cost of their own dis-empowerment. This is the tragedy of the whole story of women’s reservation.
First things first-survival inputs must be not only accessible but also available. Today with the price rise she is grappling to make both ends meet. It is she who till date serves the food for the children and she wants to see that their stomachs are filled-what remains she eats. This is the case of the majority of our women. So the madams in Parliament will not grasp this story-told and retold that it has become stale. Even the basic development/survival input like potable water is not available-bottled spring water is available-for whom? First give their children better food-better health services and education facilities. Look at the heartaches to get a child admitted in a reasonable well run school. One of my own students was toying with aborting her second pregnancy because of school admission. She struggled so much to get the first child admitted and was not able to pay and go through the same rigors for the second. She came to me. I took her to my gynaecologist-the first child-daughter was 5 years old. The doctor advised her not to go in for abortion and then of course I promised her to do my best to get her the admission. She too was CD specialization. Has the situation changed today? I am giving these examples to substantiate my thesis. Reality picture needs real stories and not some crazy make believe stories. Empower the family unit and release her from worries-strengthen her and she will be able to stand on her own. Do not put her on permanent crutches. She will become a permanent disabled person. Tell me has Reservation solved backwardness? Has it empowered people? It has unleashed vested interest and churned out a creamy layer which sits tight on backwardness and makes more people backward. We still project more backwardness-more deprivation and more poverty. If even in the developed countries this kind of empowerment has not happened where women have better indices in health and economic status how can we simulate an empowerment of the women in such a skewed manner.It is like shadow bowing. But it will push India on the top of development as far as the world development index is concerned. This is exactly why the most under developed countries like Sri Lanka. Pakistan, Bangla Desh and India had women PM’s -did it reflect the empowerment of women in these countries? Even till date the USA has not-the European countries have not-only Margaret Thackery had been able to make it-What does this show. Development of women do not begin at the top but when she today has to trek for miles for drinking water, when she has no laterines, no health facilities,and when she bends to pick up the crumbs of a 100 day work a year for a pittance(called the NREGS) you just cannot talk of 33 percent reservation of women in Parliament. It is not that women are not pushing themselves up. Look at Mamata-the only woman who has come up from the grass root level-similarly Mayavati(good or bad is not the question) but if you take the others including Sonia Gandhi they are there because of the families/money and not because of themselves.Hence not able to understand what empowerment means-but indulge in drawroom discussions and Five star hotels debates on poverty and women’s empowerment. Take for example Brinda Karat-she is the only woman in the Politburo-what prevented her and her party from taking more women. For that matter why should they reserve constituencies-if Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Suraj et al are so convinced that women must be given a better share in the participation of the political affairs of this country then why depend on Parliament passing a bill. Do it in your parties. Give a few more women tickets to contest-take them in your consultative bodies. This is a big farce .This is not Her story but our stories and Mrs Sonia Gandhi has become one of the most powerful women globally with doing nothing-of yes she does -pull the strings as a puppeteer. Such empowered women are dictators and will not and cannot understand real empowerment. Because she has not come up the hard way up to where she is Don’t tell me of the sacrifice-Yes her husband was assassinated for political reasons-but those involved in it are allies today. For 12 silver coins Truth was betrayed. The Border Security Force-our ordinary jawans lay down their lives for the country-do they in return demand power-they are not even paid a pension to keep the fires of their family hearths burning.
So please reflect and get out of the mould and fetters that we women are and reflect dispassionately to understand what the basics for empowerment are.
Jayanthi Natarajan-another vocal person for this 33 percent-how did she enter and why/her grandfather was the CM-her father-in-law the chief secretary of TN. Became an MP through the backdoor-nominated to the Rajya Sabha. Was one of the members of the shouting brigade which pulled down the Central government under Gujral-why? Because of the Jain Commission Report-they demanded that Murasoli Maran must be dropped and action against the DMK chief must be taken. Today where does all this stand-does time change the perception of truth? She has to toe the line of her boss. Does she have a say in the affairs of her party and yet in Parliament she was very vocal that this bill will enable women to have a say in the political affairs of this country. May be what she meant was One Woman will have the total say and the others will be like puppets opening and closing their mouths. You see what power does-Truth will be buried. Woman or man what we want is people of integrity-with no vested interest but above all those who will not betray truth for 12 pieces of silver-
Dr Mrs Hilda Raja

March 13, 2010 at 11:52 am 9 comments


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