Voice from the Rooftop

Blog of Vincent Augustine D'Souza

Rajya Sabha and reservation for women

On 9/3/2010 Rajya Sabha passed women’s reservation bill 186-1. Before that seven members were suspended. They refused to leave the house and marshals lifted and carried them out. BSP members walked out. TMC members abstained. BSP and TMC are headed by women. Congress, BJP and Left Front had issued whips in favour of the bill.
On 26/2/2010 when budget was presented members of all opposition parties had walked out in protest against the rise in petrol and diesel prices. If the intention of passing the bill was to break opposition unity the government succeeded.
Interestingly in the bill Rajya Sabha does not have reservation for women.
During TV discussions some people who favoured women’s reservation mentioned that Pakistan has 27% reservation for women and Afghanistan 20%. Do these people want India to end up like Pakistan and Afghanistan which have many terrorists? Possibly the reservations are one reason for terrorism. Men who could have become legislators were deprived of their chance and took to guns. In that case India with 33% reservation can become worse than Pakistan.
Some women said men do not share power. Politics is not charity. You have to fight for your space and get it. Women in politics do not share power. Once Rita Bahuguna said something nasty about Mayawati.
No constitutional amendment has the right to alter the basic structure of constitution. Women pay less Income Tax than men. Seats are reserved for women in city buses. Some Supreme Court lawyer should file a petition against such injustice to men.
If women’s reservation becomes a reality many will have to change their constituencies at least once. Lal Krishna Advani will not be able to contest from Gandhinagar. Rahul Gandhi will not be able to contest from Amethi. Some women who are presently legislators and did not have women opposing them will have women opponents.

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