The standing committee on Lokpal bill has recommended that the search committee for Lokpal shall comprise at least seven members and shall ensure 50% representation to SCs and/or STs and/or OBCs and/or minorities and/or women. Parliament should not accept this recommendation.
In India any person can reach any position. Dalits have held positions of President and Vice President of India, CJI and Speaker of Lok Sabha. If a Dalit woman can become chief minister of Uttar Pradesh any Dalit can reach any position. Historical marginalization is not a reason for reservations.
The controversy about Aarakshan has raised the question of relevance of CBFC. Once CBFC certifies a film there should be no problem about its release anywhere in India. However many people without seeing the film want the film to be banned. Some want special screening for them. It is bad for anyone to do that but worse when people in power do that. It is unpardonable for the home minister of state to say that films should be shown to certain politicians. It is unpardonable for other ministers to demand special screening and they will decide what should be shown. States should have no power to ban a CBFC certified film and those who create law and order problem should be strictly dealt with.
The Government of India wants 5% reservation for SCs/STs in private sector. Reservation in government jobs itself is a bad idea. Once the reservation begins there will be demand for increase in percentage and extension to other communities like OBCs. It will divide people. There will be further demands to be declared as OBCs or STs. We know the damage done by Gujjar agitation.
Reservations began for a period of 10 years. They got periodic extensions and more people came under reserved category. SCs/STs changed a lot over the years but reservations continue. Then came OBC reservations.
If government thinks that companies benefitting from government incentives have to reserve seats it should stop incentives.
On 9/3/2010 Rajya Sabha passed womenâ€™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 womenâ€™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.
Reservation for women in rural and urban bodies should not have been there and should go.
Reservation will mean women from families of existing legislators will become candidates. It will not help ordinary women. To say that even if they are family members they are women is not a sound argument.
Women who are competent win elections. Indira Gandhi became prime minister. Pratibha Patil became president. There have been many women chief ministers. Some of them are leaders of their parties. All of them succeeded without reservations. Reservation for women in legislatures will mean incompetent women will become legislators.