Monday, 8 June 2009

Why Woman Reservation Bill is bad ..very very bad!!

There is a buzz going around on Woman Reservation bill which was first muted in 1999 and had seen dramatic events whenever it was placed on LS. Key would be once passed this bill would ‘reserve’ 180 odd (33%) of the seats for women in Lok Shabha and similarly 33% in state Vidhan Shabhas as well.

While there is a need to get more women in apex decision making bodies of governance but I feel this ‘back door entry system’ would do more harm to the country.

Vinod has already written how rather than empowering common women it will empower Gharana’s and could make those 180 seats almost exclusive for political families and out of bound for common folks.

Another key aspect we need to take into account is the roles played by the institutions were we plan to have Women reservation.

Over the years with liberal dose of criminals and dynasties, decision making capabilities of Parliament has reduced. There are far more walkouts and slogan shouting rather than healthy debates on policy decisions. If we reserve 33% (or rather de-reserve 33% seats from men as few have started calling it) there is a real chance of these women rather than being true representatives of public would be ceremonial heads of their families.

So if a criminal is barred from contesting his wife/daughter/mother would be contest from reserved seats.

All the seats which get marked for women lets say in 2014 will see wives of current sitting MPs contest the elections.

What is the objective of the bill? Is it to empower women? I guess yes.. is this the best way of doing it?

If we make reservations in highest decision making institutions of our country will that enhance the decision making capacity of these institutions? Why do we have a parliament and such a rigorous election process for entering into parliament? Isn’t that to provide policy directions to the whole country? Are we by reserving seats for special groups enhancing or reducing its efficiency?

Before we start taking sides as pro- or anti-women empowerment (or anti feminists) imagine the situation or who will be entering into parliament in near future?

Does everyone really believe that this reservation will allow Meera Sanyal and likes of her to enter into Parliament? I am pretty sure they have not reached to the position where they are through reservation but through their hard work and because they are the best in their chosen field.

We have a woman President and now a woman speaker even without any such reservation. They are there not because they are women. Our biggest state is ruled by a woman and she has reached there through her hard work not through some reservation. Our capital is ruled by another lady and people are voting her back to power everytime she had asked for vote. I do not find anyone discriminating against them because they are women.

Do we need women like them or do we need more WAGs of political families?

I would like to bet that after the Bill WAGs of political families & criminals will have better chance of entering the Parliament than likes of Meera Sanyal, atleast in next couple of decades.

Do we really need to cripple our Parliament further (after dynasties and criminals) when we badly need to send best of the breed so that they can take best possible decisions irrespective of their sex, caste or religion?

Empowerment needs to happen at the lowest level in schools, colleges, by not denying them education, by not discriminating against them in jobs.

For Parliament we need people who are already empowered & are proven leaders not people who will get empowered by entering there.


  1. I entirely agree with you. This is really a WAG scam.

    One more very important aspect that you and I have overlooked is that the seats will be reserved in rotation. This means that a woman who wins from one reserved constituency will not need to to go back to it again after five years. So, there will be no interest in developing and working for any constituency. This will, naturally not attract any woman like Meera Sanyal, for example, because she will simply not be able to build a base of her own anywhere. This means that only gharana women will contest reserved seats. Real power will be in the family. And, a few hundred such dynastic families will rule India. Democracy?

  2. aah yes .. we missed that part. Rotation another very very ugly aspect of it.

  3. I oppose this bill simply one one basic point(among many others but this one is the crux of the matter)

    Whne I oppose reservations on the basis of catse or religion (or region if one were to go by the marathi manoos demand )then I also unequivocally oppose reservation for women..WHy should we have one more reservation for X,Y Z category?When we have been shouting ourselves hoarse till now about the evils of reservation?

    Women need to be empowered no doubts about that,but this is not the way to do it..
    surely when we have already see what reservation does to a society and how it divides it , cripples its growth that should be enough reason for us to NOT go forward with yet another reservation..

    like I wrote on another blog..when we give in to reservation for women what is going to stop other groups from demanding the same?
    Everyone has their own reasons all of which look like legitimate reasons to them...

    so no..I am NOT in favour of reservations for women..

  4. You are right we need to oppose reservation in all forms for all categories .. but this one has a potential to make our parliament a closed club of WAGS of political families

    what we need is affermative action

  5. Eventually,our country is moving towards dynasty rule,which ever party it may be.In olden days we had RAJWADAS,we may just be there with changed terminology.I n the next five yrs,the effort will be to sound democratic but bring about changes which makes politics difficult for new women enterants and establish single rule

  6. Sir .. we somehow need to mend the path and do a course correction .. but this bill is almost like fortifying that road.

  7. Do you want Women's Reservation everywhere? That is,

    1) Women's Reservation for 50% of Judges positions in High Courts and Supreme Court.

    2) Women's Reservation for 50% of positions in IAS, IPS, IFS?

    3) Women's Reservation for 30% of Govt and Private Sector Company Jobs and Promotions every year without considering performance.

    4) Women's Reservation for 50% of Senior Management positions in private sector?

    5) Women's Reservation for 50% of seats in IITs, IIMs, Engineering and Medical Colleges?

    6) Lay Offs only for men in Private sector and No Lay offs for women.

    7) Law for sacking of Men from their jobs, if a woman accuses him of harassment at workplace and considering the accused man guilty till proven innocent.

    8) Women's Reservation for 50% of positions in Panchayats.

    If you do not want special privileges for Women in all the above, the time to act is now. If women get reservation in parliament, then they will change laws to implement all of the above and you will just watch helplessly.

    Jago India. Jago!!

    Act Now. Send this message to as many people as possible.

    Say No to Special Privileges to Women. Say No to Women's Reservation.

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