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Friday, March 19, 2010

Women. Power. And Women's Bill.

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Women's Bill! Every time the topic comes up, I am reminded of what a male candidate had once written in the entrance exam to Mass Communication Course," If people had wanted, the Bill would have passed long ago. The fact is nobody wants it." This was said about 5-6 years ago! And you bet, I gave him marks lavishly and made sure that he got selected. For he made a statement that would prove true for all times to come.

And imagine this controversial Bill finally got passed in the Rajya Sabha! The happy and jubilant faces of Sonia Gandhi, Sushma Swaraj and others was a sight to behold. I felt happy too even if slightly unsure. Frankly if we have to go by words, we must indeed have 33% reservation for women judging from the fact that 50% of India's population is women. And rightly so, Arun Jaitley's remark that at the moment we only have 10% women representation in the parliament certainly makes us agree. But the catch lies there. What kind of Women Representation do we want? Will these new entries be as dignified, intelligent, honest, sincere and committed as Sonia Gandhi, Renuka Choudhary, Sushma Swaraj, Brinda Karat or say Shabana Azmi? Or are we going to end up having women leaders like Mayawati? Have our great leaders thought of the consequences? I know I have asked too many questions. But then I was not born yesterday. I have seen women creating homes and have also seen women breaking homes. That brings us to the fact, that India is a Home for we Indians. Naturally, we have have to think of what kind of daughter-in-law we want.

I am staying in Indore for the last 12-13 years. Indore is in Madhya Pradesh-a state that's quite backward as compared to Kerala, Maharashtra, Delhi, etc. I am also reminded of an interesting incident where one our peons in the university was happy that his mother had won the Village Panchayat Elections. This meant that power would eventually come to the male members of the family. I had been left speechless then just as I have been left speechless now! For it certainly means out of the frying pan into the fire!

Mind you, Power is intoxicating. And power in the wrong hands could spell doom. Instead, let's start slowly. Let's make literacy compulsory up to 12th standard in villages particularly. And also make sure that the contestant's form is filled by the woman herself.

India needs women leaders like Kiran Bedi who stopped the vulgar Holi that was being played in Delhi way back in the 70's and 80's. We want women leaders who will do something for the safety of women and work towards the upliftment of the country. I am not amused by numbers. I would any time trust a man like Pranab Mukherji and other such dignified leaders than go in for Mayawati, Rabri Devi and others.