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On 12 September 1996, a speech took place in the Lok Sabha of the Indian parliament, wherein it was introduced that from now on, one-third of seats will be reserved for women in the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. But, when we look at the present scenario of women representation in the Indian parliament, it is evident how the Women's Reservation Bill exists only on paper and is yet to become operational
Even an analysis was done by the PRS Legislative Research, and it showed that less than fifteen percent of the women are a part of the Lok Sabha and state legislative assemblies. Moreover, it is understood that when there is less representation of women in the legislative bodies, then its impact is directly seen on the country's decision making and policy framing.
In fact, globally, India stands at the 148th position out of a list of 193 countries when it comes to women representation in their national parliaments. When twenty-five years ago, the bill regarding women's representation was introduced in the parliament, loud debates and voices of resistance were heard. Even objectionable comments on women and their minimal role in the society were made. Many regional and national parties, like the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Congress, and the United Front coalition government which brought the first legislation in 1996, have made numerous attempts to pass the bill.
When asked from many women political leaders, they said that the bill exists only on paper because men are incapable of giving up their seats to women. Photo by Liam Edwards on Unsplash
When asked from many women political leaders, they said that the bill exists only on paper because men are incapable of giving up their seats to women. Even if you see today, only one state is represented by a woman, and that is West Bengal whose chief minister is Mamata Banerjee. This clearly shows a wide gap between the representation of men and women in Indian politics.
Back in 2014, when Lok Sabha elections took place, BJP and Congress, both the leading parties of India committed to implement the bill. But as we know, it did not happen. In fact, it is vile to see how even the “panchayat" or village level government secures fifty percent reservation for women. But, the same could not be done at a national level.
Seeing this situation, we must note that the representation of women in a country matters significantly because it affects directly on the nature of the country. In easy terms, the more the representation of women, the more will the country elevate. Hence, it is high time to make the Women's Reservation Bill operational and successful in India, which is one of the larger democracies of the world.
Keywords: Women, Representation, Equality, India, Democracy, Parliament, Governments.
When Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra arrives in Lucknow on Friday, after a gap of almost a year and a half, to assess ground realities in her party, she will be in for some surprises and shocks - more of the latter.
Among the 'shocks' she will be faced with are a non-existent organization at the grassroots level, dwindling public support to the party, severe infighting in party ranks and a total loss of direction on the eve of assembly elections.
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"During her tour, she is expected to interact with various sections in the party. It remains to be seen whether only a selected group is allowed to meet her so that reality remains hidden or if Priyanka meets rank and file," said a party leader.
The Congress has put up a poor show in the recent panchayat polls, exposing the claims made by state leadership that it had built strong organization teams at district and block levels following the party's revamp.
The UPCC leaders had assured the party leadership of a good show in the panchayat polls that they said would make the party a strong claimant for power in the 2022 UP assembly elections.
However, the Congress fared miserably even in its bastions, including Amethi, Raebareli and Sultanpur, and the party could not make its presence felt in the panchayat elections.
Except for three block panchayats in Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra's assembly constituency and a block panchayat in Amethi MLC Deepak Singh's area, no other party leader has been able to ensure the victory of any party supported candidate in the rural polls.
Infighting within the Congress has increased manifold and more and more leaders are resigning after airing their resentment against the 'autocratic and casteist function of UPCC chief Ajay Kumar Lallu.'
"Congress workers are resigning almost every day in protest against the state of affairs in UP. They are posting their resignations on social media. Some leaders have also been accused of taking money to make appointments in the organization. We will want to meet Priyanka Gandhi and apprise her of the situation. However, we are not sure if her coterie allows us to meet her," said Konark Dixit, an expelled Congress leader.
A sizeable section of the Congress in UP wants Priyanka to bring back old guards and other senior leaders into the party's mainstream.
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A divide has persisted between the UPCC's new team and the old guards following action taken against them. Efforts have yet to be initiated to bring the old guards into the mainstream and many senior leaders still find themselves isolated.
As a veteran leader put it, "The Congress first needs to stop fighting with its leaders before it can devise a plan to challenge the BJP. The UPCC leaders are making time-tested mistakes of reaching out to communities like Muslims and OBCs, instead of addressing issues that involve all." (IANS/AD)
The mood of the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) vote bank in this Dalit capital of north India continues to remain confused and wavering as the last few elections have marginalized the party. The deep frustration in the BSP cadre is the result of the gnawing feeling of utter irrelevance of the party in the current political scenario, as well as that of party supremo Mayawati, who looks fatigued and spent out.
Local leaders of the BSP are particularly disenchanted with Muslim politics, and many feel the Muslim votes will again go to the Samajwadi Party. Ahead of the 2022 Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, Mayawati has made new appointments besides restructuring the party organization, but insiders say the 'josh' (enthusiasm) is clearly missing. The voters are neither angry nor too happy with the Yogi Adityanath government in Lucknow, according to poll watchers in the city which has a sizeable population of Dalits, mostly engaged in the shoe industry.
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At present, all the nine Assembly seats in Lucknow are with the BJP which has three MPs from the district, two in the Lok Sabha, and one in the Rajya Sabha. "The last four years have seen social tranquility, though vain efforts were made to flare up the Hathras gang-rape incident. But prompt intervention by the judiciary and the proactive approach of the Chief Minister helped defuse the tension," observed a local Dalit leader.
Also to be noted is the fact that the number of beneficiaries of a slew of welfare measures taken both by the Centre and the state government has been continuously rising. Even during the Covid-19 first and the second waves, help poured in from all ends, and cases of chill penury or acute deprivation were few, according to a social activist.
At present, all the nine Assembly seats in Lucknow are with the BJP which has three MPs from the district, two in the Lok Sabha, and one in the Rajya Sabha.Wikimedia Commons
Naresh Paras, a prominent activist working for the downtrodden, said, "Chances are that a section of the Dalit votes would go to Chandrashekhar Azad of the Bhim Army, a chunk could go to the BJP, but the bulk of the conventional Dalit votes will remain loyal to Bahenji (as Mayawati is popularly known). Though the Congress too has been trying hard to woo the Dalit votes, it is doubtful if a swing in favor of the Congress could now be engineered."
An analysis of the voting trends and figures points to a gradual decline in the BSP's fortunes, after it swept to power in 2007, winning 206 out of the 403 seats with a vote share of 30.43 percent. In the 2012 Assembly polls, Mayawati could win only 80 seats, with BSP's share of votes falling to 25.91 percent. In 2017, the BSP could win only 19 seats with a vote share of 22.14 percent. In the recent panchayat polls too, the party fared poorly, further demoralizing its rank and file.
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In Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh too, the BSP has failed to improve its performance and looks set for a total wipeout. Poll pundits say that the BSP's loss has been the BJP's gain, as the saffron brigades operating at different levels have heavily dented the Mayawati vote bank which was estimated to be between 18 and 21 percent. Reports suggest that the BSP supremo has no option other than supporting the Yogi Adityanath government, in return for a Vice Presidential position, or maybe even as a new tenant of the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
"For the BJP, it is more important to consolidate Hindu votes, bring all layers of the Hindu society under a common umbrella, than sharing power with any XYZ," a youth leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad said. Political commentator Paras Nath Choudhary said that the BJP should definitely try to persuade Mayawati to ally with the NDA and if necessary should offer the Vice Presidential position to her.
"Given the challenges faced by India, it is necessary to strengthen the nationalist forces and bridge the communication gaps among different layers of the society. The need of the hour is to integrate the Dalits with the national mainstream and to work this out there is no harm in bargaining a deal with Mayawati," Choudhary said. (IANS/KB)
The BJP slammed former Union Minister and Congress MP Shashi Tharoor for questioning the progress the country made in recent years. The saffron party leaders said that making fun of the country is Tharoor’s favorite pastime.
In a tweet, Shashi Tharoor said, “Since the BJP is so obsessed w/our image, reflect: For decades, the world saw India as a land of snake-charmers and fakirs lying on nails. In the last 25 yrs, India became the home of doctors and computer geeks. Now we’re a land where people drink cow urine and bathe in cow dung. Progress?”
Quoting a screenshot of Tharoor’s tweet, BJP Rajya Sabha member Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe said, “Making fun of India’s culture, traditions and heritage has been your favorite pass time.” In another tweet sharing a news report, Sahasrabuddhe said, “Now you must stop this Shashi Tharoor Ji, just in case you have an open mind to listen to your senior party colleague Oscar Fernandes Ji.”
Since the BJP is so obsessed w/our image, reflect: For decades, the world saw India as a land of snake-charmers &fakirs lying on nails. In the last 25 yrs India became the home of doctors& computer geeks. Now we're a land where people drink cow urine& bathe in cow dung. Progress?
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) May 14, 2021
In the report shared by Sahasrabuddhe, former Union Minister and senior Congress leader Fernandes talks about an anecdote about a man in Meerut who claimed to have cured his cancer by drinking cow urine and how by doing ‘Vajrasana’ he cured his knee pain when doctors had suggested for replacement surgery.
BJP National General Secretary (Organisation) B.L. Santhosh tweeted, “Your tweet shows what you read nowadays. By the way India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has two vaccines to its credit … two medicines for mildly infected patients. If you need I can quote another 100 for you.”
While listing the Country’s progress in recent times, BJP National Spokesperson, Sanju Verma tweeted, “Under Narendra Modi, this is what happened. Today India is the world’s second-largest steel producer, third-largest electricity producer, second-largest smartphone market, second-largest two-wheeler, and third-largest automobile producer, seventh biggest stock market, third biggest start-up destination #SenileDown.” (IANS/SP)