186 – 1
Final Women’s Quota scorecard in the Rajya Sabha
In Reality Check tradition, we take this occasion to honour the ‘-1’ in ‘186-1’
Here is what he has to say :
(Emphasis added by me to help lazy reader)
SHRI SHARAD ANANTRAO JOSHI (MAHARASHTRA): Sir, I rise to speak on behalf of Swatantra Bharat Paksh Party. The position of my party can be very briefly summarised as follows: Political empowerment for women – a thumping yes, yes, yes. Reservation – a fairly big question mark. And, Rotation and lottery system – an absolute No, No, No. It was in 1986 that the Shetakari Mahila Aghadi of my party, the Rural Women’s Organisation in Maharashtra, decided for the first time to have 100 per cent women’s panel for contesting the Panchayati Raj elections. It was the Congress (I) Party, under Shri Shankar Lal Chauhan in Maharashtra, who opposed that idea and postponed all elections to the Panchayati Raj for three years running. And it was only after that that they accepted the concept of 33 per cent reservation. Sir, hon. Mishra of the BSP raised the question: Where does this reservation come from? This is the genesis of 33 per cent. Now, the question is: Has the reservation, actually, ever given benefit to any of the targeted communities? And our experience is not very happy. This problem could have easily been solved by a system of proportional representation rather than the Party List system. That would take care of the entire set of problems connected with reservation. And, the scenes that we have witnessed in the last two days could have also been avoided had we included proportional representation instead of the Party List system.
Lastly, coming to the lottery-cum-rotation system, this is not a minor defect. I still insist that this is a fatal defect in the system. Here, we choose a constituency first, and it is very likely that for that constituency, there may not be an enthusiastic woman candidate. On the other hand, it is likely that a man has nursed that constituency for some time.
This will unnecessarily create bitterness against the women’s movement. Sir, secondly, it is also likely that this opportunity will be used by established leaders for pushing the candidature of their family members which is
not the purpose of this Bill at all. Sir, once a woman is elected, she would know that she does not stand a chance of getting the ‘woman reserved constituency’ again. Therefore, she would not be equally enthusiastic about nursing the constituency. Similarly, the men candidates who get elected would also have doubts about their letting to contest that election once again from the constituency because the chances that it will be available to them would be only 50:50. Under these circumstances, Sir, the major effect will be that all the constituencies will be badly nursed.
And, lastly, Sir, this kind of a reservation system will make it impossible for any House to have more than 33 per cent repeaters at any time. So, we will lack the experienced people in the Legislatures and the Parliament. That could prove to be fatal for the Indian Democracy.
Thank you, Sir.
No ! Thank you Sir. For not being part of the sheep herd !
Related posts :
Institutes such as PRS Legislative started off on a promising note. However, it seems they have been assimilated into the fake socialist state despite being funded by Ford Foundation USA, Google Foundation USA amongst others. Their analysis of the Womens Quota bill ignores the man behind the curtain on many points.
Here is a major concern :
The impact of this bill on CHALLENGERS, INDEPENDENTS, and SMALL PARTIES.
This will almost sound a death knell for them.
Let us say by sheer miracle we are able to build a group to critical mass. Lets say this has a realistic shot at winning a particular constituency say South Bangalore. Obviously small parties first build influence in one or two seats. With this quota in place, the seats could simply be reserved for women. This would force the challengers out of the democratic process because the infant party usually cant accommodate this type of quota. Nor can they contest from other seats where no one has heard of them. Even if the challenger party was founded by a woman it would have no advantage because it is unlikely that ‘being founded by a woman’ is the primary appeal of the challenger. They still have to fight the ministers daughter.
A lot of independents contest and win based on personal charisma and some because of careful nurturing of seat. Reserving their seats will squeeze them out as it is much harder to fight behind scenes as an independent against big money backed women proxies. So you can throw your Capt Gopinaths, Traffic Ramasamy, Anil Salgaocar, Mr Rodriguez out the window. On the flip side, this may not help Meera Sanyal and Co, because they will be up against moneyed women of big parties. Being a woman fighting against men was not the reason Meera Sanyal lost.
Let me take an example. Say TMMK (Tamil Nadu Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam). They have significant presence in a few areas. If a number of seats in those areas (lets say 2 seats around Vellore) are reserved for women. They would have to find women muslim candidates to fight against the moneyed women of big parties. Even worse. It would become even tougher next time to recover any lost seat because the incumbent woman can contest again as an open candidate. But incumbent men would have to vacate or find women relatives. I just took TMMK as an example.
That the people of the country cheer this monstrosity is a damning indictment of our education.
I am not surprised at the complete lack of debate about such a ground breaking policy as the women’s quota. We are past the fork in the road. The courts have stepped aside and let the political class have their way with our equality.
This quota will put paid to any hopes India may have about exiting third world status. Why?
- Undemocratic. You cant choose who you want.
- Exception for SC/ST arrived at after painstaking deliberation.
- Constitution never envisaged reserved seats for any group other than SC/ST. Women were backward even at the time of framing of constitution. This would fall foul of the basic structure doctrine, but no one knows what it is any more.
- All quota is engineered justice. You cannot support Womens quota and oppose fine tuning of it, such as OBC or Muslim or Christian sub quota. It is a moral hazard trap. BJP is walking into this trap with its eyes wide open. They are going to come out looking like bumbling hypocrites when someone confronts them with the usage facts of quota for Muslim women.
Even technically the Womens Quota suffers from fatal weaknesses.
- The so called 15 -year time limit is laughable. You cant expect beneficiaries to pull rug from the very law that allowed them to reach heights.
- Sub Quota cannot be resisted on any grounds. How does the idea of Mr Owaisi talking from the moral high ground sound to you ? Guess what you dont have an answer to him.
- Will produce more Priya Dutts, Jayanthi Natrajan (grand daughter of ex-TN CM), Supriya Shule since there are no checks, such as creamy layer. What purpose is served by this.
- Can be used by the government to play games and undermine democracy further. They can simply reserve a seat where an incumbent male candidate from opposition party was strong.
- Will promote dynasty even further as the knee jerk reaction to unseating a male incumbent would be for him to find a woman kin as replacement.
- Lessons not learnt from SC/ST quota. They dont work for SC/STs once elected. They simply toe party line often following upper caste dictum. BSP did not appear on scene due to the SC quota.
- Further legitimizes quota claims in other spheres simply based on under representation without considering other factors.
- Disincentive to work for true empowerment of women. Keep quiet you have quota.
- Very need for women’s quota not clear. Women may be fewer in number but they are in powerful positions.
- Women are not going to join free agents in a future equality protest. The AIIMS scenes are probably going to be the last. Goodbye ladies !
This incident happened to me a few months back – but it left a profound impact on me.
I am a frequent visitor to a particular rural area in Kanchipuram District. On one of my trips I ran into an acquaintance Rangan*. We were chit chatting and I noticed he had a new calf tied in front of his house, I asked him when he got it.
What he told me next jolted me ?
He told me that this was a bull calf and had no use for him. He was passing by a meat shop and saw the calf tied near it. He then approached the shop owner and brought the calf home for Rs 5000 ! Just spur of the moment.
This whole scene gave me the chills – the bull calf just playing around and looking at me with round eyes and his story.
Now Rangan is no rich guy, in fact he does odd real estate jobs and since the slump has been having a hard time. He has even asked me for loans now and then.
I realized I was looking at a real hindu and a real human being. He is from the Yadava community – but this incident instantly placed him higher than most Brahmins I know.
The reason why I posted this was I have been wondering about the sanctity of the birth based brahmin concept for a while. Two earlier incidents are recorded in this post : https://realitycheck.wordpress.com/2007/08/25/brahmins-in-the-age-of-incredible-coolness/
* (names changed for no particular reason)