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Women’s Reservation Bill – The Road Ahead

It has taken 63 years to give women of India their political rights. I sometime wonder why the constituent assembly that gave us our constitution didn’t make any reservation for women just as they did for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes then? The condition of women was as appalling as that of SC and ST”s and they should have considered the contribution of women for the Independence movement.

Now Rajya Sabha has passed the bill, next it will go to the Lok Sabha where it awaits fiercer opposition from few sadists and misogynists.

The bill must then be ratified by minimum of 14 states and assented by the President to become a law. It will consume minimum a year.

If everything goes smoothly, then the government will constitute a commission to delimit constituencies for this reserved category.  This is again a long process that might take an year or two.

When this is implemented it will herald a new era in the empowerment of women in India. Critics say that only wives, daughters, sisters of well established political families and rich women will contest and win owing to the cost of election.

They are right – but still they are women. Imagine 180 plus women debating in the parliament; those will be the voices that were long suppressed and humiliated. Once upon a time there was no one to represent dalits, backward people in Assemblies and Parliaments, but the situation has changed now. They are politically as powerful as anyone else. This will happen to women also in due course of time.

Remember there is an army of women politicians which is building up at the lowest strata of polity in India. With 50% reservation for women in Panchayats, in few years there will be a formidable group of empowered women who will be having enough knowledge and awareness about how politics works at local level, who can then brace up to bigger elections.

let’s hope it will soon become reality and makes our democracy more colourful and beautiful.