Chequered journey

The editorial “Chequered journey” (May 8) rightly says guerrilla-like tactics had to be employed by the UPA, the BJP and the Left parties to prevent the papers from being torn up when the women’s reservation bill was introduced in the Rajya Sabha. Our politicians wax eloquent on women’s empowerment in rallies and meetings.

But in practice, they act against the interests of women. While we take pride in treating even our rivers as goddesses, in actual life, we deny women their rightful share in politics. Opposition to the bill on one pretext or the other — creation of sub-quotas, increasing the number of seats, etc. — is aimed at delaying its passage.

S. Nallasivan,


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It appears that it will take another decade for women’s reservation to become a reality considering that it is already 12 years since the bill was first introduced. To satisfy the parties that want reservation within reservation, special constituencies for the weaker sections may be thought of as was done in the first few general elections.

Some double-member constituencies may also be envisaged, from where both men and women belonging to the same party can contest.

K. Panchapagesan,

New Jersey

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Had the UPA government been serious about providing reservation for women in legislatures, it would have introduced the women’s reservation bill during the opening session of Parliament in the Lok Sabha. Given that there are serious differences among the UPA allies themselves on the bill, it is highly unlikely to be passed in the lower house whose term is coming to an end next year.

Jetling Yellosa,


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The only positive aspect of the bill’s fourth-time introduction is that it has been done in the Rajya Sabha. This ensures that the bill will not lapse even after the tenure of the present Lok Sabha. But the other hurdles that were the cause for the bill being put on the back burner continue to exist. The SP, the JD(U), the RJD and others have hardened their opposition to the bill in its present form, demanding ‘reservation within reservation’ for OBC women.

One can only hope that the Standing Committee to which the bill has been referred will strive hard to evolve a genuine consensus among all political parties, preferably before the end of the Lok Sabha’s tenure.

Shahabuddin Nadeem,


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The women’s reservation bill is the most undemocratic bill in the history of our republic. Have women been deprived of any of their rights? The law does not stop them from participating in the political process. The women’s bill is opposed to equality because it encroaches upon the rights of men.

Before passing the bill, Parliament should conduct a study to find out how many women are interested in taking up politics as career. Reservation of seats for women should be left to political parties, which should take a decision based on their women membership. No constituency should be demarked exclusively for women. The bill seeks to shake the very foundation of democracy.

A. Amudhavanan,


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If 33.3 per cent reservation for women in legislatures is added to the reservation that exists for the SCs and the STs, more than half of the seats will be reserved. This would not be fair to other sections of the population.

Bobby Francis Joseph,


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