From J G Aurora
1. Instead of reviewing the existing system of reservation which has fragmented the nation and perpetuated the caste system, the newly installed BJP-led union government wants to provide for 33 per cent reservation to women in Parliament and State Legislatures as proclaimed in the Presidential address to Parliament on June 9, 2014.
2. Though the policy of reservation for women would please the self-proclaimed ‘leftist liberals’ (who control the main stream media) and the foreign-funded NGOs, it will cause irreparable damage to India’s democracy and the nation’s future.
Though no one can object to the empowerment of women, providing reservation to women in Parliament and State Legislatures cannot be the means to achieve it.
3. The claim that reservation is synonymous with empowerment is fallacious. Instead of indulging in gimmicks like reservation for women, the government needs to look forward and move beyond the divisive politics of reservation.
4. Since the Constitution gives right to women to contest the Parliamentary and State Legislature elections, there is no discrimination against women in this regard. But reserving 33 per cent of these seats for women would debar men from contesting these seats which violates the basic principle of democracy; and which cannot be justified on any ground.
5. Those political parties which believe in women’s reservation can select any number of women as their candidates during elections instead of going for a constitutional amendment to achieve this.