In a Democracy, as i understand it, there should be a forum for deliberation where people’s representatives can congregate and put forward their proposals and convince the other members of their point of view. When such a non-violent procedure is adopted, firstly, we have a forum that would freely exchange “Ideas”; secondly based on the “AUTHORITY” & “RECOGNITION” that flow from that forum, LAWS could be put in place.
Based on this in India , we have the Parliament, which is not merely the highest legislative organ but also the highest DELIBERATIVE ORGAN. But the PARLIAMENT is a creature of the CONSTITUTION of India, yet with CONSTITUENT powers to amend any provision of the Constitution. The only check that is imposable on this CONSTITUENT POWER of the PARLIAMENT is the doctrine of “BASIC STRUCTURE” formulated in the Kesvananda Bharti Case and later upheld in THE MINERVA MILLS’ CASE.
This “reservation” to start with, offends the BASIC STRUCTURE of the CONSTITUTION. UNIVERSAL ADULT SUFFRAGE also includes that any “INDIVIDUAL”, who is not otherwise disqualified under the provisions of law, could stand as a candidate in the fray for election as an MP/MLA, irrespective of gender or educational qualification. By reserving a seat on grounds of GENDER, the rights of a person who does not belong to that particular gender stands DISCRIMINATED against.
Do we remember Shanthi Soundarrajan from Pudukkottai, the ASIAD silver medalist in 800mts at Doha, was later declared to be not falling within the description of “woman”! So 33% of persons who claim to be women, are firstly to go thru a gender test to rule out unfair practices in gender claims!!
Further, let us assume that a woman has been representing a constituency for 2 consecutive terms, when the reservation was not in force. But when that constituency is “reserved”, she does not have the handicap of either having to give up or migrate to another unreserved constituency, merely on the grounds that she is a woman. Whereas, if the same were to have been a MAN, then he has to stand out and let a woman compete. This is a further case of UNFAIRNESS born out of gender discrimination.
Because of the DEPRIVATION of the right to CONTEST and the UNFAIRNESS generated because of the bill, this bill is DISCRIMINATORY on reasons of GENDER only.
Let us also consider the “fall out” of this bill from the point of view of an INDIVIDUAL versus an INSTITUTION. The major political parties like the Congress, Communist parties and BJP have an axe to grind. These political parties are not likely to suffer because of the “rotation” in favour of a woman once in 3 terms. These political parties need to just change the candidate and put a person of the appropriate gender to contest, whereas when an INDIVIDUAL (male) opts to put up a woman candidate after his 2nd term, he cannot “TRANSFER” the goodwill and the “benefits of efforts” put by him during his previous terms. This “rotational method” based on gender seems to be a BACK ROOM entry by the established political parties to reduce periodically the importance of an INDIVIDUAL. This would ensure that the BASE has no relevance and the TOP would decide!!After all everyone knows that in a country (where the actual voters are predominantly illiterates), an ELECTION SYMBOL is more important for familiarity and continuity of the goodwill !!
The CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY, consisting of the erudite, socially sensitive veterans and persons who fought off the slavery of the British had applied themselves for close to 2 years incessantly, to give us this MOTHER DOCUMENT called the CONSTITUTION of India, after considering, deliberating and cogitating on every aspect of the rights, justice, fairness & the variegated cultures of India. Compare the CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY members with the present members of the PARLIAMENT. Needless to say, the present members neither have the educational background, nor the experience which the constituent members had. Yet in the RAJYA SABHA within 4 hours of placing the BILL, the HONOURABLE MEMBERS passed it 185 to1!!! Is the RAJYA SABHA not a deliberative organ too? Could they have done justice to a piece of legislation which alters the very fabric of the political structure, by paaing it within 4 hours of tabling? I guess not.
Since this bill, “WOMEN’S RESERVATION BILL” deprives the RIGHTS of a man, alters the status of an INDIVIDUAL vis-a-vis ESTABLISHED POLITICAL PARTIES ,and has not been thoroughly deliberated upon, i for one cannot be in agreement with the passage of this bill.
I fervently hope that there would be enough members in the LOK SABHA who would lay these issues for deliberation and let the treasury benches and their new found cohorts explain logically how my rights as an INDIAN are not taken away.
LONG LIVE INDIA. LONG LIVE THAMIZH (the software that runs me).