We elect representatives so that they would take up our causes, fight for us in getting laws passed and seeing that those laws are enforced for our protection. And who is the best representative of women? Any intelligent and thinking person, why, even a moron would agree that it is another woman. Only a woman can understand and fight for another woman, right?
Then we are a blessed country and should have the best deal going for women, not what the reports show. See how many women there are at the helm of affairs:
- We have a woman President – Pratibha Patil.
- We have a woman as the Chairperson (and therefore the de facto decision maker) of the ruling coalition – Sonia Gandhi.
- We have a woman Chief Minister for Delhi – Sheila Dikshit.
- We have a woman Speaker of the Lok Sabha – Meira Kumar.
- Two Chief Ministers – Mamta Banerjee in West Bengal and Jayalalitha in Tamil Nadu. (The third one was just thrown out of power in UP).
So what are these eminent women doing besides attending functions, giving statements, playing blame games and politics, threatening to withdraw support at the drop of a hat and going on foreign jaunts? Delhi is four times blessed since the first four mentioned women preside over their respective offices in the National Capital, while Shelia Dikshit rules over the state! I think it is a capital shame that this city has the highest crime rate. I think it is a ‘distinction’ not shared by any capital city in the world.
Of course she has gone on record saying that crimes have increased in the capital because of the inflow of migrants from neighbouring states and Bihar in particular. If that is the reason for increase in crimes, Mumbai should be the crime and rape capital, for that city has had migrations for a longer period and houses a more mixed population structure. Not just that, but she has also admonished women in her state not to go out unaccompanied late at night to avoid trouble. I don’t remember the exact words. Correct me if I am wrong but no feminist blog or blogger condemned her statement for being regressive. The policemen who mouth similar sentiments can be excused for belonging to the execrable male species, but she represents a ‘progressive’ political party after all! So I guess she is also excused albeit for the same reason in reverse. Go figure!
In Afghanistan Taliban had pushed women back into the dark ages during its rule. It was only after 2001 when the regime was overthrown by the military intervention of US and UK that the women there began taking tentative steps towards freedom. If Afghanistan had/s the Taliban, we have the Khap, do you say? Well, Khap is restricted to Haryana and parts of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh with a Jat majority. Are women better off in the rest of the country? What about Delhi, the capital of the country?
Statistics show that Delhi is not only the crime capital but also the rape capital in addition to being the political capital of the world’s largest democracy. The National Crime Records Bureau’s (NCRB) report on crimes against women and children gives the dirty picture. Delhi leads in rapes – with 414 cases while Mumbai is a distant second with 194 cases. One more statistic stood out. Tripura, has the highest crimes against women in the country. What a ‘distinction’ for a tiny state! I will not go into all the statistical details which is available here if you are interested.
The long and short of the matter is that ALL political parties are guilty of being insensitive to the concerns of women and children and it is about time for them to stop pointing fingers at each other.
Coming back to the question of electing representatives who look out for us, what does it show? Nothing. Once elected, the representatives look out for themselves and their families. Period. This includes women and candidates belonging to SC, ST and Backward Classes. And when women like Mayawati and Meira Kumar do not pull their weight to better their womenfolk, it bodes ill for the institutions of democracy (not the institution of marriage as some people would have us believe).
Everyone is clamoring for the Women’s Reservation Bill which is stuck in the Lower House because Lalu, Mulayam and Sharad Yadav are opposed to it. But even if the Bill is passed is it going to make any difference? Certainly not, because they will be politicians first and women later. There is 33% reservation for women at the Panchayat level. Has that stopped our rural sisters from being exploited? They are among the most exploited and abused in the country. How many women Sarpanchs have seen to it that their women are well cared for?
Not a single women’s wing of any political party is campaigning for stricter punishment to rapists and molesters. With little deterrent to criminals, how can a crime be controlled? The crown prince can shed crocodile tears over the victims in Bhatta Parsaul but not in the Capital. It is all about politics. Political compulsions make for compromises – everywhere. So why is the Khap not disbanded or at least regulated? But how can it be done? After all, Jats form a sizeable portion of the vote bank. In the times of vote bank politics, how can one antagonize a whole chunk? Political expediency? You bet!
Talking of political expediency, listen to the UK Premier David Cameron on the reasons for being in (and now planning to leave) Afghanistan: ‘We are not there to build a perfect democracy, still less a model society. We are there to help Afghans take control of security and ensure that al-Qaida can never again pose a threat to us from Afghan soil.’
There! It is out in the open. (Link)
It is only strong political and legal measures brought in by strong political will that can make a difference to the lot of women. But as long as we have politicians who are interested only in grinding their own axes — whether getting Jat votes or safeguarding their countries from al-Qaida, there is no hope for the betterment of women. Not even when these politicians are women who are in positions from where they can do it.
So where does it leave the women? On the streets at the mercy of wanton criminals — to be molested, abused, trafficked, abducted and murdered.
Image courtesy: indiacurrentaffairs.org