Saturday, March 13, 2010

33% Womens Reservation Bill in Parliament - India

Last week saw a marked difference in the opinions expressed by a variety of politico's over the women's reservation bill that recommends a 33% reservation for women in the legislative. Let's put this in perspective.
There are the majority who seem to be favoring this bill and do not seem to have any issues with it as such. There are the laloos, mulayams and sharad yadavs who seem to be markedly opposed to the bill in its current form where according to them the "pichda mahila" (backward women) who belong to he SC/ST, OBC, Dalit, Muslim classes are not adequately represented.
One of the things that the earlier round of reservations taught us and that we need to keep in mind is the fact that reservations if deserving and necessary need to be NOT based on the caste, religion etc and more on the economic nature of the backwardness and that the reservations can NOT be open ended and need to be time bound.
States like Maharashtra do have a concept of the creamy layer that decides the eligibility based on not just the caste but within that based on the economic condition, i am not aware of the specifics but it takes into account the persons Gross annual income to place one in the creamy layer and determine the suitability.
The far more important question is do we need 33% reservation for women in the parliament? I personally feel we do not, the important thing is to ensure reforms in the political system and that alone would ensure "normal" people who do not have the muscle and the money power could make an attempt to enter the system and do their bit. Reservation to me seems to be a thing that we probably do not need as much as the reform in the system.