The Youth, The Reservations and Super power India!!

Past couple of weeks have been very exciting for the country. We managed getting the Women reservation Bill through, Save the Earth by switching off the lights has become a huge campaign, virtual world becoming a factor for social cause has become huge and many more such events. I have been following these trends closely and reading comments, blogs about this stuff. Whats struck me has been the underlying current of focus on the youth, the school children, college students, young working people etc.
I can probably write about a lot of things here and link them but i somehow drew a connection between a few things i read. A post on what IIM-B has shown , the women reservation bill and the discussions surrounding them and what it means to me and this small initiative on facebook by kids of defence personnels.
The Reservation law has been discussed in detail all over with all its aspects being dissected and the whole topic of equality coming back to hound us. Honestly whether or not “Protective and Positive discrimination” is good or not is very contextual. India with all its myriad of cultural, traditional, religious dichotomies and adding to that its experiments with all kinds of reservations, does have what i can call a very skewed under standing of development. How and what of it is something i am sure can be a whole range of discussion all over again, but here i am drawing a link between this “ground breaking law” and the IIM-B news. The reservation law has been hailed as something that will bring in women to the political juncture and we will have the new age woman striding ahead in policy discussion process. The men all around have been talking about how getting more youth participating in this process is also needed. The Congress drew upon it young and vibrant band of leaders to get mileage in elections and still does actually. So reservation coming should actually be a reason for the youth and young women to get out and be there- becoming a part of the policy deciding structure right. despite what ever is being said and spoken about it shouldn’t it be something that positively encourages me to stand in the elections and try and become a part of that system? So for that comes the whole range of debate of this law helping only the “women from strong and powerful families” and what it will become. I am wondering then that are we such skeptics and actually have no faith in the “not so powerful family women” doing well. And secondly we have a lot of young people discussing this aspect too and therefore this kind of skepticism should have probably been followed by discussion on what this can mean as a future for young women who should get into politics. Maybe i have missed those kind of discussions but why is it that its not been so resounding! here i bring in the IIM-B post which is an indicator to me of what the youth is thinking actually. The organisation had absolutely no takers for social development sector despite the fact that the fee was being waived! two things disturb me- 1. the institution has to bring a “fee return” clause to make the social development field become lucrative! 2. A student saying that if “the trend catches up probably students will take it up”. Now when i read this i am able to draw a link between why a step like reservation which can be made a new step ahead has become a skeptical topic! If we have the Generation next not looking at social development as “lucrative” or “enterprising” or anything at all actually! So then how do we leverage this whole segment called “that-women-in-a-simple-life”? Why then do we complain that only the powerful will leverage this opportunity at all? The SC/ST reservation had a whole history that was not only started out wrong but also became a skewed reality when implemented. But why can’t we look at having more seats in the parliament etc as that one step at getting into the change mechanism! Are realities only meant to be dealt by “jhandaadhaari group”, only for speeches and not for the youth to get into at all! I look back at my under graduation days of law and the fact that out of a batch of 100 students in the college and many more in the university i was the only student who pursued human rights! There is nothing to boast about it but i do remember what my colleagues had to say. There were things like “i would rather have a safe career option” “i am not cut out for this” “you are passionate about causes”! So really are we to blame for this whole process of condemning the reservation law too soon without even realizing its worth!
I will say yes to this. The women today have this as an opportunity to utilize. maybe it is unfair on the men, i am no feminist, but then why not make social development a career choice? I look at this as a dismal portrayal of what we are becoming. Just like many other things we will dissect, post mortem everything and talk and discuss. But it isn’t “lucrative” so well why try it. Am i disheartened completely? Not really actually. I see discussions like these and i know there is a segment of youth which is talking. They are people who have seen what giving is all about. Coming from the defence the discussions there are what i call passionate and thought provoking. Am i biased? I come from the forces myself so yes i probably am but then i see that at least this can be taken forward. The youth is creating a dialogue of prospective roles in the politics of this country. Maybe that is the way forward which needs nurturing and guidance. Even if it is a group somewhere on a virtual world it’s at least something that makes me optimist and a believer that i will see some young guns break it out in the world of policy making soon.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thenlightened
    Mar 25, 2010 @ 17:47:12

    Though the intention of bringing more women to parliament is definitely commendable, the present women’s reservation bill has many drawbacks. reserving 1/3rd of seats for women which is going to be changed in the next election leaves no real scope for the women who won there to do something for the place. for any MP or an MLA to know if he or she has done something good or bad it is necessary to get a peoples verdict the next time around, but under the present bill this cannot happen as then the reserved seats would be another 1/3rd of the total. And then any sitting MP of a place who has been winning the seats for quite sometime won’t be leaving his seat for just a term of 5years to any fresh face, so it would be most likely he would give the seat to his daughter or wife so that he can contest the seat the next time. Also even if a fresh face comes up, knowing that she won’t be able to contest or get the people’s verdict next time around she would find herself in a situation where ther’s less inspiration as man or women the only reason politician do atleast something for the people is cos of the knowledge that the have to face the people’s verdict next time around.


  2. thenlightened
    Mar 25, 2010 @ 17:56:21

    also the bill takes away peoples right to give verdict. And then the bill actually doesnt empower women nor does it help in equality as what it means is 1/3rd of the seats is all women seats from which women can contest and come up in parliament. That is definitely not equality, women doesnt need all women seats to come up in parliament, they can surely defeat men in election as women are not below any men. IF women like Sonia, Mayawati, Mamata Bannerji can come up then so do other women. They don’t need an all women seat for that. And that concept of all women seat is also probably contradictory to the basic principles of democracy as it contradicts the right of any person to stand for election in a constituency. WhaT probably is a better way is to make the parties to allot a fixed number of seats for women say a 35% or 40%. That would mean that more women would enter politics and also they would come into parliament by their own virtue and not by some short cuts. Surely there are a lot of capable women out there who should be sitting in parliament.


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