Monday, June 9, 2014

Modi-Sonia combo for women's lib

Hinduism teaches us that God is half man half woman (unfortunately, this does not quite meet the feminist threshold set up by brown liberals) - ardha-narishwara - combining the masculine (purush) and feminine (prakriti) energies of the universe.

The larger than life presence of Sonia (dynasty) and Modi (hindutva) in Indian politics is frankly bothersome for us. If India must have a future as a (flawed but improving) democracy she should be ruled by non-communal left/right (-of-center) parties (ideally with alternate party rule every five years- the so-called Kerala model). Highest votes for the best governance should be the motto.

In the short term, the focus must also be to win the vote by showing what you can do for women. We do not have to look afar. Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have shown the way, India just needs to follow.

That said, you go to battle with the army you have. The first step initiated by Modi (and supported by Sonia) on the Women's Reservation bill is a hopeful sign. We look forward to many more of such initiatives.
.....BJP, Congress and Left had joined hands to get the women's reservation bill passed in March 2010 but it has since languished because the UPA government could not get past the resistance of SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD who insisted on reservation for OBCs and Muslims within the larger gender quota
 Mukherjee also said the government will work to ensure that by 2022, every family has a "pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, 24x7 electricity supply and access". 
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The President's speech was a bouquet of beautiful (if familiar) words, there must be now be consistent action and accountability.
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Pushed to the backburner for the last four years, the women's reservation bill appears closest now to being passed with the Narendra Modi government expressing its commitment for 33% reservation for women in Parliament and state assemblies.

Spelling out the Modi government's agenda in his address to the joint sitting of Parliament, President Pranab Mukjerjee said on Monday, "My government recognizes the important role our women play in the development of our society and growth of the nation. It is committed to providing 33% reservation to them in Parliament and state legislative assemblies."

While similar resolves for women's quota in legislatures were expressed in the past as well, the fresh pledge sounds credible both because of BJP's absolute majority in Lok Sabha as well as the near-rout of SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD who vetoed the implementation.

Stressing that women's welfare will be one of the thrust areas for the new government, Mukherjee announced the launch of a country wide 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' (save girl child, teach girl child) campaign to save the girl child and enable her education and prevent crimes against women by strengthening the criminal justice system.

He also put the challenge of communal violence on the same footing as terrorism, extremism and crime, stressing that the government would follow a "zero tolerance" approach towards all. "A national plan will be chalked out in consultation with the state governments to effectively curb incidents of communal violence and the challenges posed by left wing extremism," said the President

  BJP, Congress and Left had joined hands to get the women's reservation bill passed in March 2010 but it has since languished because the UPA government could not get past the resistance of SP, BSP, JD(U) and RJD who insisted on reservation for OBCs and Muslims within the larger gender quota.

....Though the Modi government can get the bill through the Lok Sabha on its own steam, its task will be made that much easier because of the support from Congress and Left. In fact, Congress president Sonia Gandhi thumped her desk in approval when the President listed protection of women among priorities of the new government.

About the 'Beti Bachao-Beti Padhao' campaign, the President said, "It will structure a comprehensive scheme, incorporating best practices from states in this regard."

The President was speaking against the backdrop of a spate of horrific crimes against women in UP and elsewhere, and he referred to that. "In the recent past, the country has witnessed some gruesome incidents of violence against women. The government will have a policy of zero tolerance for violence against women, and will strengthen the criminal justice system for its effective implementation," he said.

Mukherjee also said the government will work to ensure that by 2022, every family has a "pucca house with water connection, toilet facilities, 24x7 electricity supply and access".

He also said that the government would set up Lokpal and would spread e-governance.


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Link: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Modi-signals-womens-quota-in-Parliament-zero-tolerance-for-riots/articleshow/36315396.cms
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regards