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Women Reservation Bill: Look beyond the Narrow Prism

New Delhi, Tue, 13 May 2008 Dhananjay Tripathi
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In the last session of Parliament if something keeps our MP shouting along with issue like increasing inflation then it was the Women Reservation Bill. Those who opposed this bill for their own manufactured logic are crying foul on the introduction of bill in the Upper House. Few are selling the logic of million discrepancies in the bill. These sellers are no other than self-stayed socialist groups of this nation who never hesitated in dealing with Sahara’s and Ambani’s of the world, despite carrying the flag of socialism.

Hope that there are few buyers of their logic and the progressive gentry of this nation are more than happy that finally the bill came on the table, what will happen to it, still remain conspicuous. Keeping the present oppositions, nobody can predict the outcome but still accolades goes to those who bravely defended the bill inside the Upper House of the Parliament, with a hope that in future too they will show the same spirit when more hurdles to stop the bill is very much expected.

Citing the argument of inconsistency for differing on the Bill and call for a debate is one thing but rejecting it is not acceptable. Those who are opposed to the women’s reservation bill must understand that condition of women in this nation, by no scale is satisfactory.

Government needs applaud for its arduous effort in bringing the Bill on the table but there are some critical issues, which require efficient handling on the part of the government and by the women’s movement of our nation. If we just take the Gender Development Index of the World, the position of India is reprehensible.

United Nations Development Programme prepares this Gender Development Index. In last five years, that is from year 2000 to 2005 position of India dipped from 105 to 113. The sex ratio in India is nastiest in South Asia and has reached to worst from bad in the Census report of 1901 to 2001. As per the Census of 1901, the sex ratio in India was 972 women to 1,000 men, which in 2001 Census became 933.

Girl child is treated as a burden by our society and people find all possible and impossible mechanisms to stop the birth of girl child. Girl child are slaughtered, mercilessly in the mother’s womb and according to reports; around 50 million women are missing because of female foeticide in India. Apart from this, women are also subject to mental and physical torture for giving birth to a girl child.

In Indian society, women are treated as personal possession and are tagged with the honour of family and society. This patriarchal mindset restricts freedom of women and pressurises them to act according to the set paradigm of the society with no role of intervention in decision-making.

In majority of cases from the level of education to the choice of a life partner voice of family prevails leaving fewer scope for individual preference. In addition, also after the marriage, women face oppression, but she bear it for the sake of family the biggest institution of our society. Those who resist did rarely find a voice of support in both sides of their family.

Inside the locked doors of family prestige, many crimes against women have become a regular feature but majority of them go unreported. If we believe reports it is evident that most of the sexual harassment cases are reportedly done by the well acquainted person to the deceased women or girls.

In numerous cases culprits are, close relatives and family friends but women keep mum for the sake of honour and to avoid the social stigma, which is a product of this male dominated society.

A girl in a family is like an added burden, sometime if the girl try to break the traditional chain of society, then she has to pay a heavy price as in majority of cases the same chain become the death knot for them. From caste Panchayat to religious leaders, they only pronounce death sentence for such girl.

Dowry is another such social evil, which has crippled our society form history and with the passage of time demand for dowry, has increased. Law prohibiting dowry is in place from 1961, but this law is broken in the presence of Leaders to Judges in several marriage ceremonies.

In India it is very easy to do away with the anti-dowry law by using different terminologies like gift, offering, part of tradition etc. According to the National Crime Record Bureau, one dowry death reported in every 77 minutes. Domestic violence has direct correlation with dowry in our society. The increasing demand of dowry particularly in the middle class has made the life of women more vulnerable. Parents too sometime reflecting the same sentiment and do not prefer girl child.

These are some of the most visible ailments and there are other deep-rooted problems, which need immediate attention. Through women’s reservation in the Parliament at least it will be ensured that in important decisions of the nation this deprived gender will have a vital say. Many of those, who are opposed to Women’s reservations in Parliament, consider Mahatama Jyoti Rao Phule as their ideal. Mahatama Phule, the father of social reforms in India considered Women equally defenseless along with other deprived sections of the society. Mahatama Phule even started a school for women in which anyone can join. The visionary Phule was well aware of the fact that irrespective of caste and religion women are subject to oppression in the society. Taking the present women’s reservation bill on the path advocated by Mahatama Phule, we must support it unequivocally.

There are many battles where more strong fight is required and we have not been able to make any breakthrough till date. Women Reservation Bill is a step in right direction and those opposed to it for whatever reasons are only defending the age-old patriarchal mindset.

The scope for debate always exists and contentious issues must be resolved amicably but taking a position per say against women’s reservation is only helping those who want to retain patriarchal values by any means. Rome was not built in a day and much needs to be done, every bill have the scope of amendment and no one is averse to positive suggestions but stalling it, is wrong and should be condemned.

Keeping the poor record of our nation in World Gender Index, let us hope that the sense will prevail in some of our leaders and more efforts to ameliorate the status of women would be taken rather than maintaining the status quo.


*The author of this article, Dhananjay Tripathi is a Research Scholar & Ex- Student Union President, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), writing for socio-political interest. He can be reached at dhananjayjnu@gmail.com.

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Comments:

pallavi sharma

July 8, 2008 at 12:00 AM

nice article. almost touched every problem coming in the passage of the bill and well exposed the pretensions of the politicians.

B.K.Agrawal

June 24, 2008 at 12:00 AM

The observations seems to have been made 50 years back and are applicable to a very small percentage of villages in our country. Present scenario has totally changed. The role of girls, their asserting attitude, noncompromising behaviour with family members, husbands and in-laws, indulging in premarital sex, increase in crime rate by women, and increase in divorce rate filed by women are telling a different story.

Arpan dey

June 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Women reservasion in our india is very important

virag

May 14, 2008 at 12:00 AM

Mr. Dhananjay Tiwari,

Looks like you are highly impressed by the news of women oppression that are making rounds almost daily on all media, print and electronic alike and so you have come to believe that the society is male dominated where women are oppressed.

Welcome to real world Mr. Tiwari, its time, high thinking men like you rise from the deep slumber of false paradoxical claims of women harassment in the society. I will take this opportunity to educate you with certain facts from which you seem to either remain ignorant or choose to observe and ignore for reasons best known to you

http://www.csrindia.org/Reports&Documents/Seminar%20Report/Research%20-%20498A.pdf

You talked about dowry harassment in society to women. So read the reality here which says 98% false of dowry harassment cases are false. So in actuality dowry is a social paradoxical evil where women are harassed but it is not the complainant but the mothers and sisters of innocent men who are harasssed.

http://ncrb.nic.in/ADSI2005/atable%202.7.pdf
http://ncrb.nic.in/ADSI2006/Suicides06.pdf

When you have invested your valuable time in composing such a big article also do invest some time in reading these links posted here. These are not fairy tales but the silent ordeal that Indian men go thro' as unsung heroes as they have no one to address their issues and are tired of the meaty treatment they get from society, brethren and the government and this so called MALE DOMINATED PATRIARCHAL SOCIETY.

Every year close to 75, 000 men are committng suicides in comparison to 35, 000 suicides by women which includes married women as well. Now if women are killed for dowry in India, how do you want to explain these figures. Also out of the 35,000 women, these include, those mothers and sisters as well who are tortured by their daughter-in-laws.

82 % of tax is paid by men, still men do not have a welfare ministry of their own, though we have animal welfare industry. No media ever reports suicide by men as it is considered a social service to kill men. US does not have dowry system yet the number of women dying per million is more compared to India, and you still want to believe that women are killed for dowry in India. And how can you say the women died have died due to dowry demands when the biased law itself assumes that any death of a married woman within 7 years of her marriage is to be treated as DOWRY DEATH.

Why are men considered as ATM machne and held responsible for the failing of a relationship and are abused financially, emotionally, spiritually. socially. The current Domestic Violence Act 2005 refuses even to accept the fact that men could be victims of Domestic Violence as well whereas studies worldwide have shown that chances of a man and a woman being a victim of Domestic Violence are 50 : 50.

No media is interested in reporting about the problems men face today, why? Can you tell me? Just because the news of a woman being tortured creates sensation? And just because men's problems and ordeals are not reported does not invalidate the fact that more the double the number of men are committing suicide and the government and the society is silently watching it and men like you keep shouting of women empowerment.

Come out of the nymphomania into the real world and have some balls to write truth. We have a plethora of spineless men, we now need some men who can talk loudly of MEN'S RIGHTS AND WOMEN'S DUTIES.

Swarup Sarkar

May 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

First of all , why 33% percent, it should be 50% women and 50% men in the pralament. When in all our corporate sectors we give them more than 50% why in prlamanet it should not be 50% or let the women elest thier representative and men ellect thier own representative.. waht is the problem?

Now the main question , Mr. Dhananjay, you are not in reality and your mind set and argument that the resevation to the women should be as they are incapable, is clear your male chumunavist mind set, why a women need the certificate form men like you that they are capable ?Otherwise you should not termed that in india women's condition is not satisfactory. What do you mean by satisfactory? By killing more nad more men and treating them as free ATM machine?
Why in the army no women demdn the 50% reservasation?
Why in this country no men well fasre minsitery , even a animale have the same?
have you ever seen a man working hard for day night .. just to earn some 50 or 60 bucks?
If not, if you are a honest person, go thorugh this and stop such legal terrorism by so called women activist and modern ravan activity.
Choice is yours , belive in modern ravan principal or in modern laxman principal.
Women empowerment does not mean killing men and got scot free or demanding money/property form husabnds family as a free ATM machine.
For more latest news and understand the reality visit www.savefamily.org
Stop the legal terrorism otherwise our future child will not forgive people like you and promoting the fatherless child in india.

Crime Bure data, 2005 All India: Did You Know?
In the Year 2005, the Crime Against Men, More than Twenty-two Lacks sixty Four Thousands ( 92.88%) vs One Lack fifty-five thousands against women( 6.38%)?
http://ncrb.nic.in/crime2005/cii-2005/Table%201.1.pdf
Comp. Sue Moto By Police(FIR Registered): 24,37,973/-
Crime Against Women : 1,55,553/-
Crime against Child : 17,975/-
Crime against Men : 22 ,64 , 445/-
In the Year 2005 the Crime Against Men, More than Twenty-two Lacks sixty Four Thousands vs One Lack fifty-five thousands against women?

% Wise All India Crime Against Men, Woemn and Child as Under :
Crime Against Women : 6.38%
Crime Against Child : 0.73%
Crime Against Men : 92.88%
We wonder Whose life is in More Danger in India : Men or Women?
Crime Bure data 2005 : Married Men Sucide : 52k vs Married Women Sucide 28K.Still there is no LAW to Protect Men why?
2006 Crime Bure Data : Married Men Sucide:55452 vs. Married Women Sucide:29869.
Will Our LAW Maker change the LAW 304B( dowry death) to 304C( Sowry Death) and 498A ( harrasement to wife) to 498B ( Sowry harrasement by wife)

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Save Family Foundation (SFF) spokesperson Swarup Sarkar has accused
WCD Minister Renuka Chowdhury of fudging the statistics on "dowry
deaths". According to Mr.Sarkar, Minister Renuka Chowdhury only
talked about the reported dowry death cases and deliberately avoided
mentioning the actual convictions in "dowry death trials" after false
cases are dismissed in the courts.

Minister Renuka Chowdhur had referred to "registered dowry death
cases" in a newspaper article.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/More_than_6000_dowry-related_cases_registered_yearly_Govt/articleshow/2852905.cms

According to Mr.Sarkar, 65% of dowry death cases are false.
Interestingly he refers to the same National Crime Bureau Data that
Renuka Chowdhury also referred in her statement. According to this
data, the trial of 5428 cases were completed in year 2006 and only in
1830 dowry death cases, where courts convicted the accused. So, the
conviction rate is 33% and Mr.Sarkar says that all other cases are
false as conviction could not take place.

According to Mr.Sarkar, it is misleading to include false/acquitted
cases in "Dowry Deaths statistics". The cases registered include both
the real ones and the fake ones which result in acquittal. Mr.Sarkar
wants only the "convicted cases" to be used in media as actual dowry
deaths. According to Mr.Sarkar, often false cases can blow up the
statistics and mislead the society. "Hence to have clarity it is
important to use the number of convictions (ie 1830) as the actual
number of dowry deaths", he said.

One can wonder, who is telling the truth. Is Mr.Sarkar telling the
truth or is Minister Renuka Chowdhury telling the truth?

It is to be noted that as per definition of dowry death, any
un-natural death of married woman within 7 years of marriage can be
investigated as dowry death. This relaxed definition can mean, death
of a woman due to accidents, suicides or any unnatural circumstances
like drowning etc, without involvement of husband or relatives are
also getting classified as dowry deaths and hence the 7618 cases are
registered. Firstly, it is ridiculous to consider every death of woman
within 7 years of marriage as a death caused by her husband or
in-laws. Now, National Commission for Women wants to remove this 7
years limit of dowry death cases. If implemented, death of any woman
at any point of her lifetime due to any reasons even without
involvement of husband or relatives can be investigated as a dowry
death. Women dying due to road accident, drowning, suicide due to
mental problems will mostly get classified as dowry deaths resulting
in misleading the Indian society and the world.

In the meanwhile, seeing the huge blown up false figures of dowry
deaths, more and more alarmed parents will abort the "girl child"
without realising that actual dowry deaths are just 1830 in a year for
a country with population of 1.13 billion people.

One just wonders, if Minister Renukaw Chowdhury is solving the
problems of the society or is herself a part of the problem. Creating
alarmism with a blown up figure of dowry deaths will certainly lead to
more "female foeticide" as parents start thinking that, it is better
to kill the girl in womb than allowing her to get killed for dowry."
According to Mr.Sarkar, the dowry death figures of 1830 are so low
that there is no reason for the society or girls' parents to feel
alarmed. He urged the Minister Renuka Chowdhury to stop creating
alarmism in the society as alarmism and resultant panic can lead to
more female foeticide, which she herself is gearing up to fight against.

If Mr.Swarup Sarkar is correct, then it is good news for Indian
Society. If the actual dowry deaths are only 1830 in a year, then the
situation of woman in India is better than situation of women in US
where about 1200 women get murdered by husband or relatives every year
(US has a population which is 25% of India's population).

Mr.Sarkar provided the link to National Crime Records Bureau Data that
her referred to:
http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%204.9.pdf
==========================
Detailed Statistics on dowry deaths
=========================

Convicted: 1830 (Real Cases)

Acquitted Or Discharged (Total): 3598 (False Cases)

Total cases disposed = 5428 (Real+False Cases)

Total cases pending in beginning of year: 29713
Total cases pending in end of year: 24183

Total cases registered in year 2006: 7618 (which include both real and
false cases).

============================================
National Crime Record Bureau Data Sheet:
http://ncrb.nic.in/cii2006/cii-2006/Table%204.9.pdf
============================================

Contact: 098451 43724


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Data of Crime Bure 2006 498A and 304B:
Data of Crime Bure 2006 498A and 304B:

No. of Person Arrested under (498A +304B) : 161217

Child/Senior citizen/Women arrested :280/4700/31253

No. Of person Arrested Under 304B : 24562

No. of Person Arrested Only under 498A (living women) : 137180

No. Of person Not Charge sheeted : 31128

No. Of person Charge Sheeted : 125277

No. Of person's Trial Completed : 78292

No. Of person convicted (498A+304B) : 16995

No. Of Person Convicted by 304B : 5144

No. Of person Convicted Under 498A but not 304B : NA?

No. Of person Proved Innocence at Court under 498A : 61297

No. Person's case compunded or withdrawn : 13970

No. Of person Convicted only under 498A without 304B : NA ?

No. Of person Accused under 498A and harresed to Got AB/ArrestStay and Trail not recomended, at least 5 times more 8,05,000 : NA ? ( 8,05,000 )

On an average (3+19.3) = 22.3% people's case (4812+31128) =35,940/- had not been even charge sheeted and proved innocence before trail.

It is a clear example that approx 80% cases people proved their innocence at Court that they had been arrested without any reason/evidence as 498A/304B is non-bailable and do not need any evidence to arrest any TOM/Dick or Marry .

So, it is a clear example that more than 92.3% cases the people had been arrested under 498A without any evidence, where as if the case is true and the verbal statement of the compliment itself find true, the convection is 100%.

Still in this special LAW more than 92.3% People proved their innocence, where as in normal IPC the convection is more than such LAW, then why need this special LAW?

The Answer : To do the Legal Terrorism and earn the money from Husband's Family as a whole sale free license and openly Blackmail and do the extortion of money by Wives family in front of Police/Court/Media and the same is not to be termed as crime.

We wonder Whose life is in More Danger in India : Men or Women?
To understand the reason one must Know: Women "Engineering viewpoint"
Crime Bure data 2005 : Married Men Sucide : 52k vs Married Women Sucide 28K.Still there is no LAW to Protect Men why?
2006 Crime Bure Data : Married Men Sucide:55452 vs. Married Women Sucide:29.869
Will Our LAW Maker change the LAW 304B( dowry death) to 304C( Sowry Death) and 498A ( harrasement to wife) to 498B ( Sowry harrasement by wife)

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Violence a home truth for India Husband -Study Report

From all over India, 98% of the respondents had suffered domestic violence more than once in their lives. The study covered Indian Husbands from various socio-economic strata but the bulk of the respondents,according to the researchers, came from the upper middle class and middle class.
About 1650 Husbands aged between 15-49 years and selected through random sampling were interviewed using a schedule adapted from the WHO multi-country study on Husband's health and domestic violence.

The study looked at all four aspects of domestic violence ? Economical,emotional, physical and sexual. Economical violence was found to be the commonest with 32.8% respondents saying they had faced it at least once,followed by emotional (22.2%) , by physical (25.2%) and sexual violence (19.8%). An interesting finding was that the probability of violence increased significantly with the duration of marriage particularly if it was more than seven years old. But, says Dr J K Grover, one of the researchers,


   

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