- Feb 16, 2009
happy womens day 2010
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NEW DELHI: If all goes as per pronouncements, the centenary of International Women's Day would be a red-letter day for women's empowerment in India. The government seems prepared to get the bill to reserve 33% seats for women passed on March 8 to mark International Women's Day and, more importantly, the numbers are already in place.
The Mandal outfits -- SP, JD(U) and RJD -- along with BSP remain determined to oppose the bill on the ground that it does not provide for reservation within the larger women's quota for OBCs.
But with the Congress, BJP and Left having resolved not to let OBC resistance come in the way of the landmark legislation yet again, and with support pouring in from several quarters, the Constitutional Amendment Bill may be passed on March 8 itself.
UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi certainly wants her government to accomplish the task on Monday. "I personally attach the highest importance to the women's bill. So many years have passed since Rajivji first unveiled his vision of empowering us women. It is a matter of pride that even though it has taken so long, it is our government that has cleared the legislation in Cabinet. This year, on March 8, is centenary of International Women's Day. What a gift to the women of India if on this important day this historic legislation is introduced and passed," she told members of Congress Parliamentary Party.
BJP also favours swift passage of the bill, while CPM in the Rajya Sabha business advisory committee argued the bill be put to vote straightaway since it had been discussed ad nauseum over 15 years.
Sonia's address to Congress MPs acted as a spur for government managers to get cracking to mobilize numbers which has to be cleared by a two-thirds majority by both Houses. Dinners are being scheduled as part of the mobilization exercise, while Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is likely to invite SP leader Mulayam Singh Yadav for last-minute talks.
But with support coming on its own, backers of the bill seem to be sitting pretty. Parties which are not part of either UPA or NDA but have pledged their support to the legislation include the BJD, AIADMK, TDP and AGP.
Together, they can help the bill go over the hump with ease even in the upper House where the bill is to be introduced but where the combined support of Congress, BJP and the Left falls short of the required number.
Plus, since the regime of the day invariably mops up support of the odd lots -- represented by smaller parties, Independents and unattached (like SP rebels Amar Singh and Jaya Prada) -- women's quota may be on the cusp of becoming a reality.
Going by their track record, Mandal outfits can use obstructionist tactics to stop the legislation from being passed. RJD boss Lalu Prasad said that a women's quota bill without an OBC sub-quota was not acceptable. His position was endorsed by SP's Ramgopal Yadav. JD(U)'s Sharad Yadav also stressed that the bill, like 107 others brought earlier to amend the Constitution, must be backed by an all-party consensus.
However, unlike in the past, the belligerence may not succeed this time. First, the strength of RJD whose stormtroopers, working along with their SP counterparts, were crucial to the earlier bids to block the bill, has dwindled to just four. None of them is suspected of having the energy and vigour their younger colleagues showed in the previous instances. JD(U), which has gained at their expense but is opposed to the bill just as its rival, may not go to the same length constrained by the fact that its leader Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar was the first to introduce 50% gender quota for panchayats.
BSP is yet to announce its final stand, but its member Akhilesh Das advocated sub-quota in Rajya Sabha on Thursday.
But whether Mayawati abstains or opposes will be just of academic value, With backers of the bill comfortably placed in the numbers game, they can prevail even in the event of disruption. There is likely to be a strong discussion on the issue.
Some of the opponents hope that by staying put in the `well' they can stop the passage of the bill. The assumption there is that the House is not supposed to be in order so long as members have not taken their seats. But expert Subhash Kashyap pooh-poohed such interpretation. "Presence in the well is not recorded in voting," he said in jest, saying that House can vote even then.
It will be taken up for discussion in the Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Business Advisory Committee has granted four hours for discussion which means it will be debated through.
Biju Janata Dal which has 14 MPs in LS and three in RS came out in support. Bhartuhari Mahtab said, "We will support the bill as it is part of our manifesto." Ditto V Maitreyan who said AIADMK was the first party to reserve seats for women in organization. It has nine MPs in LS and seven in RS. TDP, with six MPs in LS and two in RS, have come out it its favour. Asom Gana Parishad's Kumar Deepak Das said the party's lone MP in LS and two in
RS will back the bill. Industrialist Rahul Bajaj seems to be backing it in line with NCP.
The UPA lacks simple majority in the Upper House and has to coordinate outside the ruling benches to mop up numbers to pass legislations. The leaders feel that SP and RJD chiefs should be won over than be embittered by being shown as helpless. To this effect, the senior leadership is in touch with them.
By Avtar Bhat
JAMMU, Mar 8: The Government today allowed an opposition Member of the Upper House belonging to PDP to introduce a sensitive private member’s bill pertaining to disqualification of permanent residentship of the State in case a female resident from J&K married a non permanent resident and termination of marriage of a non resident female with a permanent resident male.
The Bill was deemed to be introduced in the House after the Government raised no objection at its introduction stage. The Minister of Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Raman Bhalla said that the Government has no objection in its introduction.
An almost similar kind of Bill during Mufti’s regime had created a nation-wide uproar and was stalled in the Upper House without voting. The member in his written remarks argued that Act which is to be called the Jammu and Kashmir Permanent Residents (Disqualification) Act 2010, shall be deemed to have come into force with effect from October 7, 2002, the day State High Court passed a judgment in J&K State versus Dr Susheela Sawhney case.
In his introductory note to the Bill, Mr Khan said that notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any law, notification or judgment, decree or order of any court, a female permanent resident on her marriage with a person who is not a permanent resident of the State or a non permanent female resident marries with a permanent resident and on the termination of her marriage on account of death of her husband, divorce or otherwise, shall with effect from the date of such marriage or termination of such marriage as the case may be, cease to be a permanent resident.
However, the widow shall not cease to be a permanent resident as long as she permanently resides in the State.
While giving interpretation of the Act the member further said for the purpose of the Act, the expression ‘Permanent Resident’ means a person who is deemed to be permanent resident under Section 6 of the Constitution of J&K.
He said Section 6 of the J&K Constitution defines the expression permanent resident and accordingly the persons belonging to class 1 and class 2 of State subjects or persons having lawfully acquired property in the
State are deemed to be permanent residents. However, the Expression Class of 1 and 2 of State Subjects have the same meaning as assigned to it in the State notification of 1927 and 1932 on the subject.
The female permanent resident acquires the status of her husband and ceases to be a permanent resident on her marriage to a person who does not belong to any class of the permanent residents. Likewise, a non permanent female on marriage with a permanent resident acquires the status of a permanent resident by virtue of such marriage. However there is no provision with regard to status of a such female after she ceases to be the wife of a permanent resident husband.
He quoted the High Court J&K judgment in a case titled as "State of J&K versus Dr Susheela Sawhney" which has held that there is no provision in the existing law dealing with the status of a female permanent resident who marries a non permanent resident and that the State Legislature has powers under Section 8 of J&K Constitution to make such a law.
Mr Khan in his arguments said it is therefore necessary to enact the law on the subject. The J&K Permanent Residents Disqualification Bill 2010 seeks to attain this objective, he added.
He said this Bill provides that a female permanent resident after her marriage or a non permanent resident female on termination of her marriage, shall lose the status of a permanent resident. This law should be effective from October 7, 2002, the date of appointment of judgment. However the proposed law will not alter the legal position of female descendants of permanent residents in the matter of inheritance which will stay intact in accordance with the personnel law applicable to them.
The Minister of Law, Parliamentary Affairs and Rural Development Ali Mohammed Sagar however said the Government did not want to oppose the Bill at the introductory level.
Besides another Bill jointly tabled by Syed Asgar Ali and Ajay Sadhotra regarding amendment in the Transfer of Property Act 1977 were also introduced in the House.
But NC Member Ajay Sadhotra withdrew his bill pertaining to effective protection of women from domestic violence and for matters connected their with or incidents on the assurance of Minister of Social Welfare Sakina Ittoo who said Government will itself introduce a Bill in the Lower House.
In China's history when women were at helm of the state or went into the centre stage of politics they tended to be more radical than men. A few examples - 1/ Mao's wife Jiang Qing 2/ Empress dowager Cixi of last dynasty (Qing till 1912)if a woman is in power war maybe avoided concept is flawed.
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