Sub: 90% of common citizens say NO to “Women Reservation Bill’ in NDTV Poll as it is undemocratic and unconstitutional.
We, Save Indian Family Foundation, are an organization dedicated and committed to the cause of spreading awareness about the misuse of existing gender biased laws. We consider it as our moral duty to inform all who are in imminent danger of passage of any similar gender biased laws and are doing it selflessly.
90% of common citizens also say NO to “Women Reservation Bill’ in the NDTV poll as it is undemocratic and unconstitutional. The link of the poll can be found at
As you are very much aware, the bill for reservation for Women in Parliament and State Legislatures, called, ”The Constitution (One Hundred And Eighth Amendment) Bill, 2008” will deal a death blow to the health of Indian democracy and will permanently change the nature and character of Indian polity. Besides, it can signal the end for most male MPs who will be restricted to contest from 67% of the seats in Lok Sabha and State Legislatures.
The Indian Affiliate Chapter of Association for International Men’s Rights Activism and Welfare (AIMRAW) had also written to 200 Members of Parliament and the open letter was published on their website as well. The letter is available at,
And it also contains comments from users.
This bill is short-sighted, undemocratic, and discriminatory. The following points are worth considering:
- This Bill takes away the democratic right of 33% of the electorate (22 crore people) to elect their representatives. It restricts the choice of both men and women in those constituencies. The state has no right to limit the pool of representatives available to the public to choose from. This is against all democratic principles of free choice.
- This takes away the democratic right of about 11 crore men to contest in elections, thus imparting a severe blow to the health of democracy in India. This is against the fundamental rights of 11 crore men. It violates the right to equality guaranteed under the constitution.
- It will lead to significant upheavals and instability in Indian polity, with MPs being forced to shuffle constituencies in almost every election. This would lead to an inability to nurture their constituency and further reduce accountability.
- There are no measures to make sure that the benefits are received by the socially backward and underprivileged women, who really need them. There are no objective criteria to prevent the elite class or “creamy layer” of women from taking undue and unfair advantage of this legislation.
- The number 33 % is totally arbitrary and no justification has been provided. Even in advanced democracies like US and UK, where most women are already empowered, the number of women in legislature is less than 20%.
- This bill suggests a rotation system which would be determined by draw of lots, in such a manner that a seat would be reserved only once in a block of three general elections. This is a serious flaw, insofar as it mechanically provides for entry of women members to fill one-third of vacancies in Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabhas. This subverts the democratic process which is all about free choice vis-à-vis a mechanical action/ process.
- India is a vast country and is multi-cultural, multi-ethic, multi-lingual and with several groups, castes, sub-castes etc. The implementation of this bill would lead to more demands from various groups and sections of society for similar representation and it would be an open invitation for politicization of the representative form of Indian democracy. It will be a death blow to representation through constituencies.
- The concept of reservation is an insult to women and their capability. It is an admission on her part of her inferiority. It gives the impression that women are incapable of competing with men and hence need protection and a support structure to enter public offices of parliament and state legislatures. In India, women have always been side-by-side with men in council as well as in battles. This law perpetuates gender discrimination. To seek any form of preferential treatment would be to violate the Integrity of the universal demand of Indian women for absolute equality of political status.
Rather than taking a judicious and considered approach towards the issue, which normally expected during the legislative process, the current Bill builds on gender stereotypes and makes several deeply flawed assumptions such as:
- Women only vote for other women – More than 50% of the women exercised their franchise in the General Election of 2004 and elected their representatives, both men and women.
- Men cannot represent women’s interests – Men have always been more sympathetic to women and this has been proved beyond doubt in the last 60 years with women being empowered with legislations and policies of special significance. Female literacy rate, employment and political empowerment have happened without any reservations.
- Forcing more women on the electorate is women empowerment – Forcing more women in the parliament through undemocratic means will only serve to undermine the legitimacy and efficacy of the elected women representatives.
- All women are under-privileged – A gross generalization is made that all women are under-privileged, deprived and discriminated. That women are a homogenous group and there are no differences in terms of social status, education, etc. and hence, an across the board reservation system is needed. This major flaw would be misused by upper caste and upper class women to dominate lower class/ caste women. Thus, the really needy women would continue to be oppressed while the creamy layer among women would become richer and powerful.
- All men are privileged – Similarly, a gross generalization is made that men are a homogenous group and are all privileged and have a natural advantage over women.
- Women are disadvantaged – Assumption is made that women have no natural advantages over men. That, the society discriminates only women and not men. It does not recognize the natural and societal advantages that women have got in terms of moral superiority, greater faith and sympathy.
- Reservation is indispensable – The bill does not recognize the fact that there have been many women who made it to high public offices and there have been many women Chief Ministers and a Prime Minister. Right now, we have a Woman President and a Woman Speaker. They all assumed office through their own efforts and without any reservation. The bill is based on the false assumption that women need reservation to enter high public offices.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Public Relation Officer
Save Indian Family Foundation, Bangalore