These views were expressed by different speakers at an open house organized by Media Nest, an organization working for the welfare of journalist and their families under the banner Media for Children at the Uttar Pradesh Press Club on Saturday afternoon of 12th March 2010.
Stressing that the reservation is essential for the development of society Dr Shibani Roy, a Delhi based anthropologist who has worked with Muslim women for 40 years said.
“At present it is clear that on the Quota Bill issue society is now divided in two categories –the man and woman. While the former oppose the Bill the latter support it. It is clear that the Bill that assures the interest of women, diminishes the position of men and they resent it,” she said.
Dr Roy who has traveled to Iran several times in connection with her work said it is wrong to presume that a woman will not be able to fulfill her responsibilities if she gets into Parlaiment.
“How naïve to believe that a woman will cease to be a mother, sister, wife if she takes upon herself the mantle of a Parliamentarian. Trust a woman to have more sense.” Said Dr Roy .
Shakila who heads an organization Aagaze Insaaf that works for the rights of Muslim women said that men must learn to respect woman first as human being before they call her a political entity. A great advocate of Reservations for women she said that it is the right of ensuring a just society.
“Only political and economic independence will lead to the true emancipation of women and empower them,” said senior journalist and member of the Press Council of India, Suman Gupta.
“Why should the sole responsibility of looking after the children and home be left to the woman alone, men should be equal partners in this work. Then the question of women neglecting their house if she steps out to be in politics will not arise,” said Ms Gupta.
Asserting that only a woman can understand the pain of a woman sensitively she said that is why it is important that women come in the mainstream.
She said it is foolish to believe that a woman will get spoiled if she steps out of her house.
“It is difficult to imagine the universe without a woman, her entry in politics will ensure a better deal for both men and woman.”
Endorsing the valid demand of women for 33 per cent reservation irrespective of religion and caste bars senior journalist Mr. Durgesh Narain Shukla said that it is the ploy of political parties to create confusion and disorder and in that melee the reservation bill will hang fire.
He said while many men are doing lip-service to the Bill because they cannot openly oppose it deep within they fear that their places will be usurped and they are not keen that the Bill be passed.
Urging religious political leaders not to link the Bill with any religious politics Kulsum Talha, secretary Media Nest said that women must stand united in support of the bill and not get divided on issues of religion and caste.
(The author is a senior journalist and secretary of Media Nest)
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