Living in a hostel away from parents is not an easy task. I miss my home, my parents, and the food. After tasting the gruesome food of our hostel mess for the first time, I realized the value of home cooked food for the first time. The thing which I despised suddenly became my long lost friend from which I did not want to part. But there was no other way; I had to choose one between my education and food.
Bored of my messy mess, I made a reservation for a seat in one of the most crowded, well renowned restaurants of Delhi. The next day, after a tiring day at college, working hard to excel in academics, I went there to refresh myself; but to my surprise I found another woman sitting on my table. When I asked the manager about it, he replied,” Sir, you missed your seat by a slight margin.” I said timidly,” If I were you, I would have called you to confirm before allotting the seat to someone else.” The manager replied proudly,” Sir, we believe in women empowerment. And as we always say, Ladies First.”
India is a country of diversity; we have different religions, different cultures, different languages, different gend(err) and different castes. As it happens in every country, some individuals are well off, and some are poor. Some are privileged, some are not. Therefore, to uplift underprivileged sections of society, reservation was introduced. Initially beginning for scheduled castes(SC) and scheduled tribes(ST), the system later extended to other backward communities (OBC), religious minorities and women.
Every rose has thorns along with it. Reservation and women empowerment are no exception. A lot of Indians are criticizing Donald Trump over his statement that he would kill the families of terrorists in order to win the fight against ISIS (1). Can they justify what is the mistake of a child born to general category parents, who did not discriminate against the so called untouchables? It reminds me of Ajay Devgan’s dialogue in Son of Sardar,” Baap ke paapon ki sazaaa, Bacho Ko kyu Milegi?”(2) (Why will the children be punished for their parents’ deeds?)
Jews were persecuted by Hitler in Germany during 1930’s and 1940’s. In spite of the holocaust perpetrated by Nazis against Jews, it was not considered necessary to give reservation to Jews. And we see Germany as a developed nation, as the leader of European Union.
If a student with less marks is getting admission in a college, whom is it harming? The general category students? No, the nation. Zimbabwe, once a top nation in cricket, perished due to the imposed black quota in the team due to interference by Robert Mugabe. (3) Would you like a surgeon removing your adrenal when the pathology is in the kidney?
Patient: I have breathlessness while walking.
Doctor: Drink a lot of alcohol with aspirin.
Patient: But sir, it will cause gastric ulcers.
Doctor: Yeah, I know, but I know the treatment of ulcers only.
Women empowerment is a term which is frequently misunderstood. People confuse the term with feminism, which is slightly different. In a patriarchal society, women did not have adequate rights. The resources were unequally divided among men and women, which led women to protest against the system. Women empowerment is the process to do so, while feminism is the ideology of equality of men and women. While there is no doubt that women should have equal rights, it does not mean that women should have more rights than men. 10 percent of dowry cases are false. (4) Recently, a trial court in Delhi observed the need to make laws to protect men from false accusations of rape. (5)
Government’s step to introduce 33 per cent reservation in Gram Panchayats, and introducing the bill for the same in Lok Sabha is a commendable step, but it has developed in a proxy leadership by males. In gram panchayat, men force their women to fight for elections and control the power after their wives’ triumph. (6)
Moreover, a new set of so called feminists are emerging which consider them superior to males. Sadly, they are being supported by others, even some males.
In Delhi metro
Scene: A girl enters a metro at a station and searches for a seat. When she does not find one, she asks me to leave his seat for her.
Girl: Leave your seat.
Me: Excuse me, but this is an unreserved seat. Moreover, I have not eaten anything since morning.
Girl: So what? Don’t you respect girls? You look educated, still why are you behaving like that?
Me: You too look educated, and the feminism promotes equality. What you are doing is gender bias.
A nearby uncle in his late 40s: These young men, they have lost all their chivalry.
Me: Why don’t you give your seat to her?
Uncle: You’re young; you should offer your seat.
Me: Okay, I didn’t know that an old male loses his chivalry.
Everyone knows that International Women’s Day is celebrated on 8th March, but how many know about International Men’s Day?
What if we start decreasing the reservation slowly, say by 5 per cent every five years, providing relief to general category students and removing able, neo rich SC, ST and OBC from the reservation? What if we introduce creamy layer criterion in SC and ST category? What if the fruits of reservation are reaped by poorer people rather than by children of neo rich SC and ST?
What if we have society with 33 percent reservation for women to give them adequate reservation, but also have laws protecting males from false rape charges, dowry cases and stalking?
What if the political parties start working for development of the country rather than appeasing certain sections of society?
Just ponder over it.
(Disclaimer: The views expressed are personal. Apologies are extended to anyone offended by the article.)