Women’s Reservation Bill : Shocking betrayal or a promised future?

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In a jaw-dropping development, the Congress party has unleashed a scathing attack on the government’s women’s reservation bill, calling it an “election jumla” and a “huge betrayal of hopes of women.” The party’s General Secretary, Jairam Ramesh, dropped this bombshell amid increasing questions surrounding the timing and efficacy of the bill. The legislation, dubbed as a monumental move to reserve one-third of seats in the Lok Sabha and state assemblies for women, is now being questioned for its delayed implementation, contingent on the completion of a Census and a delimitation exercise.

Jairam Ramesh made waves when he pointed out that the Narendra Modi government has yet to conduct the 2021 Decadal Census. India is now the only G20 country that has failed to carry out this pivotal exercise. Ramesh further cast doubt over the actual implementation of the women’s reservation bill, questioning if the required Census and delimitation exercise would even take place before the 2024 elections. With this controversial stance, the Congress party has thrown a wrench into what seemed to be a universally acclaimed move to empower women in Indian politics.

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The women’s reservation bill, which was intended to herald a new era of gender equality, now appears to be more of a “vague promise,” as Ramesh puts it. He slammed the government for essentially using the bill as an “Event Management” strategy, alluding to its ability to make headlines without any concrete promise of its actual implementation. This unprecedented critique comes just as the government has introduced this constitutional amendment, making it the first bill to be presented in the new Parliament building. The government claims that this bill aims to amplify women’s participation in policy-making at both state and national levels, driving India towards becoming a developed nation by 2047.

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As the nation watches with bated breath, the questions loom large. Will the women’s reservation bill truly bring about the seismic shift it promises, or will it merely remain a headline with no real impact? Is the government’s claim of enhancing women’s participation in governance a genuine aspiration or a mere electoral gimmick? These questions hang in the balance, as both the political and public spheres react to this shocking development.

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