Have you ever got a feeling of déjà vu about a feeling of déjà vu? Well, that is the feeling coming over us as the women's reservation bill falls by the wayside yet again. The Speaker has jumped into the fray saying she will try to evolve a consensus on the issue. Well, more grease to her elbow because those who have tried before her have found themselves blasted out of the water by some of our political worthies whose logic is really staggering. So while Indian women may think they have a right to political power, our lads feel that they are better employed churning out rotis and also by keeping their hair a suitable length.
Since our male politicians find these qualities appropriate in a woman, we think there should be a few criteria for men as well. We could devise a quiz to this effect and here are a few suggestions for questions that they should answer correctly and which have as much relevance as roti-making prowess and long hair in women. How often did Jawaharlal Nehru cut his hair in a year? What was Choudhary Charan Singh's favourite snack? If any of our male politicos can't answer such questions, and we will come up with more, they must forfeit their seats to a woman candidate. Thus by a process of elimination we might have at least 10% women in Parliament. But all we ask is that this present farce of getting the women's bill passed in the Lok Sabha not be continued any further.
Just to make things palatable, we could even have Simi Grewal host the quiz. Given that her plummy accent won't be understood by most of our male politicos, we might just see a quantum jump in female representation. Or we might, and this is a bone-chilling thought, find Ms Grewal become an MP. If you think this is all very trivial and farcical, it is no more so than these periodic pretences of passing this bill about which there are so many reservations.