This book is an outcome of the author’s in-depth research on emerging policies relating to national and international situations and concerning women in India, after the country opted for a mixed economy and economic planning for development with a democratic political system.
It goes without saying that there has been a phenomenal rise in the national income along with a rapid industrial growth and upsurge in agricultural production, leading to the Green Revolution. At the same time, there has been a considerable fall in the death rate coupled with a rise in life expectancy, increase in literacy percentage, fall in the percentage of people living below the poverty line, etc. But one of the main objectives of planning remains unfulfilled – social justice for people suffering from poverty, hunger, unemployment, disease, malnutrition, economic inequality, neglect of women – and these stare at us even today despite moving forward in the 21st century. Women remain relatively backward and are not enabled to play their dual role as home-makers and as makers of a new and independent India. The importance, relevance and urgency of the fulfilment of the twin objectives of development of women and proper utilisation of their power can hardly be explained in the context of the ground realities of today.
In our male-dominated society, the women are victims of oppression, suppression, deprivation, bride-burning, dowry demand, sale and infanticide of girl child, lower life expectancy, etc. What is more, the female workers, whether on the farm or in factories, toil as much as their male counterparts, yet get paid less. “Women are suffering discrimination in many ways and the deprivation is writ large over the entire society and not limited to the poor,” says the author.
As per the 1971 Census, the Committee on the Status of Women revealed the following shocking data, “This was a watershed year which raised concern among lawyers, thinkers and planners regarding the servitude position of women in India. Since then, demand for improvement and political empowerment of women started at the global level.”
Thus the question of reservation arose. As women have been victims of age-old repression and exploitation, reservation seems the best way as a means of protecting the weaker section of the society as it has been exploited for centuries – socially, historically, and politically and reservation will undoubtedly give them the choice to come on par with the strategic section.
This is a mediocre book where facts and information go back and forth and are not logically placed.
(Kalpaz Publication, C-30 Satyavati Nagar, Delhi – 110052.)