The year of Women politicians

The year of women politiciansThere have been few eminent women politicians in India. Very little has changed for women politicians in this country since the time independent India came into existence. But the year 2009 can be said to be an exception as this year a number of women politicians came into the limelight, making a mark and showing that they are no less than their male counterpart.

Though women are still lesser in number in Indian politics, they cannot be ignored. When we talk about women politicians the names that come instantly are that of Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha, Mamta Banerjee and Mayawati. Rabri Devi was also seen sometime back to have not only supported Laloo Prasad Yadav but also served as the Chief Minister of Bihar. Shiela Dixit, Vasundhara Raje and Sushma Swaraj are also other prominent names and not to forget, the First Woman President of India, Mrs. Pratibha Patil. This year sees some young and dynamic faces like Priyanka Gandhi Vadra and Priya Dutt too. Sharad Pawar’s daughter, Supriya Sule and Karunanidhi’s daughter, Kanimozhi are not far behind.

In spite of women having less than 10 percent representation in Indian Parliament, 2009 has been the year of women in Politics. Leading ladies of the political world of India- Sonia Gandhi, Jayalalitha, Mayawati and Mamta Banerjee have played a key role in this year’s election. Mayawati, born as a dalit, a minority group in India, rose in Indian Politics and has been the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh since the past four years. She is considered as the most powerful woman who pays the highest tax among Indian politicians and has a high chance of becoming the prime minister of this country. And now it is even Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi Vadra who are coming into the limelight- Rahul as a candidate and Priyanka as the ideal educated young woman of modern India who stands by her family. Then there is Mamta Banerjee, the founder of Trinamul Congress in West Bengal. Jayalalitha or Amma has risen in the world of politics besides innumerable up’s and downs.

These have been the faces in Indian politics for quite some time. It is not an easy task for women to make a mark in the male dominated political world of India. This year many women have stood up in the elections from various small town constituencies as well. Haryana witnessed 14 women candidates in the elections as compared to 1 in the 1967 elections . Be it the young and dynamic Lubina Asif who at the early age of 25 is the youngest candidate in the Lok Sabha elections, or Yashodhara Raje who even has a Facebook account, Indian women are slowly and steadily making their way in Politics. The Centre for Social Research, a NGO, supported by the United Nations is also working towards empowering women from the minority class and grooming them into conducting elections and joining Indian Politics .It would surely be interesting to see how many women come out of the traditional ‘bahu’ or ‘beti’ mark and join the world of politics as a leader and not just a mere follower of orders from their male counterparts in the near future. All things kept aside, the bottom line is that India needs an educated, powerful and strong leader who understands its people and their requirements and works towards their development.


- Ekta Bhatnagar (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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