Uproar in Lok Sabha Over Quota Bill
Lok Sabha today witnessed repeated uproar before the quota in promotion bill was to be taken up for consideration, with the Samajwadi Party members storming the Well in protest against the measure.

The House also saw noisy scenes over demands by women opposition members seeking adequate protection to women in the backdrop of the barbaric incident of rape on a 23-year old girl in Delhi on Sunday.

Members from Shiv Sena and BJP from Maharashtra were also in the Well raising slogans for increasing cotton prices to Rs 6,000 per quintal and other measures to prevent suicides by cotton-growers.

As Lok Sabha reassembled at noon after an adjournment soon after Question Hour began, SP members trooped into the Well raising slogans against the Constitution (117th Amendment) Bill, which provides for quota in promotions for SCs and STs in government jobs.

The Bill, which was passed by Rajya Sabha on Monday, is listed in the Lok Sabha for consideration and passing today.

The SP members raised slogans like "promotion mein aarakshan, nahi chalega, nahi chalega (we do not want reservation in promotions)".

They were followed by women MPs belonging to Shiv Sena, Akali Dal, JD(U) and BJP demanding protection for women against growing atrocities. Shiv Sena and BJP members from Maharashtra, carrying placards and raising slogans, also joined them in the Well.

After ordering laying of the papers, Speaker Meira Kumar said atrocities against women was "a serious issue and I too want a discussion on it" and asked the women members to give a notice so that it can be discussed.

Kumar then adjourned the House till 2 PM as the uproar continued.

Similar scenes were witnessed when the Lok Sabha reassembled with members from Samajwadi Party trooping into the Well.

The SP members remained silent till the time the Speaker made an observation on the gang-rape case and Shinde outlined steps to check repeat of such cases.

As soon as his statement was over, they shouted slogans opposing the bill on reservation in promotion, forcing the Chair to adjourn the House till 3 PM.

The Speaker said women MPs had met her to express anguish over the "inhuman" incident.

"Echoing the sentiments of the entire House, especially the lady members, I want the government to immediately issue appropriate guidelines to completely ban the maligning of the character of victims of such offences by anybody in any way."

She said a senior woman IPS officer should be appointed to look after all cases of crime against women and to redress their grievances.

Kumar also wanted organising "intensive training programmes for gender sensitisation of the police forces all over the country ... With immediate effect."

She said she had visited the rape victim in the hospital to enquire about her condition and met her parents.

Maintaining that the rape incident "shook our conscience", the Speaker said she had conveyed the concerns of the House and good wishes for her speedy recovery.
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Digression

1/D-74
Dec 19, 2012
12:45 PM

A leading politician of India reportedly opined this way some decades ago:

" Democracy means majority rule. Majority in India are illiterate. So India should be ruled by an illiterate PM! "

I do not know whether he actually meant it or said it. But as the way it goes now, many seem to think that way.

Otherwise how could we dilute requirements of competency and experience to some other considerations for promoting government officials to higher levels of responsibility by  enabling this Constitution amendment by the majority conscience ?

Providing opportunities to those oppressed and downtrodden is a welcome thing. But does that mean that we have to board a plane piloted by a commander who has failed to get his flying licence renewed ?

We may have to depend on God's providence all the more in the future !

Rajan C Mathew

Rajan C Mathew, Bhilai
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