Tag Archives: Reservation

Ladies Only, A National Challenge

 

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A nation’s law and order situation can be gauged by the existence of exclusive ‘women’s-only’ compartments in trains. When a country creates reserved spaces for women in its public spaces including trains, it indicates its empathy and sincerity towards ensuring safety of women. But it is also a symptom of its inability to provide 100% security to half of its population and a toothless judicial system.

Take Delhi as an example. Delhi Metro began running its classy, air-conditioned trains in 2002 with general compartments. Four years later, in 2006, DMRC (Delhi Metro Rail Corporation) was forced to reserve one compartment exclusively in all metro trains at all times when it became clear that the twin problems of groping and women’s molestation were so rampant that they could not be controlled through punitive action alone. Ever since then, Delhi Metro has turned into the safest and the most civilized space in Delhi. Women can travel in other compartments too in these trains, but men can’t travel in the ladies-only compartments. This rule is implemented very strictly and has been made a legal offense.

During Commonwealth Games in 2014, I got the chance to interact with a European woman in a Delhi Metro train. She was amused to find so many woman gathered together at one place. “Very unusual in my country,” she remarked.

Countries like Israel, Japan, India, Egypt, Iran, Brazil, Mexico, Indonesia, Phillipines, Malaysia, and UAE also have ladies-only compartments in their trains. But Singapore, which is famous for its exemplary standards in discipline, cleanliness, and orderliness in public spaces, has no ladies-only compartment in its MRT!

This proves what I am trying to say through this article, which is, that women-only spaces are needed only when law and order situation is not under control.

One Singaporean blogger ( (http://this-is-not-a-blog-.blogspot.in/2006/03/woman-only-train-compartments-in.html) concluded his article on this topic with “Woman only trains? Go to another country if you want them.“

Here’s another pic from inside a ladies compartment of the Delhi Metro.

 

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For Better or Worse

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As Monday, the first day of the week, unfolded its blue petals in my office today, I felt depressed and disappointed. The Jat protesters in Haryana have finally got what they were demanding since 1997. But I wonder if anyone of them spared a thought for even one moment for the huge losses that the nation has undergone during last 5 days and those young men selflessly sacrificing their lives in J&K and on the borders.

So many precious human lives and both public and private property worth several crores of Rupees have been turned into ashes. Several Sikh friends of mine felt bitter and said it reminded them of what they went through during the November 1984 riots. Was it all worth it? Certainly not. People who killed, burnt, and looted are criminals. They should be treated as traitors, similar to those shouting slogans against the country. But sadly, not even one such person has been caught and brought to court.

Our water supply in Delhi remains cut off today. Press reports say that Munak Canal, the main source of water supply, has also been damaged by the mobs and it will take them some time to complete the necessary repairs.

With bated breaths we watch quietly and passively while the public services limp back into action. Our politicians and all other decision makers have a tough job ahead. They need to strengthen security and stop pandering to populist sentiments such as caste-based reservations which weaken the nation from within.

As per media reports, Congress leader in Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hooda, is at present sitting on hunger strike to maintain peace while the ‘inexperienced’ BJP government scrambles to resolve the crisis . But in 2005, the same Hooda had won state elections in Haryana with his electoral promise of reservation for Jats.

Something is seriously wrong somewhere. Tomorrow another community will demand reservation and this process will never stop. The root cause of this evil needs to be identified and deleted like a computer virus. The most obvious reason is that agriculture is no longer profitable enough and majority of employable people find it hard to find secure jobs.

The general public too needs to stay united and guard itself against traitors like Afzal Guru who, for something as shallow as money, surreptitiously invite enemies from outside to create chaos and attack our country.

I felt so terrible and helpless today that for the first time in my career, I walked to a park nearby during office hours and I stood there for a few minutes. The birds, the lovely flowers, the green foliage, a patch of water, and a bird’s nest on a tree cheered me and were enough to give me the strength to go on…I clicked some pics too to keep myself buoyed just in case I start feeling depressed again. These are given here, top and bottom.

I was reminded of what one trainer told us during a training session, “Never get upset about things that you can’t control.”

Feeling better, I came back to my seat, ready for the new challenges. For better or worse, this is my country too, after all!

 

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