Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Please, atleast a few crumbs today

For what seemed to be a cake walk, the drama has just started. Reservation for women in parliament in India has been on the agenda for quite some time now. This time it seemed things would go smoothly considering the fact that the numbers were in the affirmative. But what took place in the Rajya Sabha today is nothing short of an insult to the women of India. Members of two regional parties took to the well of the house, tearing up copies of the women’s reservation bill. They are seeking for a reservation within a reservation.

Matthew 15:21-28 showcases the predicament of the Canaanite woman who comes to Jesus for her daughter. Jesus’ disciples urge Jesus to do something because they are tired of the woman’s persistence. Jesus on the other hand says, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel” and “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw to the dogs.” But the woman then says, “Even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from the masters’ table.” Jesus is astounded by the woman’s faith and tells her that she will get what she wants.

The plight of the Canaanite woman is similar to that of women in India. So close and yet so far! They have persisted for years to get what is rightfully theirs and yet they have been denied just that time after time. 33% in this sense is just crumbs as they should get a full 50% reservation. There will be advocates of the argument that let the women fight themselves up the ladder and let there be a reservation within a reservation. What this does is just deny even crumbs to women by showing them a great image of some great thing in the perceivable future!

The faith and persistence of the Canaanite woman is beyond comparison and as it teaches us a great lesson for this lent, it also reminds us of something which should be done. And this is the women’s reservation bill! The discussion on the bill has been adjourned to 9:00 A.M. March 9. Let us pray and lent ourselves for the women who have made us who we are and who have sacrificed everything for us and taught us what faith and persistence is all about.


Usha said...

Im amazed by the comparison you've brought out.

It's so easy to lose clarity of thought on this issue, with so much of misleading views and perspectives and comparisons thrown in to divert the reality off to a convenient tangent.

As for the plight of the Women's Reservation Bill, I hope some heavenly intervention occurs, and better sense prevails.

Fr Jerry said...

We need much affirmative action in India and every group, community and religion has to pitch in.

It is sad that all religions usually quote scripture to say that women should remain as they are but ignore the same scripture which also says that women should be taken seriously for who they are.

The passing of the women's reservation bill is just a beginning. Hopefully this will be taken forward. Even heavenly intervention needs us to join in as well! :)