In about a weeks time we will know for certain whom to look out for around our shelters, with that once-in-five-year Colgate smile and exhibition of oh-hello-there-my-dear-old-friend kind of intimacy.
Congress Candidates for 16 constituencies Courtesy: Keralakaumudi
2. 16 crore Keralites are obligated to dispatch 20 cast-offs to fill up the 543 seats in that colossal oriental building in New Delhi. Our two bigbodies, the dynamic and fragmented Congress and the bullheaded Commie blocs have drawn up the list of the most-eligible, with BJP still waiting for that Godot to open their account. Leave aside the age-old faces and the farcical candidatures, the list is all too lame with the glaring dearth of female candidates.
Our political parties appear astutely reluctant to hand the lead over to the fairer sex for some mysterious reasons. Apart from K.R. Gouriamma, there hasn't been a single femme good enough to hold the reins. And the ones who are remembered over time, like Padmaja and Shobhana George made waves for wrong reasons.
Its very strange that Kerala, with its high female literacy, advanced social indices and women-oriented family practices fail to produce women leaders of mass. Kerala, is more often equated to the Western world in relation to social development but pales in comparison when it comes to empowerment of women at the Executive and Legislative levels. It is unexplainable because ladies with the power of command has propped up even in highly unlikely states like Uttar Pradesh.
Arguing a case for the 'weaker' sex, CPI(M) has pitted the young and energetic Sindhu Joy opposite veteran K. V. Thomas in Ernakulam. The poignant SFI Vice President did give Oomen Chandy a run for his money in his own den in the previous Assembly race, and is an encouraging prospect in the long run.
The other lady-in-red in the ranks is Sathi Devi in Vadakara, but she is as non-inspiring as our Health Minister Smt. PK. Sreemathi Teacher.
Congress, as usual has been nothing short of an embarrassment to the womenfolks in Kerala. The ongoing juggling with the Kasargode seat underlines the party's indifference and dishonest attitude towards allowing the fairer sex to take over.
For any society to move forward the hands of women must be stronger. With the fairer sex shunted away from the major highways of power, it seriously handicaps the nations ability to reinforce the basics. Read it together with the unique issues Kerala faces within itself, we render ourselves responsible for leaving our women power unharnessed behind the levees.
What a waste of potential!
Check history, we can see that women has been able to penetrate more easily into the underbellies of our society. Certainly they exhibit more compassion and delicacy when dealing with issues at the foundational level, say, the alcoholism and related related domestic violence at the lower strata of our society.
If we can find a lady who is motivated by one particular issue, then we would most often than not come to a solution to that problem. Arguably because women tend to be driven by principles whereas menfolks may just be reaching out for the pleasure of power.
And hopefully a woman at the helm or in high ranks of Legislature would prompt the Kerala male to learn the art of respecting a female counterpart, one thing our guys need some iron-fisted lessons on.
I'm unaware if any political party has taken up the Women's Reservation Bill as an issue in their agenda. Its been a big and shameful farce when it came up in the house last time. Forget the bill, if our party think-tanks could be convinced to bring in more Sindhu Joys and Shanimols to the frame... not as a ritual without any intrinsic purpose, but as an honest attempt to kick start a much needed change.
Oh, in the meantime we don't want more Jayalalitas, please. One is doing enough and more damage. :)
PS: The candidature of Neelalohitadasan Nadar is an insult not only to the entire Indian womanhood but also to the voters in Trivandrum constituency who have the luxury of pressing the button for perhaps the most charismatic and worthy of candidates, Dr. Shashi Tharoor.
What a refreshing change after decades of picking the best among duds!