Why not have a females-only political party? It will have four advantages | Business Standard Column

Clipped from: https://www.business-standard.com/article/opinion/why-not-have-a-females-only-political-party-it-will-have-four-advantages-121102500109_1.html

Women are better at governing because they are more patient and more compassionate, writes TCA Srinivasa Raghavan.

T C A Srinivasa-Raghavan

Last week Priyanka Gandhi, daughter of the Congress president Sonia Gandhi, and possibly a candidate for the post of Chief Minister next year if the Congress can win enough seats–say 120 out of 416–announced that 40 percent of the tickets for the Assembly election would be reserved for women.

This is an excellent idea, long overdue. But one must wonder why she stopped at 40 and did not say 50. That would have been even better as it would even things out.

As it happens she has already put the macho BJP on the back foot. It’s hard to counter this idea, though it is likely that the BJP’s job will be done by the male members of the Congress party.

I have for long believed that other things like education being the same, women are better for governance than men. There is enough proof of this from the rest of the world, as well as India.

Indira Gandhi, J Jayalalithaa, Mamata Bannerjee, Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, Angela Merkel, Jacinda Ardern are just a few of the names that come immediately to mind. They have not made any mistakes that men don’t make and have done many things that men don’t even think of doing.

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Truth be told , women are better at governing because, contrary to male propaganda, they are more patient and more compassionate, the two qualities most needed for providing good governance.

They are also able to take a long, or at least longer view, than men whose innate aggression makes them look for quick fixes.

Why not a females-only party

I want to return to an old theme of mine about which I have written before: if we can have caste- and community-based parties, why not the most obvious and desirable alternative, gender-based parties?

The political impact of such a party can be gauged from the policies followed by Indira Gandhi, Jayalalitha, Mayawati, Mamata Bannerjee.

All of them focused on the people rather than on the ‘country’, by which I mean they have–like Narendra Modi did with his programme of cooking gas and toilets–focused on what matters for the daily lives of the people.

This can only happen if the underlying principle of your governing style is compassion. If you show enough of that, the votes follow on their own. You have to show the voters you care.

Besides, a gender-based party–“No men please, we are women”–would probably meet the key requirement of electoral politics, getting nearly half the voters to vote for you.

But you don’t need half the votes to win a comfortable majority. You need only 30 per cent.

A females-only party would be guaranteed of a win because it would garner that many without even having to campaign.

Four advantages

Such a party will end male oppression because we will get a completely new approach to legislation.

Second, it will reduce the menu from which a voter has to choose. No more options like caste, class, religion etc. For one thing, tactical voting will diminish considerably.

Third, the chances of cross voting will be in favour of women, because so few of them are likely to be goondas. We have seen this in scores of constituencies over the last 75 years.

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Fourth, current political systems seek to empower the individual by empowering his or her group. But this makes governance, which targets the individual, very hard because of the very large number of competing groups who have to be targeted first. All this SC/ST/OBC/EWS stuff reflects precisely that.

So why not have just two: women and the rest?

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