Although cynics may like to see he government’s policy for women in terms of the party’s internal power struggles, it will nevertheless be churlish to deny that it represents a pioneering effect aimed at bringing about sweeping social reforms. In its language, scope and strategies, the policy documents displays a degree of understanding of women’s needs that is uncommon in government pronouncements. This is due in large part to the participatory process that marked its formulation, seeking the active involvement right from the start of women’s groups, academic institutions and non-government organizations with grass roots experience. The result is not just a lofty declaration of principles but a blueprint for a practical program of action. The policy delineates a series of concrete measures to accord women a decision-making role in the political domain and greater control over their economic status. Of especially far-reaching impart are the devolution of control of economic infrastructure to women, notably at the gram panchayat level, and the amendment proposed in the Act of 1956 to give women comparcenary rights.
And enlightened aspect of the policy is its recognition that actual change in the status of women cannot be brought about by the mere enactment of socially progressive legislation. Accordingly, it focuses on reorienting development programs and sensitizing administrations to address specific situations as, for instance, the growing number of households headed by women, which is a consequence of rural-urban migration. The proposal to create an equal-opportunity police force and give women greater control of police stations is an acknowledgement of the biases and callousness displayed by the generally all-male law-enforcement authorities in case of dowery and domestic violence. While the mere enunciation of such a policy has the salutary effect of sensitizing the administration as a whole, it does not make the task of its implementation any easier. This is because the changes it envisages in the political and economic status of woman strike at the root of power structures in society and the basis of man-woman relationship. There is also the danger that reservation for women in public life, while necessary for their greater visibility, could lapse into tokenism or become a tool in the hands of vote seeking politicians. Much will depend on the dissemination of the policy and the ability of elected representatives and government agencies to reorder their priorities.
Which of the following has the danger of becoming a token?
Democratic societies from the earliest times have expected their governments to protect the weak against the strong. No ‘era of good feeling’ can justify discharging the police force or giving up the idea of public control over concentrated private wealth. On the other hand, it is obvious that a spirit of self – denial and moderation on the part of those who hold economic power will greatly soften the demand for absolute equality. Men are more interested in freedom and security than in an equal distribution of wealth. The extent to which Government must interfere with business, therefore, is not exactly measured by the extent to which economic power is concentrated into a few hands. The required degree of government interference depends mainly on whether economic powers are oppressively used, and on the necessity of keeping economic factors in a tolerable state of balance.
However, with the necessity of meeting all these dangers and threats to liberty, the powers of government are unavoidably increased, whichever political party may be in office. The growth of government is a necessary result of the growth of technology and of the problems that go with the use of machines and science. Since the government in our nation, must take on more powers to meet its problems, there is no way to preserve freedom except by making democracy more powerful.
‘Era of good feeling’ in the paragraph refer to
Paul’s wife knows Paul loves to read cookbooks. She decides to get him one for his birthday. Paul tells her he will try to make a new recipe for three days in a row. On Monday, Paul makes blueberry pancakes for breakfast. He gets the blueberries from the farmers’ market. On Tuesday, Paul makes beef soup for dinner. He puts in cubes of beef, carrots, and onions. The recipe calls for cream, but Paul does not cream. He uses water instead. On Wednesday, Paul makes a tomato salad with cucumbers and onions. He picks the cucumbers and tomatoes from his garden. He likes this dish best. It was also the easiest for him to make.
Which dish does Paul like best?